Prev
Monthly Display - August 2019
Next

 

My Mirror Stand


I thought about how I might construct such a mirror stand for myself. I wanted to have a mirror stand that could be adjusted, and used for several paintings/subjects. I went to my hardware store to look at possible materials. It is interesting to see what materials and devices are available. I saw a number of possibilities, and I went away to think clearly about what might be the best approach.

One of the things I thought about early on is that it is not easy engineering a stand like the one in the documentary, with the single arm raised at approximately a 45 degree angle, and in particular, the adjustable head for tilting the mirror. I don’t have the advanced engineering skills or tools to manufacture a mirror head on a lockable ball joint (or something similar). I assumed that it is extremely important that the mirror position above the painting surface remained constant. I thought about other possible types of stands, that I could more easily manufacture, and control.

I ended up making a stand made from two aluminium square-tube uprights, with a long round aluminium tube suspended between the two supports. A mirror was glued to the centre of the round tube. The uprights had a series of holes drilled in them that would allow inserting the round tube at different heights. The round tube with glued mirror at its centre could be rotated gently to adjust the angle of the mirror. I added some grub screws to hold the round tube firmly in place.

 

 

My mirror stand in front of my computer monitor (with inverted subject photograph):


I arranged my stand on a small table, to read a photograph projected on a computer monitor. My thinking behind using a computer monitor is that I could easily invert an image and use that as my subject. I could also try different images quite easily, including those in greyscale, or full colour. I worked out that this system would work best if the image on the computer monitor was the same distance from the centre of the mirror as the distance of my painting surface from the centre of the mirror. That way, no matter how high my eye was from the centre of the mirror, when looking at both my painting and the subject, the distance from my eye to the painting surface would be the same as that from my eye to the image on my monitor.

I also worked out that this whole arrangement really relies on keeping all the elements completely fixed in relation to each other. That is, after getting all of the things accurately in place and angled appropriately on my table top, I screwed them all in place, so they would remain fixed in relation to all of the other components. I screwed the mirror stand legs to the table top. I screwed the base of the computer monitor to the table top. I also screwed my painting surface to the table top.

 

 

 

Close-up showing the long round aluminium tube held in round holes in the stands:

 

 

 

 

 

The prepared painting board, screwed into position:

 

 


Prev
Monthly Display - August 2019
Next