One of our favorite things to frame are old family collections. This spring, we had a client bring in three antique black powder pistols. This kind of artifact is so often stashed away and out of sight.
What fun to bring them out into the open for all to see!
After very careful and thoughtful time on the design counter, we went to work sourcing and designing supports and backing for these incredible pieces of history.
We ended up choosing an antique bronze fixture for mounting the pistols. This finish compliments the old, distressed metal and wood of the firearms without being distracting.
The bronze fixtures were lined with dark felt to provide a near invisible cushion and a gentle support against the weight of the heavy guns. This helps protect against damaging these irreplaceable antiques.
Careful hands and placement are a must!
Sometimes going to work is like a history lesson. We learned about how flintlocks work and imagined the hands that held these pistols over so many years.
Once seated and sealed in their new frames, the pistols were ready to go home and be admired on the wall!
Following the minimalism of the past decade, we are seeing a revival of gold mouldings and painted mats. We absolutely love gold frames and a good painting challenge!
On one recent project, our client had a very large tapestry that needed the added presence of a mat - something to separate the beautiful dark threads of the artwork from it's frame. A simple white mat wouldn't do on this oversized masterpiece - a whopping 3 by 8 feet!
After carefully hand-cutting the mat, we used a nontraditional method of taping off a secluded 3/4" panel of the matboard. Within this exposed area, Anne went to work on a loose and playful sponged pattern, using colors inspired by the artwork.
As a contemporary alternative to the usual penned lines found on many traditional French Mats, we softened the finished edges of our sponged panel with lightfast colored pencils in complimenting colors.
Projects like these stretch our vocabulary and show us what we're made of. We can't wait to get this mat placed on the artwork, perhaps into a gold frame, and then into the hands of our adventurous client!
Our local Sam's Hot Dogs was awarded the front page feature on Knife & Fork of Cville! We celebrated by framing up the page and the article. Just like the fantastic fun atmosphere that can be found in the breezy little Crozet joint, the bright yellow glossy frame and the ketchup and mustard colored mats make for a really snappy presentation. We drymounted the articles and then cut them out with a reverse bevel so they appear to be floating on a chocolate brown background. Did we mention chocolate? Not only can you get dogs there but also some delicious flavors of ice cream as well!
We always love a challenge. One of our customers brought us a enormous painting on paper by Isabelle Abbot Baldwin. Normally, paintings on paper are put under glass, but the customer wanted this one to float, in a floater frame, as a painting on canvas would do. The piece was over 50"x50" which made finding an appropriate substrate tricky. With some brainstorming, we developed a system to mount the large paper piece in a floater frame that was strong, stable, and still retained the paper's light, airy feel.
Interlocking layers of mounting board were cut to fit behind the painting and mounted overnight.
The paper was not perfectly square, so some extra calculation and planning was in order. After laying out all of the components, we marked and attached a stretcher to provide the strength necessary for such a large piece to be stable over time.
The piece settled nicely into it's new frame!
The customer and Isabelle were very pleased with the results, and so were we!
Here is a unique example of the interesting pieces that visit Creative Framing every day. This highly detailed ink drawing of a tree was rendered delicately on a rolled up scroll of paper. Our client was open to exploring more options than just a simple black frame and white mat. We looked at several options but when the weathered silver beaded frame was pulled from the design wall, we immediately knew we had a clear winner. The tone of the weathered patina really complimented the tone of the drawing. The bead pattern picked up so nicely on the leaves, too!
This close up shows you the fine hatching and line work that went into creating this wonderful drawing. By floating it on a black background, we are really able to see the raw edge of the paper and also create a high contrast with which to view the line work. We also decided to include risers to prevent crushing the paper down. This also allows the drawing to lift slightly and have a bit more "dimensionality". Lastly, we chose Museum Glass which allows us to see all the fine detail without having to compete with glare.
Just in time for the Fall Semester! One of our customers brought in a lovely jacket letter and certificate to frame and it came out stunning.
The antiqued gold fillet that lined the inside of the acid free mat really complimented the old engraving style border of the certificate.
This was framed in Museum Glass so that you can see the rich texture of the school letter in great detail. The glass will also protect the letter from fading which is important because both textiles and certain red pigments are notoriously fugitive.
Everything was tied together with this rustic textured gold frame. It has a soft luster in most lights that adds accent to the composition without dominating the scene.
Now, her award and letter are preserved for years to come in a lovely elegant presentation!
We had the recent opportunity to preserve this beautiful piece of Native American History. This doll was very old yet still had it's intricate bead work and delicate leather fringe intact. It may even have been stuffed with horse hair. Though in good condition, it was fragile due to old age and being open to the elements.
We set about the delicate task of sew mounting the doll onto an acid free backing.
Unlike regular fabric, leather is a solid material and stitches cannot slip through the grain undetected. We were able to mount the doll through existing stitch holes in the leather to retain the integrity of the piece.
The customer chose a nice mat to frame out the doll visually but being a piece with deep dimensions, it was decided that we should use matching shadowbox risers to give the piece an overall open feel. In the photo above, it's almost like the doll is patiently waiting to be finished in their new home.
Now, it is finished and resting inside a maple shadowbox frame with museum glass. This beautiful piece of history can be admired by many instead of being stowed away in the dark.
This spring, we have had the pleasure of working with The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia on a very special Project. Their current exhibition, "Casting Shadows: Selections for the Permanent Collection featuring the FUNd", features works from a variety of artists and "explores the metaphorical "shadows" of the tragedies, ideologies, and controversies of the past that still influence contemporary societies across the globe."
For more info on this exhibition: http://www.virginia.edu/artmuseum/exhibition/
One of the works in this exhibition is by artist Daniel Reeves. We were pleased to have Mr. Reeves work arrive in our design studio and later in our workshop. A very large piece of artwork, the triptych measured over 8’ long, making it one of the biggest projects we’ve seen this year.
This triptych arrived to us, mounted on foamcore, which created a bit of a mounting challenge. Standard hinges would not be sufficient to hold the the weight of each of the panels, so we began brainstorming for a mounting solution that would be both supportive and archival.
After much consideration with the standard materials in our own workshop, we decided that a visit to our local hardware store was in order. We knew vaguely what we were looking for, but hadn’t laid eyes on it. That is, until we found this hardware! These allowed for the photographs to be supported without needing to attach anything to them. Just what we needed!
Given the size of this project, the frame would need extra support. The long and narrow size of the frame could lend to bowing sides…which would then lead to the plexiglass popping right out of the front of the frame. No way! To keep that from happening, we built a strainer support that fit into the back of the frame. With added cross-bracing, this provided structure that the frame lacked on it’s own.
So, how do you hang something this large? Screw eyes or D-rings and wire weren’t going to cut it. The weight would need to be distributed more evenly than standard hanging equipment could provide. We chose to attach a “Z-bar” One strip is screwed into the back of the frame while another, identical strip, is screwed to the wall where it hangs. Screws occur every 6 inches or so, which provides far more support than two D-rings ever could.
We are so pleased with the completed project.
The design was simple and really allows the artwork to shine.
Be sure to stop by The Fralin to see it this summer!
A client recently brought this wonderful vintage postcard of the UVA observatory for framing. They picked a really charming presentation in the following:
The postcard was floated on a slate blue/gray mat and the mat on top featured a line that was broken by a dusting of stars. Dots of silver allow the little stars to twinkle in just the right light.
A lovely frame from Bella Moulding encased the whole under glass. This frame really spoke to the piece! It's a black wooden lacquer that has silver filling the gaps in the the wood grain. The presentation is that of soft twilight with soft blacks, dusty dark blue, and silver twinkling quietly around the observatory!
We recently had the honor of framing an NFL referee's Superbowl jersey and memorabilia. Mr. Dave Wyant of Crozet was a referee for Superbowl 48. So, to celebrate that accomplishment, his family wanted to display these artifacts in a way all could see rather than tucked away in a closet.
We put our heads together and designed a way to both preserve the jersey and display it in a dynamic presentation. A black custom made shadowbox frame was constructed to be extra deep to accommodate the hat that was to be mounted with the jersey. There were insignia on the sides of the cap that needed to be visible.
We arranged all the elements and set about a construction for a mount. A filler form was constructed to sew the jersey on to and the arms were filled out at well as we wanted to have the shirt holding out an arm to display the small flag with a sandbag sewn to it. The identification lanyards were draped around the neck of the jersey and sewn in place. Supports needed to be sewn to the backs of the arms to hold them up. If they were not in place, the armature would sag.
The coins were a bit of a challenge as they were heavy and slick. We also wanted to give them a special place in the piece as by themselves they seemed very diminutive against the expanse of the jersey. We framed them within small charcoal colored frames and this not only helped bring a focus to the coins themselves but also balanced the empty mount space flanking the hat.
We enjoyed working on this project and are told Mr. Wyant is very happy with the way it turned out. We are impressed with his accomplishments and congratulate him on his achievements!
What a unique opportunity to referee for the NFL!
Creative Framing & The Art Box
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