Four Steps to Design the Right Pedestal for Your Sculpture
Those who thoughtfully think through these steps are the happiest with their display. These four simple steps will help you decide on the critical design components to consider.
Step 1: Shape
Most pedestals come in three basic shapes: square, circular or rectangular. Which is right for your piece? Consider the shape of the artwork (especially its base), and also the part of the room the art will be displayed. Square bases often look best on square pedestals, and circular on circular. But there's always room for improvisation. Try cutting out the different shapes from newspaper or cardboard and set the under your artwork to help you visualize how each might look under your piece.
If you’re still not sure, browse through our photo gallery to see how others have done it.
Step 2: Material
We've selected a wide variety of materials to choose from, including laminate, acrylic, wood veneer and metal laminates. Each has its own look and feel. If you’ve got the time, we highly recommend ordering a sample of whatever material you’re considering to see how it looks with your piece and in the location where you plan to display it—wall color, furniture and decor all make a difference.
Step 3: Size
There are two aspects of display size to consider: the footprint (width x depth) and the height. For the footprint, a rule-of-thumb is taking the base of the artwork and adding 2-4" to the depth and the width. The next size up will be your winner. If you have a custom size, give us a call. Note: this method works for artwork over 7" x 7"... we recommend your pedestal be no smaller than our 11.5" x 11.5" to ensure stability.
When considering height, first consider the elevation at which you'd like the artwork to be and measure down from there. You can play with different measurements in the room by placing masking tape on the wall where your sculpture would hit based on different display heights. This can help you visualize how it will look in relation to other objects in the room and to the ceiling. Try varying heights in a room to add interest and depth; making sure your sculpture isn’t at the same elevation as a couch or table will help it stand out.
Step 4: Lighting
When it comes to lighting, it’s crucial to know where you plan to display the sculpture. Indoor vs. outdoor, ceiling height, the direction the windows face, etc. all have their unique implications. Lighting can also have a huge effect on the mood and feel of a piece. For example, one of Wendy’s customers was sure she wanted lower corner lighting on her Madonna statue, but when she tested it out, she realized it gave the piece an ominous feel. In contrast, the ambient lighting tends to have a warming, comforting effect.
We offer a variety of lighting and accessory options, and it can be overwhelming to choose. To help with analysis paralysis, one of Wendy’s pro tips is to use a flashlight to experiment with different directional light at different times of day to see which one you like best.
Notes on Design
Ask any museum curator or gallery owner and they’ll tell you that how you display a work of art is absolutely crucial—it’s directly related to a viewer’s overall appreciation of the piece. Oftentimes the difference between a few inches to the left or a laminate vs. acrylic finish on the display structure can make the difference between a perfect and a second-rate presentation.
At Pedestal Source, we ask our customers four questions to help them design the ideal display, and we’ve found that those who thoughtfully think through these steps are the happiest with the final product. While there are endless custom options, these are the four basic design components that need to be accounted for.
We’re always happy to walk our customers through this process over the phone, but some of these decisions will come down to preference. The most important thing is that you take the time to “do your homework”—take the time to consider the options available to you. After all, you went through all the work of purchasing the piece and bringing it home—it’s important the display does it justice.