If it's not alive, we can frame it! We highlight framing projects that are special/fun/unusual in our monthly email newsletter. Sign up for our newsletter to read about these projects, our latest gallery shows, and other news from the shop.
Do you have a unique or treasured item you'd like to to protect and preserve with a custom frame? Contact us, we're happy to design something special just for you!
August 2021: Framing a Civil War Era Metal
Civil War Era Metal in a Shadow Box
Once thought to be lost forever, this metal was rediscovered years later by a descendant of its recipient. Multiple mat boards were used to create a shadowbox that would draw your eye into the center's bold American flag. The piece was finished with a brass frame that mimics the texture seen on the metal's American eagle.
July 2021: Custom Fabric Mats on Watercolors
Custom mats using a customer's fabric
This fabric was perfectly positioned before being mounted on mat board and hand-cut. Laid on top of watercolor silhouettes, a gold frame gives off some serious Grand-Millennial style! We love these custom, completed pieces!
June 2021: Framing a Pizza!
A cross stitch pizza with falling toppings
This unique cross stitch was created by one of our long-time creative customers. A red suede mat and gold frame were a perfect combination for this Italian pizza! Small wooden toppings add even more whimsy by "falling" to the right. Looks good enough to eat!
May 2021: Framing a Banana Leaf Scroll
Framing a 72" Pattachitra Banana Leaf scroll
After making serval different selections to accommodate the size of the piece, we ended up with two beautiful silk mats and a hammered copper frame.
Patachitra or Pattachitra is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, based in the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. Patachitra art form is known for its intricate details as well as mythological narratives and folktales.
April 2021: Headhunters Hat and Pipe
A shadowbox for a Bontoc Igorot Basket Hat (called s Suklang) and pipe.
These hats were worn by the Bontoc Igorot natives from Mountain province on the Philippine islands. The hats were worn only by men over a top knot hairstyle and were made from rattan basket work. This particular hat features two boar tusks, as well as hair and bone. Although these hats were decorated, their primary purpose was function, not fashion. Men used these hats like pockets, putting tobacco, flint, nuts, leaves, or even pipes like the one seen here, inside.
We chose a black fabric mat and deep black shadow box to add drama and accentuate the pieces inside. A tan fabric mat was used for the internal edges, to compliment the color of the basket weave and add contrast.
We loved framing this incredible piece of history and learning a little bit about the Bontoc Igorot people!
March 2021: Ribbon Tin Shadow Box
Twenty-one vintage ribbon tins came into the shop in a cardboard box. They left in a shadow box ready for display!
We love preserving your collections! The owner of these ribbon tins wanted a frame with the same vintage feel as the tins. Once a silver silk mat and mustard yellow frame were selected, Ashley went to work designing the layout. Ashley then attached the tins to the backing using powerful magnets. This allows for the tins to hang safely without the need to drill a hole or alter them in any way. We think the final design is a showstopper!
February 2021: We Love Feathers
Of course we love feathers, especially these pretty macaw feathers in this gorgeous piece. These beautiful birds are large wild parrots native to South America and their brilliantly colored feathers have been prized for centuries.
This is a Kayapo ceremonial headdress, created in the late 1960s, from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. These elaborate headpieces symbolize the universe and the cotton rope by which the first Kayapo descended from the sky. This piece is delicate so we needed to offer a solution to help protect and preserve it, and make it look great for display. We stitched it down to a linen backer, and enclosed it in an acrylic box , which is a great lightweight alternative to a shadowbox frame and is UV-safe to protect delicate objects and help preserve color.
January 2021: Prized Belt Buckles
Whoa! These big belt buckles are given to participants in endurance riding events. Endurance riding is an competitive equestrian sport, and the events are usually 50 or 100 miles long. All four buckles are from events our customer participated in when she was young.
The buckles are attached to a linen mat and sturdy backing board, and shadowboxed in a wood frame with a weathered rustic look reminiscent of barn board.
December 2020: Grandma's Vintage Purses
These two pretty purses belonged to a customer's grandmother. They didn't know much about them but we figure they're from the 1920s, when these styles were popular. As women claimed more independence in the 1920s, purses became a symbol of freedom for the modern woman (we've come a long way baby...). These sparkly beauties may have been evening bags for a night on the town, or for fancy daily use. We stitched the purses to mat board and shadowboxed them in shimmery metallic frames to show off their fabulous sparkle.
November 2020: The Boston Post Golden Cane
A New England Tradition! In 1909, the old Boston Post Newspaper gave these canes to 700 towns in New England, in the Post's circulation area. The canes are made of ebony and the tops are 14k gold, and they are presented, on loan, to the oldest living persons in those towns. Originally meant to boost publicity for the now-defunct newspaper, the tradition continues in many towns.
We shadowboxed this Hadley cane for the Friends of the Hadley Council on Aging who presented it for display in the new Hadley Senior Center. We attached it to a mat and backing panel with no adhesives or permanent attachments so it can be removed in future with no marks or damage to this antique cane.
p.s. over the years many canes have been lost or stolen, currently there are about 500 canes in existence.
October 2020: No Project is Too Big
We love the challenge of framing large and unusual things! We just framed this 8' antique panorama map of London from 1845. This cloth-backed map had been rolled up on a wood scroll for over 100 years.
A custom hand-wrapped linen mat and a solid dark cherry frame was special ordered, and we attached the frame to a custom aluminum mounting panel (made by our friends at Small Corp in Greenfield) - a lightweight and strong support for this long frame.
August 2020: Vote!
We've been admiring Jess Marsh Wissemann's exquisite hand lettering for a while, so we were delighted to frame a new project for her. She brought in this gorgeous (and timely) piece, reverse-painted on glass, with ideas for display and we found the perfect frame and silk backing mat to complement her art.
Jess explains: "This hand-lettered piece was created for the PreVinylette Suffragette Centennial exhibition showcasing women sign-painters at the Ford Gallery in Portland, Oregon. The lettering was inspired by ornate suffragette-era typography and was hand-drawn and gilded in reverse onto a glass panel using the traditional method of water-gilding with a gelatine size and authentic 23k gold leaf. The water-gilded outlines have an exquisite mirror finish, contrasted with matte-finish centers that were achieved by applying 23k gold leaf and 16k pale gold leaf with an oil size. The artist chose a deep gold gesso frame that allows the glass to float over a green silk backing. The green and gold palette are a subtle reference to another iteration of the design, which is planted in an 8-acre cornfield at Mike's Maze in Sunderland. Aerial images of the maze will soon be revealed at mikesmaze.com."
Learn more about Jess and her work at: hiredhandsigns.com
July 2020: Frame those puzzles
We love this puzzle of "Country Dog Gentlemen" by 20th century funk artist Roy De Forest!
You spent a lot of time putting that epic jigsaw puzzle together, wouldn't you like to preserve all that hard work? We got you. Frame your favorite pandemic puzzle: $175 for up to 22x28" or $200 for up to 24x36". Includes your choice of any of our stock frames, puzzle glue, spacers, and UV glass.
March 2020: Hello Dolly!
This was a surprise birthday gift for a customer's wife who is a huge Dolly Parton fan - it's her favorite Dolly photo!
The photo was in a concert tour program which was very glossy (and we didn't want to take apart a signed tour program), so we scanned it and made an archival print. We framed the print with a double mat and dark bronzed wood frame with a decorative fillet to compliment the dark sepia tones of the photo. It was finished with museum glass to protect this new treasured memento.
February 2020: Antique English Watch Sampler
A local antique dealer frequently brings us the most interesting things to frame. Recently he brought in this rare linen English pocket watch sampler with its watch paper, and a sweet circular frame he'd found that was a perfect fit for this tiny piece. We carefully conservation mounted the sampler to a mat with two little stitches, fit the frame with museum glass, and preserved the watch paper in mylar and attached it to back of the frame. (1" caramel for scale)
Our customer explained: One of the most elusive of all 19th century needlework pieces are Watch Samplers, small, round stitched mementos, usually made by a wife or daughter to be kept inside the case of a gentleman’s pocket watch. They are usually between 1 ¾” and 2 ¼” in diameter and sometimes have simple decorations, sometimes initials and on rare occasions, a full name or motto (“Jesus Wept” was a favorite — the shortest verse in the Bible), or a date. As you can well imagine, very few have survived. When I got this watch sampler, it came with a watch paper with hard-to-decipher writing (dated 1847) on the back. Watch papers were kept inside a pocket watch to protect the glass. Most were advertisements for a watch maker.
January 2020: Another great year!
Another year of framing amazing and interesting things, and with love, as always
Check out some of the amazing framing projects we've done over the past year!