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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The "Another Memory Preserved Forever" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Keith just gave me another job to accomplish at the gallery where I work part-time doing matting and framing.  He told me I was going to enjoy this one, since it had so many parts to it.  I have worked at the Grebinger Gallery and Frame Shop in Neffsville, PA for over 15 years now, for a former student that I had in high school.  The jobs that involve a shadowbox and stitching are always fun and this one was no different.  Probably could show you better than tell you how I accomplished it, so I'll let the photos lead you through the two hour process of making the shadowbox for a customer.


The parts for the shadowbox are shown on the bottom left.  Baby's cap, two sets of baby booties, a heart with puzzle pieces around it and a photo in the center, metal rose, antique black and white photo, baby bracelet that read HINKLE,  hair tied with a bow, two rings tied together with a bow, leg and arm bands worn by the baby and a tooth fairy box which I assume had teeth in it.  The frame which was chosen is seen on the right and the fabric that the customer supplied for the background of the project is shown.  I took the fabric and dry-mounted it onto foam for the back of the job as well as the sides of the shadowbox.  I figured the box should be 14"x16" so I laid out the items on a preliminary sheet and cut the frame to that size.
All items needed to be stitched to the foam with the fabric applied to it.  I use a medium sized needle and fishing line to hold the pieces in place.  The fishing line will be clear so as not to be seen.  Some items, such as the ribbon endings, I glued in place rather than trying to stitch them.  I never use glue on something that would be ruined with the glue.  Here I am attracting the hair that had been tied with a bow.  I stitched it on either side of the bow with the fishing wire.
Here you can see the cap on the top left which I used 4 stitches to attach.  I placed the bracelet  inside the cap and attached that with a single stitch through the metal grommet in it.  The photo I attached with plastic photo corners which stick to the fabric.  The arm band which read HINKLE was sewn on either side with a single stitch which requires the use of a button on the rear to hold in place.  
Here you can see the rings held in place with two stitches and the bow which I used glue to hold in place.  On the right center is the tooth fairy box that I applied with glue.  If the customer every wanted to take the entire project apart, they could remove the glue easily from the box.  
One of the final items I added was the metal rose bud.  That I attached with two stitches with buttons.
This is the rear of the job showing you the stitches that were needed as well as some of the buttons that help hold certain items in place.
Here I am holding the final result in place to make sure that nothing will move when placed in the frame.  
After gluing the frame using clamps and metal fasteners, I line the sides of the shadowbox with the same fabric which also is attached to the foam board.  This photo was taken before I placed the glass inside the box.  The glass always makes it difficult to take a photo of the final work because of the reflection.  After taking this photo I took the pieces apart, added the glass and redid the sides one more time.  The rear of the job has a dust cover to prevent the stitches from being removed and to keep out insects.   This photo was taken by placing some of the remaining fabric under the final job.
Stop in at Grebinger Gallery in Neffsville, PA sometime to see what we can do with your memories or purchased prints that you need to have framed.  I'm sure you will enjoy the final result.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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