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Why Your Hanging Wire May Look Terrible

Learning from Others Show Prepapartion

Tomorrow I drop off my piece for the Dragon Boat Art show run by the amazing Alea Bone. I always leave wiring my piece until the last possible minute in large part because I hate the entire process. It’s a lot of uncomfortable maneuvering and then I end up with something that looks pretty crappy.


This is an example of why it’s really nice to have art friends. Yes, I could have tried the 10 ways to ask the question: Why does my painting wire look terrible. O I could ask a member of my Red Dot art group after our May meeting. Jennie O’Conor was returning a piece to me from our latest show. “Why does this look so terrible?!” I asked.

Her answer was simple: the wire I was using was way too heavy. You see, hanging wire comes in different strengths. If you need to hoist a 10 foot by 10 foot encaustic painted onto wood*, then the wire you need to keep that secure is going to be (apparently) very different than if you have a small 12”x12” that ways about 2 pounds.

WireGauges-1000web Heavy wire unsurprisingly is more durable and less easy to manipulate.

So if you’re wire job looks like mine did, check the weight of the wire. I’d been using the 50 pound wire that had come in the starter kit I bought. Now with some 20lb wire, my paintings look way more polished.

Some steps are tiny but feel really really really satisfying.

*OK, actually if you are trying to hang this large of piece with wire, that might be the wrong way to approach it. Hopefully the gallery owner has good advice. :)

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