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3d box framing

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How to frame a piece of soap

Or perhaps we should ask why would you frame a piece of soap?
We are often asked to frame all sorts of precious, bizarre, and sometimes ridiculous objects. One that springs to mind was a bar of soap, purchased from the Museum Shop at MONA in Tasmania.

Some of you may be familiar with the sculptural work by Greg Taylor, created with multiple plaster impressions of female genitalia. Souvenirs of this work in the form of similarly shaped bars of soap are available for purchase from the gift shop.

In the interest of keeping this blog post G rated, we decided instead to show you how we framed another bar of soap, in the shape of a flower.  

 

Having tried to find an interesting piece to work with for this project I was lucky to stumble across this in my travels by an artisan in northern NSW. When framing works of a 3D nature we always need to choose framing materials that will cater for the depth of the piece. We also like to use fabric mattings as the depth of colours in fabrics help the piece to pop and look more luxurious. For this piece we chose a black suede mount. 

For the frame we chose a beautiful ornate gold to work not only with the colouring of the soap, it also works with the design and helps to create that feel of decadence. Just a single black matting and frame would have felt to heavy so we added a second layer of black suede matting with a gold fillet to break the expanse of black and make the design more interesting.  This help to lead the eye into to piece. 

As this piece did not need to be framed to full museum standards the soap was mounted using a suitable adhesive. In the case of the piece from MONA the client asked for conservation so we employed a sink mount technique so that no adhesives were used at all. 

Working with a piece such as soap (and in this case a bag of the off cuts from the carving) you can imagine the amount of soap dust and other white flecks that need to be removed. A lot of the time in framing is taken up with making sure there is no dust within the frame package. This becomes even more laboursome with a black suede matting as it holds and shows dust more than any other matting surface. 

To add extra depth and interest we added a mat spacer. This then helped create differnt levels to set the soap back from the glass so that it did not become lost at the back of the frame. We also chose to use Tru Vu Musuem glass on this piece to have absolute clarity. This glass is fantastic for 3D objects and other items that have fine detail that could be lost behind the reflection of standard clear glass. 

The final piece looks amazing. To think that something as simple as a piece of soap can be presented in such a way that turns it into a masterpiece. This is what ARTIS PURA and framing can help you with. 

Did you enjoy seeing this piece........

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Boxing Buddha - Framing pieces of history

One of the challenges as a picture framer is being able to frame something you have never framed before. No matter how many years you have been working at the craft there is always something that will be brought in by a client that can have you scratching your head. Sometimes it can be pretty straight forward when the client is not concerned about conservation (and they have made the educated choice to proceed in this way) but when the item is a historical artifact that must be framed with full museum conservation techniques the game is changed. Recently a client came in, after seeing online the work we had done on the timber drone propeller, with an amazing antique artifact timber sculpture of Buddha. He requested it be boxed in a white frame with white matting as he was wanting to achieve a museum look. I explained to the client that white was not the best design for this piece as it would be too bright and take away from the piece. Modern white boxing would also not feel correct on an antique timber sculpture that has hundreds of years of patina. Instead we chose an off white beige mount (100 % cotton rag) and a stunning yet simple timber veneer box moulding by Bellini Fine Moulding. As the piece was very large and deep we also needed to create a box to extend the rebate of the moulding. This needed to be painting to match as close as possible to the main moulding. This was not the tricky part though. 

The complicated part was how to mount this large heavy timber sculpture without causing any changes to its current state. (eg. Screws into back of the timber). Luckily the piece already had a few rusty nail hooks in it that we were able to use as anchors and then using heavy weight fishing line, we strategically "tied" the sculpture to the rag backing. 

Once mounted the work was set back in the box behind Tru Vu Museum glass which not only has 99% UV filtration it also appears as if there is no glazing at all. We were very happy with the result as was our client. Mostly we are confident knowing that the piece can now be displayed pride of place and from a conservation standpoint we have done all we can to protect this piece of history. 

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