Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Serrett Box - Pochade Box by Fran Chuba

Fran Chuba is an artist from California USA, who sent me some amazing photos of her pochade box. She has some unique and well thought out customization's to the Serrett Box Design. What I really like is her simple method of carrying a wet panel in the lid, everything I've seen up to date has been too complicated or is just not functional. I have a converted cigar box which holds a wet sketch and have always liked that when done,  I just close the box and walk away with it. This design is truly is a kit for on the go painting.

"You'll also see in my photos that I made an additional wood palette that slips between the 2 "covers". This acts as an additional paint mixing surface, and as a divider when I close my easel, with the wet canvas board still stuck to the back wall of the easel lid, to protect the wet canvas board from the paint mixtures below. I'll flip the extra paint mixing surface over so the clean side will be against the wet canvas board (though it will not touch), and the wet side will be against the other paint mixing area."

The wet panel solution is beautifully simple and I think you will see many people mimic Frans design. She made four boxes to accommodate specific panel sizes.

"I made 4 Serrett Pochade boxes. (2-9x12 boxes; 1-10x13 box; 1-11x14 box) Because my plan is to use only 6x8 or 8x10 or 9x12 canvas boards, and because I have never had difficulty keeping them in place with large squares of  UHU tac removable Adhesive Putty,
 I did not make the cuts in the back panel and use a bungy cord."

She finished her kit with a closure clasp, a side brush holder and neutral plexiglass palette. This following image is of the complete box sitting on a mini tripod. Fran figured that her cost per box was a little over 20 USD each, but keep in mind she built four at a time. One has to admit, it is a pretty impressive looking DIY kit, very professional, probably why her art group has asked if she might build more.

"My entire goal was simplicity.
I kept asking myself how I could do it "lighter" and "simpler".
Having a Yarka, an EasyL Versa, and a French Half-box - yet still searching for something "lighter" and "simpler" has been interesting."

"I made this because I like to do 10-15 mile hikes around the streets of San Francisco, stop and paint. The Serrett Pochade Box will be lighter, more compact, more efficient than anything I have. And, yes, like most artists I have several wonderful easels, including a Yarka Plein Air Easel and an EasyL Versa Plein Air Easel, I think this Serrett Easel will be the best of all! Thanks for your generosity for posting your directions on the internet for all of us to enjoy and use."
Fran Chuba

You can see Frans work on her website.

My original intent was to design a kit anyone could build with simple tools and materials.
I never thought about how creative people would elaborate on and contribute to that idea; it has been a great experience for me. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim

You can find the original Serrett Box post and plans here.