Thursday, November 15, 2007

Booth Design Considerations

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, "Punish the Monkey" (again) by Mark Knopfler on iTunes. It is going to be A Day! I was reminded on Tuesday afternoon that today is the first day of the Taylor Kinzel Glass Trunk Show that I am in up in Roswell, and they are also having a book signing there for me tonight... Oh boy. My first book signing and I only have five copies of my book left. Well, that ought to be enough--it's not like I'm J.K. Rowling! So I'm off up there about 3:30, therefore missing J's gymnastics and ballet and relegating Dave to airport pick-up duty at 7:32 when my mom gets in from Montana (yea!) for a month.

But enough chatter. Today's topic is display considerations. I am splitting a 20 X 20 space at the upcoming two BMAC shows and ACRE with Bill and Elaine from Elliott Metal Works. The first step in the design process is to identify the needs. Ours are as follows:

  • Break up the space into areas for each of our individual works and then an area for the FeSiO work and have all of them flow seamlessly together
  • Have our own private areas for sales and business talks with our customers
  • Have a lot of wall space for them and tabletop display for me
  • Grab the eye from any angle as people walk by
  • Open and spacious feeling
  • Flexible for changing layout
  • Quick and easy to set-up and break-down
  • Not too heavy (or we'll be eaten alive by shipping)
  • Not too expensive
  • Durable

Think we're asking for too much?

Let's start with the walls. Movable panels are great for maximum flexibility. Plywood is the first material that comes to mind for DIYers, but plywood needs to be at least 1/2" thick in order not to warp, and it weighs 50 lbs for a 4' X 8' piece. That's a lot of weight. It also has to be kept painted or covered, and whenever you nail into it you get a permanent hole. Not a great option. So we extended our thoughts and came up with gridwalls covered with foamcore. That's what I had on the front corner of my booth in August (photo at right, wall under the lattice piece).

They aren't any more light-weight than plywood, but they don't warp, they attach to each other with cable ties, and the work can be cable-tied to them--even really heavy pieces. The foamcore is extremely lightweight and can be re-used if handled carefully. It can also be decorated with a tissue-paper-and-glue collage that would really set off my work (and hide damage or flaws in the panels). The panel size we settled on is 8' X 2'--and we might cut them down a few inches to fit in a crate made from 4' X 8' sheets of plywood. We put together a common floor layout template and are now tweaking it individually back in our own studios. I am going to create mine with Google Sketch-Up--a free CAD program (Dave wanted to find a use for it, and I was happy to oblige :-).

Enough design for today. Up next: maximizing display space in the sweet spot (thigh height to just above head height) and floor covering. Soon: lighting, and extra touches.

Now off to make the birdbath for my GPQ article (check out the fall issue for my last article!).


Dee said...

i hope your book signing and gallery trunk show are going well and that you need to make them yet more work monday! ;))

Bill Paley said...

Since when do YOU have to bring your books to a signing? I thought that the store arranges the supply.

Brenda Griffith said...

Since I get the proceeds from the sales--not the pennies in royalties. the book signing was at a gallery, not a bookstore, so they didn't buy a bunch. And this is MUCH better for me. Sales on Amazon net me a couple of pennies. Copies I sell to individuals net me a non-trivial percentage.