Frame Of The Week – Made In America!

Don't Tread On MeWhen this  reproduction of the iconic “Don’t Tread On Me” flag from the American Revolution came into our shop, we decided that it needed a handsome treatment befitting its dignity and history.  All of the materials in this frame were American-made.  The lovely maple shadowbox moulding was made by Vermont Hardwoods.  We decided to mount the flag on a lightly-textured Crescent mat (made in Wheeling, Illinois).  The piece is glazed using Tru-Vue Conservation Clear glass (made in Faribault, Minnesota).

The flag itself was attached to the backing with fabric fasteners in strategic places, and the lower lanyard was stitched to the backing.

Bring us your American icon and let us help you display it proudly!

 

Frame Of The Week: Jigsaw Puzzle

We love it when people bring us out-of-the-ordinary items to frame!  We’re always up for a challenge, and we can frame just about anything.

This customer brought us a jigsaw puzzle of a beautiful panorama of the Boston skyline.  The puzzle alone was over 38 inches long.  With mat borders the finished piece was a little over 44 inches long, making the piece officially “oversized”.  The customer wanted whitespace between the puzzle and the top mat, so we dry-mounted the puzzle to the backer board and put a spacer between the backer board and the top mat.

A word of caution to those bringing us jigsaw puzzles to be framed: be sure to secure the puzzle properly during transport.  You can either use a puzzle roll-up mat or sandwich the puzzle between two sheets of cardboard and tape them together.  The customers who brought this puzzle learned their lesson the hard way: they had simply placed it on a board in the back seat… and then they hit a pothole.  When they came into the shop they  had half a puzzle and a pile of pieces.  We set them in a corner where they could reassemble the puzzle while we tended to other customers.  Eventually all the pieces fell into place and the result is the beautiful framed project you see here!

Bring us your piece of whimsy and let us put it on your wall in style!

 

Frame Of The Week: Military Medal

Frame with military medalWith Independence Day nearly upon us, we should take a moment to consider those who helped bring about our independence and keep us free over the years.  A wonderful way to honor military service  is to frame some memorabilia from that career.

A few months back, this customer brought us a medal and ribbon, along with the citation for the award and a photo of the medal being awarded.  Working with the customer, we designed this tasteful and elegant layout.   The top mat is neutral but slightly warm and textured, to complement the color of the ribbons.  The bottom mat complements the color of the unit insignia.  The frame once again complements the red ribbons, and the layout balances the proportions of all the elements.

There are endless possibilities for framing military memorabilia.  Bring us your medals, insignia, and certificates and let us design a display that will do them proud!

Frame Of The Week: Floating In Midair!

This client brought us an antique Asian puppet to be framed.  Instead of simply attaching it to the back of a shadowbox, we decided to make it appear to “float” in mid-air.  We did this by attaching the puppet to a sheet of clear acrylic, then suspending that between the back of the shadowbox and the glass.  As you can see, the result is stunning!

In keeping with conservation standards, we did not attach the puppet with adhesive of any kind.  Instead, we drilled four pairs of tiny holes at strategic points and looped nylon monofilament through to hold the puppet down.  The holes line up with the perforations in the puppet, and the monofilament is nearly invisible.  It takes a very keen eye to even see where the attachments are, thus adding to the effect of magic levitation!

Bring us your keepsake and let us work our magic on that too!

 

Framing for Graduations!

It’s graduation season!  You or the grad in your family worked hard for that diploma.  What better way to celebrate all that hard work than by framing it to display proudly?  There are endless possibilities when it comes to framing a diploma!  Here are just a few:

Many clients like to include some piece of memorabilia from the graduation in their designs.  This client frames all of her diplomas in shadowboxes with the graduation tassel.
Another memorabilia design.  With small diplomas it’s often possible to include the diploma cover itself in the framing design.  This particular one is of historical interest, dating back to when Mass. General Hospital operated their own nursing school.
This client chose to include an iconic image from her university in the frame design.  The mat choices (green & gold) reflect the school colors.
Even a simple framing treatment can be enhanced with school colors and a little gold trim!

Remember, gift cards from Baldwin Hill Art & Framing make the perfect graduation present!

Custom Mats For Special Pieces

Sometimes a piece calls out for a special mat treatment.  This lovely little needlework has an arch on top, so we suggested adding an arch to the mat opening to mimic the shape.  The result is quite lovely!  The shape of the mat opening adds elegance and suggests the shape of the art even from some distance away.

This piece was done with a coarse Crescent fabric mat on top, reflecting the texture of the needlework, and a fine green fabric mat on the bottom.

Bring us your unusual pieces for an elegant framing treatment!

Project Profile: Two-Sided Bible Page

This customer arrived bearing a specially-built box, with specific instructions for how to open it written thereon. Inside the box was a plastic bag; inside that was a folder; inside THAT was:

Click for a larger image

 

A hand-copied, decorated Bible page from the 15th century!  This piece presented a few challenges: first, it was inscribed on sheepskin.  Second, it was inscribed on both sides, and the customer wanted to be able to show either side.

One particular challenge with sheepskin is that it must NEVER touch water, otherwise it will warp and curl (or to put it another way, sheepskin wants to try and return to the shape of the sheep!).  This means that we could not use our usual water-based adhesives to hold it in place.

The customer selected a silkscreen-texture top mat for each side of the piece, and a different solid-color bottom mat for each side.  She then selected an ornate silver/gold moulding with a somewhat distressed finish to complement the historic period of the piece.  Finally she selected Museum Glass to provide both optimal clarity and protection from UV light (The photos above were taken with the glass in place; note that there are NO reflections whatsoever!).

We used Mylar photo corners to hold the page in place on one of the mats (Mylar is approved by the Library of Congress for direct contact with historical materials).  We then adhered the two double mats back-to-back with a paper spacer in between.  This reduces the pressure on the edges of the page and allows it freedom to expand and contract.  We then built two frames back-to-back, and used spacers between the mats and the glass to fill out the thickness of the doubled rabbet.  The frames are held together with decorative metal plates on the bottom and sides.

As for hanging hardware: while we normally place a hanging wire on the back of a frame, this frame really has neither a front nor a back.  Instead we used a chain attached to D-rings at the tops of the side rails of the frames.  All of the hardware was painted with a dark hammer-textured paint to provide a proper Renaissance feel to the piece.

Gift cards make the perfect gift!

Gift Card

Gift Card

Baldwin Hill Art & Framing Gift Cards make the perfect gift for any occasion!  Gift cards are good as cash for anything in the store — custom framing, artwork, ready-made and Value Line frames, gifts, digital imaging services, and more!

Gift cards may be purchased online in denominations of $25, $50, $75, or $100.  They may be purchased in any denomination at the store.  Click the button below to buy your gift cards today!


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Saving Water-Damaged Artwork

As the floodwaters from the recent storms recede, homeowners and businesses are faced with the task of dealing with water-damaged items.

When it comes to artwork, waterlogged items can often be salvaged if one acts quickly to mitigate the damage.

The first thing to be done is to get the artwork out into the open air to dry.  Paper and canvas art must be dried as soon as possible before mold and fungus can take hold.  The artwork should be removed from the frame and either hung out to dry or placed on a rack.  This gets the artwork away from any waterlogged framing materials and exposes as much of it as possible to the air.  Using heat to accelerate the drying process is generally not recommended.

We encourage you to bring us your water-damaged artwork for our expert advice and assistance.  We will un-frame and examine your artwork.  Oftentimes all that is needed is drying, flattening, and re-framing.  This is also a good opportunity to update your mats and backer boards with modern conservation-grade materials.  For items that are damaged beyond our ability to recover, we have a paper conservator on call who can suggest possible treatments to restore the work.

Frames that have been water-soaked can sometimes be salvaged as well.  Metal frames usually fare the best; these can usually be cleaned up and reassembled. Solid wood frames can often be cleaned up and/or refinished.  Many ornate frames, on the other hand, are made with details that are molded out of materials that are very susceptible to water and that crumble off when dry.  We can advise you as to whether a frame is worth salvaging or whether replacement is more economical.

So take heart. Art that has been soaked can survive.