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Old 10-28-2006, 11:04 AM
amalgam amalgam is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Ideas for sculpture pedestals

I am going to participate in my first ever juried art exhibition. This is an outdoor event where the artists have to bring their own exhibition gear. I am not sure if this is the type of exhibition that I am going to pursue in the future; so, I am looking for ideas for inexpensive but still professional looking sculpture pedestals. I have been reluctant to make them in wood because of the weight and storage space. Somebody recommended me the Sonotubes (cylindrical molds for concrete columns), but I am still looking for more ideas. Is there anybody here with some experience on this issue?

Thank you

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Old 10-28-2006, 01:10 PM
fused fused is offline
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Location: Texas
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Re: Ideas for sculpture pedestals

What kind of outdoor location are you dealing with (grass, concrete & is it flat?) and how big is your work?
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:17 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Location: New Orleans, LA
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Re: Ideas for sculpture pedestals

Artists in a short-term annual exhibit here close to New Orleans sometimes have made small stands with some sort of large-diameter plastic pipe (possibly PVC), but this exhibit is indoors. This may be similar to your Sonotubes - a term I haven't heard.

I forget what has been used for the flat,top support: probably something like plywood, smoothly finished on the surface and edges, and then painted, along with the pipe.

It sounds crude, but the stands I have seen have been well-made and are appropriate for short-term usage. Anything more elaborate would be an extravagance. If a plastic or waterproofed wood were used as the top, suitably screwed or sleeve-fitted to the column, this type of stand might be used outdoors. Or possibly a concrete culvert, trimmed carefully and topped with a flagstone of some sort.
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:45 PM
Thatch Thatch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas,Tx
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Re: Ideas for sculpture pedestals

I think sonotube would work great and it is cheaper and easier to find than large diameter PVC. A suggestion would to cut out some 1/2" ply for the center and sew a sock of an expandable black cloth you can pull over it. No smudges from transport and washable. Sonotube is easier to cut than PVC, probably lighter as well. Box type pedastal I would make a wooden frame and use thin ply or fiberboard to cover. Let the frame take the weight and then the whole package will be lighter. A forever pedastal I would make out of Corian, or what ever that rock powder/acrylic stuff used to make counter tops with is. I think you can get something that is seamless, but it will be heavy and you better like it a lot.

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Old 10-29-2006, 09:35 AM
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dondougan dondougan is offline
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Location: Marietta (Atlanta) Georgia
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Re: Ideas for sculpture pedestals

One design for a stable but easily-transported and set-up pedestal is to make them from three pieces of flat plywood -- two uprights are slotted to fit together like the dividers in a corrugated cardboard case of bottles, or like the Noguchi marble slab sculptures of the late '40s-early '50s.
The two upright pieces are then topped by a disk of plywood for the top, with a couple of removable pins to hold it in place.

Easily assembled or dismantled, stored, or transported. Design is simple and (with a nice paint job) as professional looking as an 'art-fair' is likely to see.

On the other hand, if you have access to a fairly well-equipped woodshop you can make something a bit more ambitious. If you wanted something that looks like a gallery/museum pedestal but is lightweight, try making it out of a 2x2 frame and then clad in doorskin or one-quarter-inch luan plywood. The only part that needs to be thicker plywood is the top. I use pedestals like this for gallery or alternative-space exhibits for my stone sculptures which are often unusually shaped and rarely fit on standard gallery-owned pedestals. The link to a PDF file on my website about this type of pedestal is below:
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