The time has come for a new look. This year we are bidding farewell to our stand units and designing new ones to take with us to the 12 shows and exhibitions we have lined up so far for 2019. We like to freshen up our display every so often to accommodate new work and to make sure that visitors who see us every year at shows have something new and exciting to see. January and February are perfect for designing a new stand – we’re not distracted by glorious weather and the year’s programme of shows doesn’t really begin until March, so we can give the task our full attention.
5 things to bear in mind when designing a new stand:
1. Draw it out first.
As with all design work, an initial drawing – however rough – can be really helpful to ensure that the end result makes the best use of the materials available. In this case, a good stand needs to combine efficient use of space with a balanced, attractive display of work. It doesn’t always have to be done with paper and pencil. Chalk lines on the floor provide a full scale plan to play around with!
2. It has to fit in the van.
We do an average of 10-12 shows every year at locations all over the UK and in Europe. Having stand units that are easy to transport and simple to assemble once we arrive at our destination is crucial. Packing the van to the rafters isn’t necessarily a bad thing though – the tighter we pack it in the less it slides around while we’re on the move and that reduces the risk of our pieces getting damaged.
3. Table cloths create ironing.
One of the key decisions when designing a new stand is what type of display units to use. We don’t generally favour glass cabinets as our work is too large to fit into them and they can be delicate to transport. That leaves us with a choice of tables and plinths and the question of whether the space beneath them should be blocked off or left open. We learned a valuable lesson last summer at the Game Fair at Ragley Hall, when we decided to use tables and table cloths for our display – ironing them all in 29 degree heat was quite a task!
4. White paint needs regular touching up.
The alternative to cloth covers is to paint the surfaces of display units. We prefer white because it shows our highly polished silver at its best. This can be a high-maintainence approach though, as each table top has to be freshly white-washed before every show…
5. Get the height right.
Fixing display surfaces at the appropriate height is easily overlooked but it’s a very important part of putting together a new stand. There’s a lot to consider. Ideally you want a variety of heights to give the display a sense of depth, and different items will suit different levels. Many of our pieces are designed to be rearranged, rotated or moved around and in order to demonstrate these effectively we need a stable, clear surface at elbow height. Too low or too high and the demonstration is difficult to perform smoothly. At shows such as Goldsmiths’ Fair, however, where we are without our own stand units, we have to be a little more creative about solving the height issue…
Work has already begun on our brand new stand and you can see the finished result by visiting us at any of the shows on this year’s calendar. Click here for the complete list. Our next show will be the Made By Hand event in Cheltenham Town Hall from 8th-10th March, followed by MADE London Canary Wharf in the East Wintergarden from 28th-31st March.