A close friend of ours, her husband and daughter are avid equestrians and spend a lot of time on the weekends riding their horses just over the border in Wisconsin. As their daughter has grown up with horses, she has entered a lot of riding competitions of various types. This particular one that she won was a very big deal for her and, while she was away at school, her mom wanted to bring in all the memorabilia attached to that event and have us design a suitable shadowbox frame for it to surprise her. I think we succeeded.
The items included were the ribbon for winning, a photo of her jumping the horse over an obstacle, an honorary license plate for completing the event, a ceramic bowl presented to the winner, the entry number she wore during the event and, most problematic, the horse blanket with the embroidered event and sponsor logos.
We ended up cutting out the central portion of the horse blanket, made of a stretchy polyester knit and fusion mounting it onto gator board panel with a circular hole cut in it to accommodate the ceramic bowl. We had to slit the material that covered the hole into triangular flaps, fold it back through the hole onto the back of the main platform, and adhere the fabric to the back, covering it with gaffer's cloth tape. When the bowl got inserted into the hole, it was temporarily held in place with gaffers tape and then a panel of masonite was silicone-adhered to the bottom edge of the bowl. These two items keep the bowl from moving around.
The license plate sign and entry number were cut out of red and gold silk mat boards. The mounts were, in fact, the fall-outs from the mats. We gave one of them rounded corners to mimic the item being displayed. These confections were, ultimately, adhered to foam board risers to make them hover over the fabric base.
The photo of the rider jumping her horse used the same mat boards, but we reversed the order of colors and put a riser underneath the whole thing to push it up above the ribbon.
The vertical inside edges of the shadowbox were covered with a blue linen mat board that matched the color of the horse blanket. We were unable to use the horse blanket material for the edges, as the edges tended to fray badly and there was no way to get a clean edge at the top or bottom of the lining "box strips."
We used Museum Glass to glaze the whole affair, which allows you to see everything perfectly with no distortion of color or detail. The frame is a black cap moulding from Omega with a small, inner step on the lip of the frame. Wall Buddies were used on the back of the frame for hanging.
Frame designed and executed by Brian D. Flax, CPF
Images shown by kind permission of Toby and Penelope Sachs.