Before I start explaining the story behind this beautiful wall unit, I have to say a huge thank you to my special dad for making it for me. He is very special in many many ways that I can’t begin to list – ways more more important than just making things for me. Of all the things he has done for me lately, helping me in various aspects of setting up a workable studio/office, this unit is a stand-out (perhaps because it was the most involved!?!)
The concept is not original…I was looking for a way to store my paint tubes and started searching Pinterest and found this example of hanging tubes upside down with bulldog clips on nails. I asked around online to see if anyone had any thoughts as to whether it was bad to hang them upside down …but it seemed ok. I always shake my tubes before opening them.
So I showed the image to Dad and we started discussing it. He immediately said that nails were tacky and made a prototype (number 1) with different size nails and some dowels. This was very useful as I got a feel for how many tubes I could hang and what length I thoughts was optimum. Dad then had the brainwave of looking for a hook. So prototype no. 2…. perfect!
I then decided on the number of hooks, the spacing and we discussed the issue of dust…so decided on a frame all around the edges. Halfway through production, we decided to fix it to the wall via a split batten so this has reduced the width of the frame inside the unit but still ok.
And here are a few pictures of how I am using it… the unit is NOT full … but I can’t quite bring myself to show you how many tubes of paint I discovered.
I have a lot of tubes of my standard colours because:
1. I do go through them a lot
2. I make up palettes for my classes so always need to have a tube spare in stock. Now I can see how many half tubes I already have.
3. I buy series 4 W&N tubes whenever on a good special… looks like I don’t need to do this for a while – I have many CBD and CTL tubes…and I am glad I have the old stock as well!
I have numerous additional tubes that have beeb given to me as bonus from Daniel Smith or because I bought the entire quin set when it was on special because it was worth it… and well, I know I love testing colour. Some of these tubes are from my first order when I went by paint name not pigments.
I also bought some Schmincke tubes on special to test them out as a cheaper alternative for beginners…
AND you can see that I now have a wonderful tube wringer which is going to be one of the most useful tools I have purchased in a while.
I can’t tell you how fun it is to look up and see all my paint on the wall like that… I love being organised but it is a long process that I am going through at the moment to de-clutter and find a home for everything that is worth keeping.
Now… when my dad makes something for me, there is always a story attached. He finds something in his shed to use that has a story. The story with this unit is rather special.
There were a few challenges in working out how to best to get all those hooks in place and Dad ended up using a small drill guide that he has had for many many years but hardly ever used as he normally uses his big drill press (“one of my earliest tools”). Screwing all those hooks in was also a mighty effort… thanks dad!
But it is the timber of the frame that has a story. It is Australia white beech from my Great Uncle Charlie’s sawmill which was out of town from Wauchope in the Hastings Valley. It was leftover material from a big order for the Manly ferries (for the decking). Uncle Charlie died before I was born and in the 70s his wife, my (great) aunty Ruby built herself a home in town. She used these boards to as wall lining in her dining room. My dad got the leftovers from that and the timber has been in his shed for at least 30 years!
Having a connection with Aunty Ruby is rather special. She lived in a little gingerbread-type house filled with all kinds of things that she had made and with an incredible garden filled with treasures and old farming equipment. Always creating things in the most imaginative ways – she had such a sense of humour in her creativity. Everyone loved her – she was so kind and gracious and did so many things for others all around! As a child, we loved visiting her and be given the tour of what she had done lately. I always wanted to be like her when I was old!
I always felt a strong connection with her so this unit that my dad made with her timber is a bit like carrying on the tradition of slightly crazy steel-creativeness.
She also gave me a very old teacup! You can see an early page I did when she died. Sadly I never got a chance to sketch her house… I am sure that she would have loved to have followed my sketching adventure.
Now I just have to find time to use all those paints!!! (maybe time to have another go at sketching that teacup and using it again… only precious china should be used and I am very careful tempering it first) I will of course sketch the unit at some stage as well.
What a very clever and fun idea – love it! Now where could I fit mine….
I’d seen that oil tube paint hanger board on Pinterest too, and made myself one recently: brilliant! I was wondering if the same thing could be done for my much-loved and large stash of watercolor tubes. I’m so glad to find your post that says this works (no dripping)…thank you so much for the confirmation and the lovely pictures of your board!
Lovely story of your Aunt. I’m sure she is looking upon you with pride from on-high.
Happy Father’s Day to your Dad, Liz. Thank you for this story.
What a lovely article Liz. Thanks for sharing about Aunt Ruby. And what a great creating for tube storage. Could be a good project for hubby if he runs out of lockdown projects!
Thanks Nicki – it works great – BTW you can see it in the background during the livestreams 🙂
Thank you for sharing your lovely gift of sketching! I am wondering what you do with dried/hard tubes of watercolour? also, do you buy the tubes and fill the travel boxes that way or do you buy the travel boxes with paint in already?
I cut open the tube and put the paint into a pan. More about my palette setup here
That is a beautiful story Liz, thank-you for sharing it with us. My dad also did lots of special things for me, I miss him every day. Bless you dear girl, you have brought some lovely memories back of my dear old dad. ?
Subscribe for first notification of workshop + online classes and more.