How To Hang a Wall of Pots

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

After design school, I (Kayla) took up a hobby in ceramics. The only part I was ever any good at was glazing and, at the end of 3 years, I had an extensive collection of irreverently colorful, wonderfully imperfect, and mostly unusable bowls. Most of the glazes are not food-safe and the rest have cracked bases so, until now, they’ve lived quietly among us — stacked on shelves, sadly under-appreciated. But I love these bowls — particularly the colorful insides — so as Wes and I continued our living room makeover, we also began strategizing a way to install my bowls on the wall as abstract pieces of art.

1 The finished installation! So happy! Now let’s look at how we did it…
2 The blank aubergine wall; Benjamin Moore Caponata (Affinity)
3 My little army of non-functioning ceramics
4 Planning the grid on the ground. Since the bowls themselves are very organic in their irregular shapes, sizes and colors, we thought a organized grid system would be an interesting contrast. We broke the rigidity of the grid however by making allowances for clusters of small bowls in random places.
5 Bacon eats and drinks out of 2 of my (few) water-tight, food-safe bowls so this was a little perplexing to him, seeing 30+ bowls on his floor.

6 The bowls are measured 9″ from center to center in both directions on the grid. We measured and taped that grid on the wall so that we could easily eyeball the exact hanging of each bowl.
7 The magic product that made this art installation a reality is the adhesive plate hanger which uses a water soluble glue and is applied directly to the base of the bowls then left to harden overnight. Each bowl had to be weighed and have its base measured to determine the appropriate size disc (about half use the 1.25″ disc, which holds up to 1 lb; half use a 2″ disc, which holds up to 2 lbs). These things are incredibly strong and we have no fear of them releasing. If you did want to remove them, they completely release with no damage done when submerged in water.
8 Wes carefully hanging one bowl at a time, in order via planning pictures.
9 One bowl had to be replaced because the base was so irregular it was hanging too precariously on the wall. There are 3 others (pinch pots) that are stable enough but will need to be shimmed to hang properly against the wall.
10 Yea! The end result is wonderful and changes all day depending on the light, casting shadows like a bunch of mini sundials. All of the color really brings the purple wall to life, too.

Originally published 5.14.2009 – AA

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