…In time for Halloween

I’m beginning to wonder just who my customer’s are – because within one week, I received 3 unusual boxes to create – and they sure are not the usual wedding or baby boxes we seem to always be doing!

A collection of rare axes and hunting knives came in from a local Sportsman’s Bar that consisted of collectable Marble Brand hunting equipment. A few hours later, a gentleman brought in some pocket knives that his grandfather carried throughout his life. The next day, a woman who collects vintage barber equipment brought in a bag of old straight razors to create a little whimsey within a room of her house, dedicated to her collection.

It bothered a lot of people that brought in your traditional watercolors and wedding announcements.

But making a day of framing these items created a lot of interest, and is worth sharing. All three of these collections represent a very basic, traditional way of framing. They created interest, and are nothing out of the ordinary as far as framing costs, or really involved anything out of the ordinary as to preservation. Let’s start with the axes:

The most challenge with this box? Weight. And we would estimate this box weighs close to 60 pounds now finished. After laying the objects out, and finding a fun fabric to lay them on, we dry mounted the fabric to acid-free foam. And then we began to sew, by using actual fishing line with a heavy test to hold the pieces in place. (a couple times around the head, and twice around the handle to keep them from swaying in the box.) We then moved onto the knives, sewing them first right onto their foam casing, along with the arrow heads, and them made sure the foam was properly adhered into the wooden box. We then removed the top, and created a cleat out of strainer stock to “float” the lid above the box of knives. Again, weight was the issue; we contemplated creating a shelf within the framing project to support the knives, but after talking with the client, and the concern on the public space in which this collection would be displayed, it was best to strap-mount the piece by drilling through the back if the frame job into the wooden box. The process created a very tight and secure mounting.

The piece used Gemini Moulding #G-1236 as a basic frame. Though I believe that for these type of metal items deterioration is minimal, we still took proper care by using standards in framing, and used conservation glass. To support the weight we s-cleated a strip across the top to support the weight on the wall evenly, and secure it properly once hung.

The frame measures 32 x 40, and with 3 hours of sewing, retailed at $565, start to finish.

Then we have the pocket knives. After talking to the client, he expressed his want to keep the project small, simple, and “quiet”, because that was the personality of his grandfather. A very basic color – Bainbridge #4125 – was used to mount the knives (Nothing too dramatic, like black, and nothing too “weak”, like plain linen.) We used a very simple frame: Larson #663181. The box would be 12×15, easily could sit on a shelf , or hang on a wall using wall buddies. Sewn with filament, the best part was the use of museum glass, and we had fun for days at the store with people trying to reach in to touch them, but couldn’t. A very nice little presentation. This job costs $325.

Our eclectic barber client got a little funky for her design in her fun room at home. We started with a mount on Bainbridge #4230, Amethyst Suede, and sewed the objects again. Her frame was Larson #119630 black shadow, but for fun and color, we added a lip of Bella Moulding #618625 to give it that deco/artsy feel. It measures almost 15×18, and with it’s museum glass, retailed for $450. It turned out to be a fun piece, and the staff always enjoys a creative challenge.

It should be said that all these items can be easily removed with simply cutting the strings that secure them. It was not a drawn out way of display that involved any special mounting, but just involved a little time sewing.

Besides, don’t you feel safer with them displayed?