Framing My Work

     I've been framing a new piece that was recently accepted in to the Third Annual Juried Print Exhibition at Artworks Trenton. I have to deliver it this week, so it's been on the work table in the studio. Several years ago Christine Blair taught me how to create a shadow-box frame by gluing the glass into place using strips of acid-free backing board. The strips sit just inside the rabbet of the frame. Since they are made of the same material as the backing board that the piece is mounted onto, it creates the appearance of a uniform box behind the glass. The depth of the strips creates a space behind the glass for the print to float.

     The next trick is to mount the print onto the backing board securely to create the float effect. I learned this trick from Astrid Bowlby. It's a variation on the Japanese paper hinge technique. It's important to have several hinges with a flap of sufficient length to fully support the piece, at the same time minimizing the size of the hinge so that it can be easily removed without damage to the art work. I use 4 hinges for this piece, which is 15” wide. Each hinge is 1” wide. I glue the hinges down to the backing board first. When that is dry, I apply glue to each 1” x 1” hinge and secure the piece. Once it's dry, I place the backing board into the frame, securing in place with tape. After adding the wire, I put labels on the back identifying the piece and with my name and contact information. I always hope the piece goes to a new home and that the owner will want to check out more of my work.

     After the show opens I'll post some photos of the work installed in the gallery at Artworks Trenton.

close up of shadow box strips

Strips of acid-free backing board glued into position. The strips hold the glass in place and create a shadow box so the print can be mounted floating free without a mat.

collage ready to be mounted permanently onto a backing board

The Japanese paper hinges have been mounted onto the acid-free backing board and are ready to support the print.