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Jul 26

Going it alone...

0 comments

For those of us that have been working with institutions their whole careers but have always wanted to break out on their own to avoid...certain politics shall we say, or certain salary limitations. Do the mountmakers here that are independent have any sage advice to offer such a person? Like me for example?

 

I've been doing the side gig thing for 13 some-odd years now so I already have a good reputation and client base but I know there will be surprises and challenges coming up really soon. My last day at the museum is September 6th, so it's time for action man to take action. I'd love to open up some dialog on these ventures as well as the current state of institutions (i.e. protests and unionizing at major institutions lately). Love to hear from you all.

 

yours,

James

Spark and Anvil

New Posts
  • I need to make custom mounts for rocks, #10/5kg and bigger, fast. What I need is a way to make a quick 'prototype' shape, that will mimic the rock, and that I can use to bend the steel to. The present rock is kinda diamond shape, 12”x 9” x 2” / 30x22x3cm thick, and of course need to balance on a corner, so the big flat face fronts. I am making a mount for it, but want to be able to do them ‘mass production style ‘ for lots of rocks, all different, sizes and balance points. I need to be at able to make custom yet fast  This is a commercial rock shop. No time to make ‘duplicate rocks’ They want steel mounts, it’s their preference. Any and all ideas will be appreciated!
  • Hello all. Over the years I've had occasional mounts that required steel over brass. Because I don't have any welding rigs and am only using acetylene for brazing, I've always just brazed the steel. I've noticed that it takes a lot more time for the joint to flow properly with steel. My question is, what's the limitations when brazing is no longer enough? Can stainless be brazed? I'm wondering if it's time to expand and get a welding set up. Any recommendations on welding equipment would be welcome as well! Yours, James
  • Katie H. 9/17/12 Hi all, Can anyone share how they plan out mounts on paper before the actual object is in hand?  (I'm mostly talking about small 3-D objects here).  Our Exhibitions Manager is looking to create a better template for mountmaking. Presumably it would be a form-with-photos that someone can fill out and that the mountmaker can use as a reference.  Obviously the final steps will have to include custom fitting, but since it's not always possible for the mountmaker to see the artifacts in advance we are looking for ways to jump start the process. Any forms or templates would be welcome, thanks! Katie Holbrow steve 9/18/12 I usually just make rough sketches of both the object and potential mount with dimensions first, then I often use small diameter wire to make shape forms of critical areas that I trace on to paper along with notations as to exact location of where I took the forms from. Steve Osborne 720-865-5092 SOsborne@denverartmuseum.org Denver Art Museum 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway Denver, CO 80204 braper@emory.edu 9/18/12 Steve, Using soft wire is a great idea. I also use card-stock paper (old manila folders) that are cut into strips, taped together into wings or armatures and then wrapped around the objects where support is needed. I then mark the bends so that I know how much stock to to use. I then use the paper model to transfer the design to the metal stock. Thanks. Bruce steve 9/18/12 For very complex shapes, I have used the soft wire then carefully lay it on cardboard then use spray paint leaving an image rather than trying to trace around it which can cause some distortion. I then bend my actual mount wire to fit the image on the cardboard. Steve Briscoe 9/18/12 We use Filemaker for exhibits so it is easy to create fields for many different mounting or matting/framing options. We generate a page for each piece with the photo and all pertinent data. This way the lead prep can make choices about which things need mounts in advance, matting and framing, risers, color of fabric in the case and pass that to the mountmaker.  This is particularly useful for big projects. A spreadsheet can be made to list out lots of things with thumbnails on it. You could do this with Excel but since all the info is in already being input into FIlemaker, it is easier for us to use that. Later we will do a form that captures what the mount is and how it attaches, paints used, etc  with sketches. These are stored with the mount and collection object for later use. SInce they are FIlemaker records they can be retrieved when needed. Hope that helps, Steve BriscoeCollections Preparator Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607 510-318-8477 Pamela Gaible 9/18/12 Just saw this. We also use filemaker pro at several stages of the development, design, build and travel stages of planning an exhibit.  Depending on the complexity of a project we track mounts that we make and to also do installation notes for traveling exhibits.  This is a great tool but it will never replace actually looking at an object and accessing its mount needs and making actual templates.  Filemaker is a great organizational and sharing tool used in combination with going out and reviewing the actual object we have grown to rely on the collected info.. We document each object - so the designer can also use the images and understand the actual dimensions of the object. 3 images or more are taken. Key or front view, Side view, and Top view.  Dimensions Height,Width and Depth relate to the key view of the object.  Give enough time mount sketches and final mount photos can also be uploaded into the database. You need to figure out what is important to your production and design different layouts and spread sheets to look at the same information in different ways. Pam James gielow 9/18/12 Hi Katie, I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not to you, but I've been using a report I created (see attachment) so that I can batch as many worksheets as needed for exhibits. It includes all the pertinent information I need to begin the fabrication process including any conservation issues, medium, display sizes and locations. I've also created a script that pulls info on any existing mounts with photos so I know if its either finished or needs modification (i.e. wall mount instead of deck mount. I've been using this for s few years now and it's proving to be a great time saver. The only time it doesn't work is when the objects are not in the database. However, I can use the PDF and add images if they are loans or the like. yours, James Gielow Head Preparator / Assistant Registrar San Diego Museum of Art