Dorothy Weber on sun 31 jan 99
Does anyone have any experience in using the Abstracta systems for display. I
am interested in considering that system to display indoor and outdoor (10 x
10 tent). I plan to display pottery, ranging from 12" to 18" pitchers and
vases to flatter plates, small cups and some other functional pieces. If
anyone has used this system is it difficult to set up and take down? Does it
hold up under the bumps and grinds of a road show? Thanks for your input.
Gayle Bair on mon 1 feb 99
I noticed you are looking at potential displays.
I am looking at various displays and asked for help from Clayarters.
One Response I go was from someone who's display was constructed
of IKEA shelving units called Ivar. You can see them on IKEA's web site.
I am in Colorado and the closest IKEA is in Calif. they do ship though.
What is the Abstracta system and how do I get information on it?
Let me know what responses you get if they write to you directly.
Here is the info I received regarding the IKEA shelving.
>Thanks for your input.
>Yes, I am familiar with Ikea. Right now I am sitting at
>my Ikea office furniture table!
>It's a great store, there was one in Pennsylvania
>about 25 miles from where we lived.
>I am familiar with that particular shelving. I had one in Pennsylvania
>but somehow it didn't follow me to Colorado.
> Are they easy to set up and tear down? The Ivar I used was in a closet for
>storage and I only set it up once.
>I seem to recall a set of rods in the back forming an X.
>Do those screw holes get worn? Do they hold up in strong winds?
>Here in CO we have occasional strong winds (micro-bursts) so I am worried
>There are no Ikea stores in Colorado but I just accessed their web site
>and ordered new catalogs.
>If you are ever in Colorado.......I can give you the 50 cent tour of the
I will try to answer your questions regarding the Ikea shelving.
I find them very easy to set up(especially for outdoor shows when I don't
have to worry about attaching the lighting) We have done some things to
make it easier for setting up. The crossbar piece was predrilled and
instead of screwing it in each time we leave the bottom screws in and the
top two screws were replaced with a bolt and a wing nut. We also glued in
the metal pegs once we determined what a good positioning of the shelves
were. We also keep extra pegs for times when we want to change the spacing
of the shelves.
For Indoor setups, We created a storage space on the bottom of each unit by
hanging a curtain or recently some painted wood slips right in front of each
unit. (These coverings are between the bottom shelf and the floor.) I find
that this gives me easy access to refill the shelves as long as my booth is
not crowded with customers.
Make sure you purchase the wider units. I use the shelves that are about 20
inches deep and 30 inches wide. I use 4 ft. and 6 ft ladders to hold the
shelves and sometimes we mount a board behind the 4 ft shelves at the top to
hang plates and other wall mounted items. I find they are stable.
Sometimes at shows the ground is unlevel and I cut parts of cardboard or
wood shims to level out the unit. Always check before putting on stock that
the pegs are all in and holding up the shelves. I have been through
terrible storms almost hurricane winds and did not have any damage(because
there is no back to the units to act as a sail)
Another thing that I do at the more impressive 5-10day long shows is put
carved molding cut into an arch shape across the front of each shelf to hide
the lighting and make the unit look fancier.
For indoor shows I also purchased purple broadcloth and attach the fabric
with 5 ft wooden doweling with eye hooks at the end which allow me to attach
them to s hooks and hang over the existing metal rods. I sewed a channel on
the top of each curtain panel to slide over the doweling. I usually have a
corner booth so I need 8 panels of fabric( 2 per rod)
If you have any further questions just let me know.
Jonathan Kaplan on mon 1 feb 99
>Does anyone have any experience in using the Abstracta systems for display. I
>am interested in considering that system to display indoor and outdoor (10 x
>10 tent). I plan to display pottery, ranging from 12" to 18" pitchers and
>vases to flatter plates, small cups and some other functional pieces. If
>anyone has used this system is it difficult to set up and take down? Does it
>hold up under the bumps and grinds of a road show? Thanks for your input.
We have years of experience with Abstracta. Its alot of parts to put
together, but it is a gem of a system to transport. We use the black
system, and over the years it has shown wear, but a little touch up paint
We use glass shelves, some sandblasted for light diffusion. The entire
system presents our wares very professionally at trade shows. We also have
a custom built lighting system for it.
It was costly to purchase, but I don't regret it.
Jonathan Kaplan, president
Ceramic Design Group LTD/Production Services
PO Box 775112
Steamboat Springs CO 80477
1280 13th Street Unit 13
Steamboat Springs CO 80487
(970) 879-9139 voice and fax
Tyler Hannigan on mon 1 feb 99
Abstracta has advantages & disadvantages.
I like to use it for displaying porcelain jewelry. It's modular and can be fairl
easily set up if you design it as sections that take advantage of modular units.
There is a learning curve.
You do need the slide tool that the manufacture sells. Also I carried a rubber
hammer and a long thin rod to slide inside and knock lose stubborn connectors.
There are clips to hold shelves but here is a major concern for you with pottery
- weight! There are two kinds of clips I was able to use a type designed for 3/1
inch panels. They also provide a clip that can be screwed to thicker
Another disadvantage is the units come in metric lengths. You can modify the
lengths with a hack saw but you will need a circular file to ream out the saw
I learned a number of tricks that increased the flexibility. It would be easier
to tell than write. Feel free to call if you are serious and I'll tell you what
know - (505-758-8945)
Also, I bought a lot more over the years than I now need. I'd sell it at a
considerable savings to anyone who is interested.
Taos, New Mexico
Silverhawk Craft Realm
Dorothy Weber wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Does anyone have any experience in using the Abstracta systems for display. I
> am interested in considering that system to display indoor and outdoor (10 x
> 10 tent). I plan to display pottery, ranging from 12" to 18" pitchers and
> vases to flatter plates, small cups and some other functional pieces. If
> anyone has used this system is it difficult to set up and take down? Does it
> hold up under the bumps and grinds of a road show? Thanks for your input.
Sheila Tarshis on mon 1 feb 99
I have an abstracta unit that I used for many years with my pottery. I first
purchased it for jewelry and it worked wonderfully. Now I use it for
functional pottery. However, and this the my caveatt, it does take time to
set-up. I have tried many ways. I decided to breakdown everything and store
them in containers as I traveled. The following trip I kept two sections, (two
unit squares) assembled and put containers under and through the spaces. Of
course, breakdown will give you more room in the van etc. If I do a three-day
show, I will take the abstracta, otherwise I have other displays for ease.
I found the abstracta beautiful and the presentation excellent, not to mention
pretty sturdy. But it takes a while for set-up and tear-down.
Hope this helps.