Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cart for Mabef's Giant Easel Part I

I paint outdoors on "big" canvases. Since size is relative, let's say that for me, big is around 2' x 3', with a width of 2". Not only are big canvases hard to haul around, they behave like a sail under windy conditions. So it is important to work on a sturdy easel, made to accommodate the demands of larger sizes. I have tried several brands by now and have found Mabef easels to be well-constructed, so this last christmas I bought myself Mabef's "Giant" easel. At 30 something lbs and 39" long, this is what we could call "the daddy" of field easels. Don't be fooled by the nice leather strap and handle. It is unwieldy.

In fact, as a side note I should add that the white parts are pieces of UV-resistant styrene I had to add to hold the 2" wide canvas in place, because this beautiful italian easel is built with metric measurements. This was an unexpected problem I discovered the first time I took it out to paint on a steep El Cerrito hill.

After experimenting with various ways of attaching this easel to the carts I use to transport smaller easels, I realized several things:
1. I cannot carry it by the handle (since I have the canvas to contend with)
2. It is so long it cannot be strapped to a wagon weighing less than 30 lbs
3. It is so heavy it has to be strapped in several places if you want to stay in place on a handcart
4. Can't even think of strapping it to a backpack!

I began to think of a custom hand truck for it....

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