Mark It. February 2019.

We’re experimenting a little bit with the format of our newsletter. Publishing longer posts on our website provides an expanded newsletter and gives each project the room for detailed explanations.  Below are three features and project rundowns from our February newsletter.

MEMORABILIA MEMO: MUHAMMED ALI V. JOE FRAZIER

This was our very first sports memorabilia framing project and while it presented us with a number of challenges, we loved the way it turned out! The original frame package for these gloves signed by Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was a nightmare of poor framing techniques; inserted into a matted shadow box built out of foam core, the gloves were secured to the background with silicone adhesive and inset behind a red and black double window mat which flattened their dimension. This was perplexing as the shape of the gloves is what makes them interesting to look at, but it was clear they were presented to only display the signatures.  The entire original art package needed to be discarded and reworked to enhance the beauty of the memorabilia. 

After consulting with various conservators, it became clear that reversing the silicon adhesive originally used to secure the gloves was more detrimental to their condition than leaving them. Our task, then, was to incorporate the old mounts while representing the pieces in a new and elegant way. We elected to present the gloves in an acrylic box or vitrine with a custom built low-window "mat" carrier wrapped in an off-white linen. In contrast to the flatness of the original design, the new visual style focused on the dynamics of the gloves. Again, the goal here was to complement the memorabilia. Finally, we had the information on the original black and silver plates re-engraved on a more classic bronze-colored aluminum with black lettering, adding balance to the color of the linen and provenance to the gloves.

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT: AMY NATHAN

This framing project for Amy was one of our favorites in 2018. We hand built and finished these Ash frames with contrasting walnut splines, white wash stain and flat clear topcoat. Using a white wash stain over walnut can yield different results depending on what you are trying to achieve and many woodworking purists would call it blasphemy, but introducing this small detail to the frame makes it stand out in a beautifully subtle way. This piece “Polka Dot Milky Way,” 2016, ink, watercolor, and acrylic on paper, 50" × 38" inches was hinged mounted to a 1/8" riser and secured to its background with a 3/4" reveal all around. This is one of two pieces we completed for Amy for the same project. Each was 41" × 51". 

You can see more of Amy's work here.

Project Rundown: EmMy Lou Packard

Emmy Lou Packard's monotone block print layers create the depth and scale seen in this piece. She used contrasting inks in a similar tonal range to give depth and texture; the grain of the wood emulates the fog giving this piece a haunting quality. Featuring a grain tower in Mendocino and its resident sheep, the piece has a quiet mood familiar to rural Northern Californians. Due to the delicate nature of the paper, this piece was hinge-mounted directly to the background to avoid the appearance of the hard lines from a riser or pedestal. This was done using Japanese Tengucho hinging paper and wheat paste. To reduce color interference, we used our custom grey stain on walnut to match the tonal range of the piece. The warmth in the walnut gives the grey a unique tone, and the grain pattern gives texture to a flat finish.