Thursday, December 25, 2008

7: Hanging Plates

I found a set of fish plates (with one piece inexplicably missing) that had belonged to my great-grandmother, and I decided to hang them in the dining area of the house. While I liked the look of the plates, alone they seemed too old-fashion and fussy. So, I decided to create a visual narrative and give the whole arrangement a shot of energy by mixing in some of the wonderful decoupage plates designed and sold by John Derian. Taking inspiration from the fish motif and local trout streams, I imagined a very loose stream-to-table story by adding two small platters with clam shells and a toad plus a few small plates with a lemon and orange slices, a swallow, and an ant. I first organized the composition on the floor in front of the wall using the two larger platters as anchors in the middle. Then with plate hangers, which can be found at hardware stores, I started with the anchors and hung the rest of the plates according to the plan on the floor. I did use a tape measure to help with the spacing between the plates, but I also realied on a good eye and kept my anxiety in check when I had to adjust a few nails. Make sure that you use good picture-hanging nails, which are more needle like than regular nails and will leave barely noticeable (really un-noticable) holes if you make any mistakes. FYI, did you know that everyone has one dominate eye that is more accurate in judging alignments? It's usually the eye that corresponds to your dominate hand, but it's easy to test. With both eyes open, hold one finger in front of you at full arm's length and align it with an object in the distance. Then test each eye by closing one first and then the other. The dominate eye will still have the finger in alignment when you test it. With the other eye, your finger will be obviously out of alignment with the object.

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