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Trying to mount a large, heavy ceramic piece to wall


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#1 Lucas Pizza

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:27 AM

Hello. I'm brand new to this community; just signed up today. I thought it might be a good idea to join up considering I've officially chosen ceramic as my priority medium for my BFA degree at Florida State University.
I'm currently working on this piece that, upon completion, will be large and (hopefully) securely mounted to a wall.

A brief description of the project's physical attributes:
Think of a mounted sheep's head, horns and neck and all, like one that would come out of a taxidermist's shop. Now imagine the material it's made of being white earthenware, life sized - fired of course - as though it's emerging from the wall itself.
The Sheep will be accompanied by two arms, either hand built or slipcasted. Both will also be emerging (attached) to the wall. One arm will be displaying the generic "blessing" gesture Jesus is shown posing with in old sacred art. The other hand will be holding a dagger which will be opening the Sheep's throat. From it's neck, gold and copper ivy leaves and vines made from wire will be escaping and "splashing" onto the floor.
I won't bother getting into the concept aspect of the piece to save some of your time. I prefer to not give it all away immediately anyways.
I was working on the piece the other day, I only have most of the head completed and I'm currently building up the horns. I began to wonder how I will mount this thing - safely - and I had a miniature freakout. I had to leave my studio I was so stressed.
Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should go about this when it's completed? It needs to be attached at the neck. As I said, it will resemble an animal head you might mount to a wall. Neck included.

Here are some pictures of where I'm currently at. (Click on "show" to see images)
Spoiler

Spoiler



Feedback and advice greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much.

-L.Pizza

#2 justanassembler

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:39 AM

Leave a hole in the back of the piece that can accommodate a pin that is welded to a plate that can be screwed into a stud or blog wall--how big is this thing? I seen the method I described used to mount pieces weighing hundreds of pounds to walls without issue.

#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 06:22 AM

I agree with Justanassembler.But make sure you find the studs. I went to a gallery during NCECA right before it opened. There was a smashed piece on the floor that had pulled out from the wall.
Your piece is not nearly as large. Maybe design the plate to fit a stud. Better yet, many galleries use thick 3/4" plywood for the walls. Do you know the material of the wall where it is to be installed.?

Marcia

#4 Lucas Pizza

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:14 AM

Leave a hole in the back of the piece that can accommodate a pin that is welded to a plate that can be screwed into a stud or blog wall--how big is this thing? I seen the method I described used to mount pieces weighing hundreds of pounds to walls without issue.


It's life-sized. Imagine an actual sheep's head and it's about that big. There is an armature with newspaper bunched up beneath it. The walls of the clay or between a half inch to 1 1/2 inch thick. I like this idea. Do you know of any photos or sources of any other kind that could help me understand a little bit better?

I agree with Justanassembler.But make sure you find the studs. I went to a gallery during NCECA right before it opened. There was a smashed piece on the floor that had pulled out from the wall.
Your piece is not nearly as large. Maybe design the plate to fit a stud. Better yet, many galleries use thick 3/4" plywood for the walls. Do you know the material of the wall where it is to be installed.?


No, I actually don't. Haven't thought of that. I will be displaying it in FSU's Museum of Fine Arts for my graduating thesis show. I suppose I need to ask them a few questions. Thanks for the tip.

#5 neilestrick

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

I would put holes in your piece through which you can thread picture hanging wire. I do this on the feet of my large platters. Two holes spaced about an inch apart that the wire is looped through. I would have at least two anchor points on your piece so the load is spread out.

There are lots of different types of wall anchors. Ideally, a screw or two into wood studs. But if that's not possible, or if the gallery has metal studs, you can use drywall anchors. Use the drywall anchors that screw in- they look like large screws. They are generally rated at about 50lbs each. Again, use as many anchor points as possible.
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#6 Mark C.

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:09 PM

If you forgot to put holes in you can always use JB wield epoxy and glue some mounts and afix wire to them. That epoxy will hold a truck to the wall.Use the fast set as its less runny.
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#7 neilestrick

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:28 PM

If you forgot to put holes in you can always use JB wield epoxy and glue some mounts and afix wire to them. That epoxy will hold a truck to the wall.Use the fast set as its less runny.
Mark


I respectfully disagree. Any type of adhesive will fail at some point. I have seen all types of epoxy, silicone, caulk, super glue and gorilla glue fail. It may last a few years, but it may only last a few weeks. I would not trust adhesives. Mechanical methods are the only sure thing (mostly).
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#8 ayjay

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:17 PM

Incorporate a hanging device into the back of the piece? -- (google " French cleat")

Usually these are two sections of shaped timber, one of your shapes will be in ceramic and the other timber.

You'll still need to find a good fix into the wall.

#9 justanassembler

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:01 PM


If you forgot to put holes in you can always use JB wield epoxy and glue some mounts and afix wire to them. That epoxy will hold a truck to the wall.Use the fast set as its less runny.
Mark


I respectfully disagree. Any type of adhesive will fail at some point. I have seen all types of epoxy, silicone, caulk, super glue and gorilla glue fail. It may last a few years, but it may only last a few weeks. I would not trust adhesives. Mechanical methods are the only sure thing (mostly).


PC-7 (mixed correctly) is amazingly strong. I have seen clay fail and the glue joint still be intact... That said, when you can support a piece directly, this is usually the safest bet.

#10 Biglou13

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:58 PM

Any pictures?

I've seen attached lugs, where wire is run thru x2. I've also seen failed lug.

I've seen where head of nail is pushed into back of piece at an angle.

In a perfect world whats the best way? What do museums do?

I think some one got scared away that would have been expert on this subject.
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#11 neilestrick

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 05:34 PM

If the holes for the hanging wires were in the piece itself, rather than an attached lug, that would be best.
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#12 Biglou13

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 06:24 PM

As in pushing large gauge copper wire, hook , through back of piece?
I suppose strength of mount would be dependent on depth of tunnel.

Found this.

http://ceramicartsda...-ceramic-tiles/

Around 5:40.
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#13 Frederik-W

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:20 AM

Congratulations with the piece, I like it.

I would suggest you build a mounting plate from wood that screws onto the wall and then screw a piece of wood on it that goes into the neck/head of the goat.
You can either get someone to carve a piece of wood to go into the goat's head/neck or you can select a suitable piece of branch.

In this way you are not dependent at all on glue that has to stick to the ceramic to support the weight.


If the goat's head is a bit wobbly on the wood, use soft silicone glue - that will fix it but you can still detach the head if you want because the silicone glue will not become rock hard.


#14 Idaho Potter

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:47 AM

Do what AYJAY suggested, look up french cleat on Google. There's even a YouTube showing how to make one. I've used this method to hang heavy wall pieces and it's simple to make and easy to hang the piece without a lot of help. I hadn't realized you could get metal ones (I've always used 3/4" plywood), so you'd have to choose the one that would work best for your work. I am not in favor of hanging wire because it seldom holds an artwork (especially a heavy one) flat against the wall. The other thing I'd do besides--as Marcia suggested-- checking out the wall material at the museum is to have a conversation with the museum's curator--they will know what has worked best in past shows.

Shirley

#15 Biglou13

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:49 AM

Congratulations with the piece, I like it.

I would suggest you build a mounting plate from wood that screws onto the wall and then screw a piece of wood on it that goes into the neck/head of the goat.
You can either get someone to carve a piece of wood to go into the goat's head/neck or you can select a suitable piece of branch.

In this way you are not dependent at all on glue that has to stick to the ceramic to support the weight.


If the goat's head is a bit wobbly on the wood, use soft silicone glue - that will fix it but you can still detach the head if you want because the silicone glue will not become rock hard.


I like this idea.!!!

This may also work for the legs of the project.

While French cleat is good. But You'll need a relatively flat surface and right angles to mount to , along with surface area to,accommodate i imaine head will be hollowed out. for flat art like large tiles this sounds like it would work wellL. I also imagine the work will be ,mounted flush against walls, while beautiful presents more engineering difficulties

ikea makes bracketless shelves which slide onto dowels mounted straight into walls (oversimplified) in this case legs and head pushed onto.

I've been fascinated by the engineering feats created to support Art.

I think your sculpture and concept is great
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#16 nojmit24

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:52 AM

I am having the same problem!  I basically made what you made, only mine is a sea turtle head.  Did you figure out how to hang yours?  Please let me know! :)



#17 Chris Throws Pots

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:11 PM

Hi Lucas,

 

I'm with ayjay in that a French cleat seems the best fit for the project. I have a fiend who just hung an incredibly heavy framed tile/mosaic piece using a French cleat he made from stud boards (~$3 for a 6 foot 2x4 at any hardware store that sells lumber) and it worked great. The best part was that he didnt have to hang his work perfectly centered on a stud... I think his cleat spanned between 2 studs due to the width of his project.

 

You could create notches in the backside of the sheep's head where one half of the cleat would sit and then cut your board to fit exactly once the piece is fired. This method will allow your piece to sit totally flush on the wall.

 

Good luck! I looks great so far!

 

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#18 phill

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:53 PM

Hello. I'm brand new to this community; just signed up today. I thought it might be a good idea to join up considering I've officially chosen ceramic as my priority medium for my BFA degree at Florida State University.


Welcome to the boards, Lucas Pizza. I love the name! Also, I love the Pepsi squirt bottle. I want one.

#19 perkolator

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:24 PM

I am having the same problem!  I basically made what you made, only mine is a sea turtle head.  Did you figure out how to hang yours?  Please let me know! :)

 

if your piece is already fired, your options are more limited since you cannot add features into the clay structure as easily.  one way that our students have successfully adapted pieces to the wall is to glue on a piece of metal picture wire/aircraft cable.  use a quality epoxy like PC-7 or PC-11 (it's stronger than JB Weld) and put a nice glob of it where you want to adhere the wire - then make some loops in the wire and imbed them in it so it has some material to grab on.  use a wall anchor with either a pan/truss-head or a washer on a lag bolt.  make sure to either get into the stud, add a stud behind the drywall, hit plywood, or use "zip-it" wall anchors on drywall depending on weight of piece.

 

good luck!






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