Panels for abstracta display cases

Hi everyone - I have an abstracta display case. It is matte black. I
have been trying to make panels for the bottom space of the cases.

I’ve tried making pieces of fabric (silk) panels with tabs at the
top for the tubing to go through and elastic tabs at the bottom. It
is too droopy. I don’t really like the look. I’ve also tried
painting plywood (red), which turned out hideous. Staining the
plywood has been the best solution so far.

The fronts of the dispalys are pretty large, so the surface needs to
be broken up somehow. The final idea that I’ve come up with is
getting better looking plywood, staining it, and taking a strip of
the black silk down the front.

Before I do this, I wanted to check with other jewelers who use
abstracta and find out what you do for the empty space below the
actual jewelry case. If you have photos, I’d love to see them!

Thanks so much!
Sarah Philbeck

Hi! I do the Ann Arbor art fair and every three years or so I re-do
my panels. The best method so far is to take the thinnest masonite,
cut it about 1/4 to 3/8 inch shy of the space you are filling, take
beautiful fabric, usually purchased at a furniture store like
express ( the best ones can be $40. or so a yard!) cut it to the
size of your board plus a couple of inches to wrap around. I use
thin cotton quilt batting between the fabric and the board and I use
spray adhesive (3M from art supply store) to attach it with. I lay
down the fabric right side down put the piece of batting on top…it
should over-lap to protect the fabric from possibly ripping in the
board…I lay down the board, spray the edges and start by folding
the corners first, then the top and bottom pulling snug (not too
snug or you will distort your fabric) then the sides. anywhere you
have fabric laying on top of fabric you will have to respray. The
spray has held through 2 shows so far and I expect it will hold for
two more years. You can always respray. I hold the panels on with
thicker clips. The look is great and I actually have designed my
cases so they nest in each other and I never take the panels off. I
have twos nesting groups of three. Easier to transport. My
address is rajanikaz@ if you need more info or if this isn’t clear.

Sarah, You could try foam core with fabric over it for your panels.
The only drawback is that you have to change it every so often.


You can get foam core board in large piece from an art supply store,
and cover it with whatever you want: fabric, handmade paper,
wallpaper, paint. If you can’t get art store foam core large enough,
building supply stores sell it as insulating board. This stuff is
light and easy to transport.

Janet Kofoed

Hi Sarah, I don’t use Abstracta but I’ve seen some excellent uses
of fabric with it at the shows I do. One possibility is to use a
pre-crinkled fabric; this looks great, especially when the fabric has
a metallic thread in it or look to it. Another (if I remember
correctly – and I wish now I’d looked more closely) uses a fabric
sheathe that covers the entire four sides of each section, rather
than just front panels. The third solution did use front panels and
they didn’t droop. Unfortunately, I didn’t look to see how they were
constructed but hopefully someone else will know.

There’s nothing wrong with using plywood, however, except that it’s
heavy. If you’re going to be traveling with your display, fabric is a
much better choice.

Good luck, Beth

Sarah, I have an abstracta case and I used black foamcore for the
bottom front and side panels. I bought large pieces at an art supply
store and cut them to fit. I also cut and pasted stencils of my logo
onto each panel. Another idea I had (but haven’t used yet) was to use
photo enlargements printed onto foamcore and cut to fit. The foamcore
is cheap and light and matches the matte black frame nicely. I put
shelves underneath to store everything. I purchased all the hardware
and clips for the foamcore through abstracta. Here’s a photo:

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry

  I wanted to check with other jewelers who use abstracta and find
out what you do for the empty space below the actual jewelry case.
If you have photos, I'd love to see them!  

I had a friend sew a skirt for my booth. It has velcro panels along
the top edge and on the side to pull it snug, and has loops sewn on
to fit over the connectors at each corner on the top. This is the
second one this friend has made for me. The first one sagged a bit
and we improved the design for the second. This one works pretty
well. Another friend who also has abstracta uses 1/8" panels of nice
plywood for his front.


I like to travel light. My panels for my abstracta are simply a good
quality black fabric. I’ve sewn a pocket on one end to feed onto my
top rod, cut the fabric to length plus 6 inches, and sewn on strips
of velcro on the bottom. I pull the fabric tight over the bottom rod
and velco together. The tension helps stabilize the display. Best
thing is when everything breaks down, 12 feet of display fits in a
sack for the rods and a container for shelves and fabric. And
everything plus tent fits into my Camry!

Hi Sarah, Can’t say I’m an old hat at abstracta, however when I did a
metal arts show in San Francisco using it, I bought some black
polyester fabric (very wrinkle resistant), and draped that along the
bottom. I used the same fabric inside my case, all bunched up (with
rocks, padding, whatever would hold my pieces up nicely underneath
the fabric), purposely wrinkled, I think it look pretty good. I’m
afraid I don’t have a picture of it, but I did get 1st place at the
show! :slight_smile: Now that, was fun!

Lisa Hawthorne