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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The "A Rather Unique Undertaking At The Frame Shop" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Another day at Grebinger Gallery in the small town of Neffsville which is to the north of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Today's job was to mat and frame a Pennsylvania State Trooper's shirt which had his nameplate over his right pocket and his three colored award stripes over his left pocket.  On both sleeves were the Pennsylvania State Police patches that are worn by all policemen.  
Really neat uniform, but extremely hard to attach to the black suede mat which was my job.  The largest stock mats and glass we have are 32"X40" and the shirt was slightly larger than that when I tried to make sure the arm patches were shown.  I managed to drop the sleeves directly from the corner to display the patches.  The customer wanted us to display a special watch that I suppose had been presented to the trooper.  
Cutting the top two mats is done on the computerized mat cutter.
To do that I needed to have more depth than needed for just the shirt, so I place a second piece of black suede mat with a gold second mat and cut an opening for the shirt as well as the watch to show through.  Since there was too much black showing on either side of the watch, I added some gold stripes on either side.  The shirt was fastened by hand using fishing line so it wouldn't be seen.  I stitched the shirt at the collar as well as the top corners of the shirt.  
The top mat has been placed into the frame and I have added
the watch behind it with spacers for the shirt to be placed against.
I stitched the lapels of the shirt at the points and stitched the snap-on tie directly under the knot, in the center at the tie clasp and at the bottom into the button hole behind it.  To make sure the colored award stripes didn't move or bunch up, I placed a piece of mat board behind them and pushed the pins through the mat board before refastening them.  The large Pennsylvania State Police Trooper patches at the top of the sleeves were tough to attach because of the thickness of them.  The sleeves of the shirt tend to drop straight down instead of more to the side, but that was necessary in order to keep the price lower by using standard size glass and mat board.  
The final result with cardboard corners to protect
the edges of the frame.  There is some reflection
created by the lights in the gallery which will not
appear on the final framed piece.
The watch I placed over a thick piece of mat board to whitch I applied a piece of black suede.  The gold frame with the black suede really sets off the shirt and watch.  I'm sure the customer will love the job.  Total time to complete cutting and assembling the frame, sewing the shirt in place and preparing the watch as well as putting the glass into the frame and securing it, was about four hours.  Not sure what the cost was since I just handle the framing part of the job, but to the customer, I'm hoping it is priceless.  I love to frame jobs that take some thought and skill to complete.  Makes the time go very quickly while working.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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