With the holiday last week, below you can read about how Kirstie Bennett from The Framer’s Workshop in Berkeley, CA, used Optium Museum Acrylic® to master a patriotic framing project that presented a variety of challenges, not the least of which was its eight-foot-wide size.
When one of our long-time clients brought in a Civil War-era American flag for framing, we knew we had an exciting project to handle given the rarity of the item. Measuring at a length of over eight feet, size was another factor that made this an unusual project.
Beyond just the challenge of the size, we were also tasked with creating a frame design that suited our client’s Danish minimalist home décor. Scandinavian design is an aesthetic marked by minimalism and functionality, and white walls. Framing design typically revolves around the object being framed, not the home decor, but for this, we chose materials that addressed the client’s desire to have the framing package fit with its surroundings as well as the overall size of the piece.
To help highlight the client’s sense of Lagom, or balance, we choose beautiful but simple materials for this project. A contemporary white matte Roma moulding with a 3.5-inch face was appropriately sized for the 58”x100” frame and suited the clean lines of Danish design. The slightly off-white linen fabric mat covering the padded backing eases the contrast of the bright white of the moulding and the antiqued tones of the flag.
As we have done for other projects involving textiles, we used a pressure mount for this piece, which involves pressing the piece into a padded backing to create an extremely tight fit. The fabric-covered padded back also keeps the textile secure, as the textures of the two fabrics grab hold of each other when pressed together so tightly. The customer specifically requested Optium Museum Acrylic®, a glazing we’ve had great success with for pressure mounts, as well as other types of projects. The tightness of the fit was emphasized in this case by heavy cross-bracing in the back.
Using Optium Museum Acrylic®
For a piece of this size, and given the client’s preference for minimalist design, pressure mounting also enabled us to keep the frame design very simple as there was no need to create space within the frame that other mounting techniques would require. Given the weight of a piece this size, acrylic is necessary to keep it as light as possible. Even with the Optium, this piece weighed at least 50 pounds.
We have used Optium Museum Acrylic for several other pressure mounts. It’s 99% UV protection, anti-reflective clarity, and scratch- and shatter-resistance make it ideal glazing for this application, especially when the item being framed is as valuable, large and delicate as this one. Unlike other acrylic glazing, Optium Museum Acrylic also is anti-static and very easy to work with. In fact, because of our location near a fault line, we use Conservation Clear® Acrylic or Optium on any piece larger than 36 inches square due to its durability.
A project like this captures the interest of everyone in our shop, and many people gave input on the design. It makes for an impressive statement piece in our client’s entryway and with the protection of Optium Museum Acrylic will be enjoyed for generations to come.
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