Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Need to Know How to Frame Pastel Drawings? Try the American Frame Shadow Box Collection!

Although you can technically use any frame with a deep rabbet to create a shadow box effect, our Shadow Box collection of metal picture frames feature a built in channel and spacer that is specifically designed to showcase 3D and pastel artwork and anything in between! The channel separates the acrylic from the artwork, creating a dimensional appearance and a subtle sense of space within the frame treatment. Available in four anodized colors: gunmetal, which is a contrast grey; matte black; shiny gold; and shiny silver. These frames are clean, gallery worthy, economical and easy to assemble. Its 3/8” rabbet allow for additional separation of the art from the acrylic by using spacers or multiple mats.

Here, you can see the built in channel for the acrylic where the acrylic rests.
Here are some different scenarios where using a shadow box would be helpful:

(Image: “Jake Watches” by Janice Harris)
This pastel drawing is framed to image, meaning that we decided to exclude a mat board from the frame design. With typical picture frames (unless spacers are built in to the treatment), forgoing the mat would result in the artwork touching the acrylic. This could damage the artwork over time as acrylic has a slight electrical pull which is especially harmful to pastels. The built in channel of the Shadow Box creates an easy separation between the artwork and the acrylic and makes it effortless and less expensive to frame to image.
The follow examples use mat board to create even greater separation between the artwork and the acrylic:


(Image: “White Sands” by Connie Hammill)

(Image: “The Red Admiral” by Terri Gjoen)
Pastel drawings can be tricky to frame sometimes because of the dust they create. The static nature of the acrylic can sometimes pull dust bits from the artwork which adhere themselves to the plexi-glass or acrylic. By using one of our shadow box frames, the separation between the acrylic and artwork is about 1/8”. This will give less of a chance of dust particles sticking to the plex.  Creating more distance between the art and the acrylic by incorporating a single or double mat can also help with this.
There are endless applications for Shadow Boxes. Frame 3D objects like buttons or badges; t-shirts; memorabilia; puzzles, pastels or other works on paper. Whatever you can think of, you can try! Keep those precious objects and artworks protected so they can be enjoyed and displayed for years to come.
What have you framed inside a Shadow Box? We’ve seen anything from standard pieces of work on paper to dioramas to baby clothes and shoes and wedding bouquets.


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