Shadow Boxes: Floating Objects Like Magic


There is a saying in the industry that we go by “picture framer” because magician is not an official job title. Our bottom line is always quality. We aim to provide you with a conservation quality picture frame with a one-of-a-kind design.

Conservation quality means that we never use adhesives to mount your objects. So how do we make them float?

Its All in the Layers

Our picture framers are artists, craftsman, and materials experts by trade. Our shadowboxes are created in layers that work with gravity to securely imbed objects. We use acid free foam for anything that touches artwork. All of our matting is buffered to eliminate cellulose in the fibers, which is the component that causes yellowing and acidity over time. Sometimes, your heavier objects need a little extra.

Our custom framing workshop has a couple of options when evaluating your artwork for shadowbox mounting treatments including:

Polypropylene plastic comes in a variety of thicknesses and finishes. Our custom framers use polypropylene sheeting by Mylar or Linco for a method called direct contact overlay. This is for thin and fragile objects that need full support, such as an oversized print on thin paper with lots of tears.

This noninvasive, nondeteriorating, conservation plastic can be cut into straps to hold heavier objects. Our workshop has specialty ties with anchors that are as thin as fishing line and tabs as small as pinheads that secure your treasures without any noticeable trace to the eye.

Some objects such as the baseballs in this sample have a unique texture that does not allow the plastic to hide on its surface, so our materials experts get to work on finding a harmless alternative. In this case we went with a fine mesh overlay.

The signed baseball is protected by being wrapped in the mesh. A secret hole cradles the baseball in foam and allows for the mesh to be pulled through to the secret layers where our custom framers use zip-tie like straps to tie the baseball into the foam layers with the use of gravity to secure the ball in place.

The Real Fun is in the Mat Design

At the end of the day, its all about the display. Our designers will guide you in choosing a custom frame design that compliments the work visually, represents the historic accuracy of the piece displayed, and flows in harmony with your interior d├ęcor.

It is no easy feat to cut pin-stripe lines and clear lettering, but our artists are magicians after all. Bring your ideas to our design counter for a one-on-one consultation to create your next great custom frame display with specialty cuts, artistic matting, or dramatic lighting.