Brooke's Process

When I first started thinking about this project I wanted my piece to look like an everyday large acrylic painting on a gallery wall. I wanted to give it a large frame that would have the flatscreen TV hidden inside it. The TV would be mounted to the wall and the painting would be done on a piece of glass covering the TV. I quickly ran into problems with how heavy this would be, a 70’ TV was close to 70lb and the large piece of glass to cover the screen was very heavy as well. I figured it would be fine and I would just have to mount it to the wall with bolts, however it was pointed out to me that this would not be allowed at most galleries. So I had to build something instead that I could put the glass on and hide the TV inside.

Luckily my father-in-law had a very beat up old cabinet from his family jewelry store, Cormier Jewelers in Southbridge. It turned out to be the perfect size. However it was pretty banged up and not structurally sound to mount the TV and glass into. I learned quite a bit about furniture restoration, how to fix holes, deep gauges with wood filler, and even how to re create a whole missing corner of the cabinet, making a mold with hot glue and then re creating it with Bondo Autobody Filler. After the repairs were made I reinforced the cabinet with several 2 x 4 boards from Morse Lumber in Southbridge, framing it out on the inside to add more strength as well as creating a spot for me to anchor the TV to. I have never really built much so this was all new to me, I learned how to use a chop saw and scroll saw as well as a few other power tools and techniques all thanks to my boss Marc Seguin who is a skilled carpenter. It took a lot of cutting and recutting to get it all to work. I learned a lot, broke a few screws and saw blades, thankfully Aubuchon Hardware was just a few minutes away and the employees there were very helpful. Completing this step was such an amazing feeling. I painted the inside black so if you saw into it you wouldn't see all the 2 x 4s and painted the outside with Kilz (also a learning experience) and then a nice white to help show off the paintings and give it that “white gallery wall” kinda feel.

Then it was time to add the glass, there were concerns about a piece of glass this large, not only would it be very heavy, but if it broke I would be $400 out and have no thesis project, also there were safety concerns, in the end it would have been very difficult with my skill set to make it safely work with the cabinet. With the help of Rick from Menards Glass in Southbridge I picked out a large piece of Lexan, a polycarbonate sheet, around the same price but wouldn't shatter on me and weighed much less. I also was able to drill holes into it and then drill it right to the front of the cabinet after building a wooden support frame for it.

Next was painting the acrylic painting on the Lexan,this took a lot of testing and trying of different paints mixed with dawn dish soap to make it so it would scratch off. Mixing the paint with soap made it really runny and just made the paint react very strange so painting with it was a challenge. I ended up mostly using washable kids flow acrylic paint, it came off of the Lexan easiest, however it did mean I had to mix all of my colors from the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, as well as black and white. I did end up using a few Liquitex Basic Acrylics mixed with the washable paint and soap on top of the washable paint base for more complex colors.

Web Designers' Process

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