When Barbara Ween, the owner of Visage Salon in Northampton explained that she wanted to frame and hang some prints of original watercolors that she purchased from a painter she was studying with, I figured no big deal. That is until she explained that she wanted the prints to appear to be floating off the wall.
I told her I would give it some thought and get back to her. It was an intriguing idea, but after researching it online and talking to some frame shops, I discovered that there were possible solutions but they all incolved some major roadblock.
So I decided to come up with my own plan. After considering a number of options I started with an aluminum sectional frame, designed to hold canvases and arranged it to hold two pieces of plexiglass, one in the front and one in the back and separated by 1″ spacers. This left an ample interior space to hold the floating print.
I bolted a quarter inch panel whose dimensions were slightly smaller than the print, to the back piece of plexiglass and then covered that with a slightly larger mat board, same size as the print, to mount the print to. I then hinge-mounted the print to the mat board and assembled the whole unit.
We ended up hanging these using clear fishing filament, but my plan B was to use a cleating system behind the panel on the back plexi that would have hidden completely the hanging mechanism. The frame would then appear to be mysteriously floating in front of the wall with the print magically floating inside the frame. The paintings are all surrounded by a white boarder, but between that border and the metal frame, the viewer sees through to the wall behind the print.
Barbara now has floating prints and a unique presentation. The image at the top of the page is the concept designed to scale, showing what I had in mind. Below is one of the prints viewed head on and below that, another viewed from the side.
In addition to designing signage, I also work on the design of interior display including storefronts and trade show booths. Though I’m not a framer by trade, I consider this an aspect of display design and as with many other areas of my work I mostly concentrate on the design and work with vendors (sign companies, printers, engravers, display fabricators, etc.) to focus on production. In this case, I was able to do the production and installation myself, since I couldn’t find a resource to take on this rather unusual project.