What I thought would be a two week project turned out to be two months. Nothing new! Our house came with a poorly designed and constructed book shelf in the small, fourth bedroom, which we converted into a dedicated office early-on. I took down the books a couple of years ago and used it to display my hood ornament creations, but it quickly became too small. There was no back to the shelves, other than the painted drywall. They tended to sag in the center. And they were the standard 12 inches deep.
So I designed a floating, four-shelf system that would run the full length of the ten foot wall rather than stop short of the outside wall with a window and would be 16 inches deep. I also decided to panel the entire wall from the wainscote to the ceiling.
Above is the wall with the old shelves removed and plywood panels installed and stained. Since the window on the left exterior wall is only five inches from the corner, the shelves have to taper as they approach the exterior wall. An assembled, hollow-core shelf is leaning against the wall and another is sitting on a box to its right. The shelf system will consist of eight shelves; four 16-inch deep shelves on the right half of the wall and four half-tapered shelves on the left side. The shelves have not yet been stained in this photo.
Above, the eight shelves have been set in place (after staining) and braced at the front edges by a 2x4 below and short pieces between the shelves. My initial thought was to place three vertical supports at the front, dividing it into four sections horizontally. Temporary vertical face frames are clamped in place.
The four-section design seemed to make the whole unit look too checker-board-y. So I revised it to three sections, which gives it a more horizontal flow (to my eye). I finished the shelves and face frame with clear tung oil I have refilled the unit with my favorite ornaments - not including the ones that I take to the craft shows. Oh, and the tung oil renewed the original lower paneling very well too!
I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.