Monday, August 17, 2009


Sometimes I really do split the atom.

A client interested in conservation turned up at my door to discuss framing some Swedish stamps. He requested that they be handled only with gloves (hand oils), that they be mounted without any adhesive whatsoever, and that the stamps be floating in the framing design.

To float an item in framing terminology means to display every square micrometer of the item. Most often, items are matted, which means that an opening is cut in a mat to reveal the image. The opening is generally cut 1/8" - 1/4" smaller than the item to slightly cover the edges. This holds the item down and gives a sharp edge. Normally, items with unusual or interesting edges are floated so those characteristics can be viewed. The deckled edge of a stamp is a great example. Adhesives must be used in a float design. How else would the item stay up?

And then I remembered that my old buddy Chas had taken a class in encapsulation. A new mounting technique that is adhesive-free. Even in a float situation.

First a layer of thin duralar (a clear acetate-like product that is archival) is adhered to the mat using a thin strip of ATG at the top. Here the top mat has already been museum-hinged with linen tape.

Then the stamps are positioned on top of the duralar. More ATG is applied around the stamps and a second sheet of duralar is applied on top. The stamps are between the two sheets and they are kept in place by static electricity!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Closet Goths

are among us!

It started when dear friends/neighbors arrived at the shop with GORGEOUS oversize archival print photos.

Here are The Professors atop Notre Dame.

and here a Vision of Joan of Arc!

Note the dark, ornate, Victorian frames selected. Perfect!

And then one of my favorite customers showed up with this freak show a few days later ...

Naked Angel with Satyrs

Weird Mannequin at Dinner Party for One

Detail with crazy-shape mat-opening, cut by moi!

These clients looked like nice, normal people. Who knew they had such dark, creepy sides lurking within? And what would possess them to think I could appreciate that aesthetic?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Whether you're playing cards or working in a retail frame shop, always pay attention to coincidences.

The topic of this blog came to me tonight as I was speaking with an old framing buddy. He was explaining that he had recently come through a period where he made a lot of double-sided frames for a variety of clients in a short period of time. Double-sided frames are hardly the norm...a regular shop maybe does one or two in a year, but things do tend to come in waves sometimes.

For instance, earlier this week, a client walked in off the street. She wanted to discuss a project she needed in a rush. She works in a very prestigious archive and needed to present 2 framed copies of a historical document to visiting foreign dignitaries. The document? Oh yeah, it was written and signed by George Washington.

I asked, "Do you know I framed an original George Washington letter last month?"

After all, I did blog about it AND put in on my Facebook ; )

She claimed she was unaware.

"I can authenticate that signature for you," I said jokingly to the prestigious archivist.

Evidently my historical document humor needs work.

Anyhoo, I don't recall ever framing George Washington stuff before, and here I was being honored by framing 2 unrelated important docs in a month. Hunh.