Different Strokes: Wiring

Artists who successfully submit their work to competitions for various expositions encounter the requirement of proper hanging equipment. Wiring for framed or unframed work is basically the same. Usually the unwanted variety of methods include saw-teeth clips and anything that does not involve a wire. Weight complicates the issue. In this article, I will share my method for lighter work in this essential detail.

wiring, hanging, gallery, finishing, integrity, selling
All things in order
finishing, wiring, gallery, hanging, integrity, selling
Measuring a third

High quality materials

Professional artists avoid buying cheap materials because of the long-run benefits of superior quality. We do like to purchase the best at the lowest possible price, of course. I do my shopping at a framing facility where I have established a long-term relationship. They offer D-rings in packages of one hundred or more along with plastic coated wire in rolls of five hundred feet. Although the initial cost is greater, the end result is I enjoy top quality at a lower price. The benefit depends on the amount of framing one does.

wiring, hanging, finishing, gallery, integrity, selling
Positioning the D-ring.
hanging, wiring, gallery, finishing, integrity, selling
Securing the ring

Getting organized

 To begin with, I organize the materials I need so that everything is within reach. A pencil, a ruler, D-rings, screws, screwdriver, wire and wire cutters are all easily accessible. Measuring from the top of the frame or canvas I mark a spot one third of the whole length. Lining up the D-ring I place it about half to three-quarters of an inch away from the inside edge of the wood (my stretchers are two inches square) and drive in the three-quarter-inch screw to secure it in place. This exercise is repeated on the other side of the work. Aluminum frames supply clips that slid into place (again about a third from the top) and protrude over the back of the work.

hanging, wiring, finishing, gallery integrity, selling
Good length
finishing, wiring, hanging, gallery, integrity, selling
Getting it right

Leaving generous ends

Leaving a generous length of wire at one end I bend it over the D-ring to prevent it from sliding and unroll the length required leaving another generous amount for the other ring. One gallerist suggested one needs enough wire to twist a minimum of five times to prevent slippage. Once satisfied with the length I cut the wire holding the roll end and secure it so it will not unravel.

wiring, hanging, gallery, integrity, finishing, selling
Holding the roll
hanging, wiring, gallery, finishing, integrity, selling
Securing the end

Wiring with no frays

First of all I slip the end of the wire into the ring from the bottom then wrap it around the incoming wire, re-enter the ring from the top and tighten. Next, I thread the wire over the incoming wire and re-enter the ring from the bottom again coming up through the centre. Then I begin twisting the wire around itself. About half-way I twist the rest of the wire back on itself toward the D-ring. Using plastic-coated wire has two advantages. One: there is no need to wrap the frayed wire ends to protect those who hang the work from scratches and punctures because there are no frays. Two: slippage is not a concern as plastic tends to cling to itself. Finally, stretching the wire tight I proceed to the other end and repeat the process.

hanging, wiring, finishing, gallery, integrity, selling
First loop
wiring, hanging, finishing, gallery, integrity, selling
First loop complete
wiring, hanging, finishing, gallery, selling, integrity
Second loop
wiring, hanging, finishing, gallery, integrity, selling
Beginning the twist

An exercise in meditation

Wiring can be an exercise in meditation. Meditation occupies several hours of my week thus I enjoy every aspect of what I do. A job well done gives me great satisfaction knowing my clients and the galleries displaying my work can recognise the integrity of what I do in the quality and the care I give to every aspect of the creative process. Life is so good.

Current happenings

The Active Member Show at the Federation of Canadian Artists Granville gallery is still on until January 21st. For more information click here.




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