I want to mount items for display and also rearrange the elements later.
May 11, 2013 6:57 AM   Subscribe

This a framing/curation/decoration AskMe. I have an adorable set of (very lightweight) wooden french curves that I would like to mount in a display, but not permanently.

The tricky part is that I want to be able to fiddle with the arrangement over time. Taken together, the curves resemble letters of a strange language, and have a lot of abstract visual impact. Different piece have affinities to others for various reasons, and invite "play" and rearrangement. I want to answer that invitation with a mounting that is invisible from the front, has the movability required, and doesn't alter the function of the curves.

For aesthetic reasons, it would also be pleasing if the backing onto which they are placed were fabric.

Got all that?

I'm stymied and hope that one or more of you can suggest an elegant solution.

Let me know if you want a picture or other details.
posted by Glomar response to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
How about a floating wall shelf? You could perch them on the shelf and rearrange to your heart's content. for the fabric backing, you could get a piece of MDF and staple a fabric of your choice to it, and perch that on the shelf as the backdrop.
posted by Miko at 7:06 AM on May 11, 2013

Can you make a fabric covered pinboard then mount pins sticking out of the back of each curve? Or are they more three dimensional/rotational than that?
posted by shelleycat at 7:07 AM on May 11, 2013

When I google french curves I see that they are flat. You could also glue a small metal disk onto each and make a magnetic board covered in fabric.
posted by shelleycat at 7:09 AM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Or even just velcro dots if you're OK with going down the 'sticking things on' route.
posted by shelleycat at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2013

Response by poster: Pins would violate the functionality requirement, I think. I'd like to be able to take a curve down and use either side as a guide for drawing. I'm a pain in the ass.
posted by Glomar response at 7:11 AM on May 11, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas!
For additional context and inspiration, here's a picture of them laid out on 15"-wide butcher paper.
posted by Glomar response at 7:17 AM on May 11, 2013

Best answer: I would be inclined to fabric cover a thick backing of something like cork board, and then use many small sewing pins (the tiny nail headed kind if you don't want them to show particularly, fancy glass ones if you want them to be an element of your display) pushed partially through the fabric into the cork to hold the curves in place simply by framing around them. If you use a relatively loosely woven fabric, that shouldn't damage the fabric.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:20 AM on May 11, 2013 [5 favorites]

Ooo, jacquilynne totally has a great idea. They're very pretty, having seen them I've changed my mind and I think it would be better if you don't need to stick anything to them.
posted by shelleycat at 7:26 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cover a board with felt, attach the rough side of picture-frame-hanging Command Strips (which are removable velcro strips) to the back of the curves. The command strips are removable, so you wouldn't permanently damage the curves and you could rearrange them at will. You may want to test the grip of the velcro on the felt, as I have not actually used this method. I have quite a few pieces hanging on my walls with the Command strips with great success.
posted by sarajane at 7:41 AM on May 11, 2013

Response by poster: I agree that an arrangement using insect-mounting pins or the like may be a good option. I'll ask my entomologist friends.
posted by Glomar response at 7:57 AM on May 11, 2013

I too agree that the sewing pin idea is probably the best. Each of those looks like it could be hung from one pin, using a second pin to prop it into whatever rotation you'd like.

Another option would be something like this: make something like a fancy-plate display rack. Little strips of wood stuck to a board with a bevel at the top to keep the things from sliding off.
posted by gjc at 9:08 AM on May 11, 2013

if you do go with some kind of screw-in hook, be sure to poke a hole in the backing fabric first, and go slow/by hand or the fabric will pinwheel.

hit the frame store first (if you want a frame) and see if they fit within a standard frame size (18x24, 16x20, etc)...if you mount them to an odd/custom size (like 10x42) then framing get$ more expen$ive.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:52 PM on May 11, 2013

whoh...just looked at the picture of them...I don't think those are french curves (though you could certainly use them that way)...I think they are for sign lettering. I think what you actually have is a font. (also 3 columns of 4 will prob better fit a standard frame dimention)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:24 PM on May 11, 2013

A font? I'd be surprised. They look like pretty standard french curves, and sign painters didn't usually rely on forms like that.
posted by Miko at 1:32 PM on May 11, 2013

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