"Getting ready is the secret of success" Henry Ford

Storing Papers, Frames and Artwork
© 2000 Nell Drummond Fischer

The storage of papers, frames and framed artwork has been the biggest challenge of all in managing my studio. Here is what I'm doing presently.

For papers I use over-the-door clothes racks that have a rod with holes in it for individual hangers. The rods can be unhitched to drop down flat against the door or latched up in a groove into a position straight out from the door. These racks, available at stores like K-Mart, won't interfere with opening and closing the door. I organize my papers according to type and hang them in groups on skirt hangers that have cushioned clamps--about 6-10 sheets per hanger, depending on the weight. Each skirt hanger is then placed into one of the holes on the rod. When I want a particular sheet of paper, I raise and latch the rod to remove the hanger the paper is on, without unnecessary handling of the other papers. This way my papers remain in pristine condition until I'm ready to use them and I can easily see every paper I have. The racks and hangers are inexpensive and take up minimal space in the studio.

For empty frames I purchased a plastic box on wheels from an office supply store, also available at K-Mart, Target, etc. The box measures about 2'x3 1/2'. Between each frame I place a sheet of foam board about 3' wide to act as a spacer. The idea is to create a divider so the frames of different sizes won't fall through each other's openings and get damaged. The wheels allow me to roll my box of frames under my large work table.

For framed artwork I use pipe insulation from Home Depot or Lowe's. This is a fat, foam tubing about 3" in diameter that has a hole running through it lengthwise and a slit on one side, also running the length of the tube, so it can fit around pipes. The "pipes" in this case are the frames of my finished art. My husband cuts pieces to fit the length and width of each frame. The foam tubing slips around the edges of the frame as slick as can be, protecting them from dings and automatically functioning as spacers. My framed pieces can be laid flat, one on top of another, or rested against the wall, with no fear of damage. This is also an ideal way to transport your art to and from shows. The foam keeps them from sliding around in your trunk.

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