09 January 2009

On the Scarcity of Eight by Eight Frames

A while back, I found a piece of embroidered artwork at the Purple Moon (an import store in downtown Pocatello). The art itself is about 4 inches by 4 inches, and still pricey since the process of making the art is extremely intricate, and it was mounted on an 8-inch piece of backer-board with an 8" by 8" matte attached.

There started the attempt to find a frame for it. My first find was an actual eight-by-eight frame from, of all places, a dollar store. It wasn't until I got it home that I could take it out of the plastic and discover that the backer-board was too thick to slide into the frae. Trying to separate the embroidered silk from the board would likely have ruined it, and trying to widen a very cheap, plastic frame would have ruined the frame. So that was out. Next I came across a frame that I thought was eight-by-eight, though it was matted for a four-by-six photograph. I pulled the matte out... and discovered that it was just slightly smaller than eight-by-eight. I debated using a jig-saw on the backer-board, but figured I'd look around some more before risking ruining the piece.

Finally, I came across some framed artwork on clearance at Ross. The bits that had been mounted inside the sealed frames had come unglued. The frames were larger than eight-by-eight, but they were square, and the display area inside was roughly eight-by-eight. So I bought one of these and used a paring knife to get the backing off. Then I removed the intended artwork, glued the backer-board in its place ... and needed a way to seal the frame back up. I could have glued or nailed it, but I liked the idea of being able to get back into the frame if I wanted. I wandered through various hardware sections, and found these connectors at Fred Meyer:

The screws actually came from Lowe's, as Fred Meyer didn't have any that were small enough. But these work beautifully. Attach them just outside the backing for the frame the frame, and you can rotate the plastic piece in to hold the backing in place ... or out to allow the backing to come out again. I attached four of these.

At any rate, here's the finished, framed piece:

I would have loved to get one of the larger pieces, but the prices went up rather steeply from this one. I think the 8.5" by 11" matted ones were $45, and the next size up (can't remember dimensions now) was around $60 or $80. Not bad, considering that the embroidery is done by hand, but more than I could afford.

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