Chris Muhl

Transporting big art has proven to be an interesting experience requiring far more labor than I had expected.

I have already posted about the apparatus that I created to contain the artwork during transport. That apparatus has proven to be quite effective. To learn more, check out my block post titled The Art Transport Apparatus.

In order to transport the art from one location to the next requires renting a U-Haul van or truck. So, I’ve been getting familiar with the ins and outs of renting and driving U-Haul vehicles.

Additionally, to move the art and frame around, I have been using a dolly. However, the casters (wheels) on the off-the-shelf dollies available at hardware stores are small, and I have found that they can easily get caught up on small rocks and cracks. The hard rubber wheels also create a rough ride with a good deal of chatter. To get around this issue, I have created The Dali, designed to provide a smooth ride over rough terrain, keeping the art safe throughout the journey.

With the artwork completed, the next challenge is transporting it safely into Portland to have it scanned to produce prints, and then to have it framed.

The artwork is about 50″ wide and 70″ tall and is delicate. I thought about attaching handles and wheels to the easel and leaving the artwork taped to it. However, the easel is too big, too heavy, and too awkward to maneuver.

The challenge was to create an apparatus that was sturdy, compact, and lightweight. I initially envisioned building something out of wood, but I was concerned about weight. I then drew up a design using PVC pipe. This would be lightweight, but I would it be rigid enough? Additionally, I don’t like using so much plastic if I can avoid it. I decided to go to Home Depot and look around and brainstorm.

Then I saw the 1/2″ copper pipe. Would 1/2″ copper pipe be strong enough? I looked back to my days sweating pipe with a landscaping company. I remembered sweated pipe being pretty sturdy.

Then I thought about oxidation. Humidity is on the dry side where I live, and the apparatus will be kept indoors. Oxidation should occur fairly slowly.

I quickly sketched out a design, bought the materials, and got to work. The final product should last for years, and will also serve as a means of storage, or a display board for finished artwork and prints.

The video below shows the process and final product.

A few months ago, I started dreaming up an idea for a vintage-style art/drafting stool. The idea was to use mostly reclaimed material, and produce a stylish stool, designed for artists, and sturdy enough to last for generations.

Along the way, I created the Not So Sexy Art Chair, as part of my exploration into the utility of a chair designed specifically for artists. This unimpressive, quirky invention, has served its purpose very well, and helped to guide the development of a higher-quality solution.

The final product is the Pump Stool. It’s comprised of a vintage Singer sewing stool, an antique water pump handle (hence the name), a wooden backrest, a hand-forged beam brace, four steel links, and two springs.

If you would like to see how the project came together, check out the short video! Or you can read about the Pump Stool project on the Design page.

Prior to the Drawings for Africa project, I had never attempted to create big artwork. It seems that every week I encounter a challenge, or a small problem in need of a solution.

After spending countless hours standing on a stool, and reaching up and down, and side to side, I got to thinking, there must be an easier way to do this.

I present to you, The Not So Sexy Art Chair.

This modern marvel is the perfect solution for any artist crazy enough to attempt to draw every wrinkle of an elephant’s skin on a 4 ft. x 6 ft. sheet of paper.

The Not So Sexy Art Chair wobbles, it’s crooked, and it completely voids the warranty of the original chair from which it began its life. However, it serves its purpose exceptionally well.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from the challenges of doing big art, The Not So Sexy Art Chair could be the perfect solution.

Do not attempt to use The Not So Sexy Art Chair if you are prone to motion sickness, suffer from a balance disorder, or are otherwise clumsy.

To learn more, please watch the following video.

And feel free to share this information.

Thanks for reading and watching!