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220 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 431-9588

See-Through Diploma Frame

A Swiss client, in town for only a few days, had a certificate that he wanted to bring back home with him, framed, and needed it fairly quickly. He indicated that he wanted the certificate to float between two pieces of glass and wanted it to be surrounded by a very thin gold mat or fillet. While framing this way is not considered archival (with the glass touching the paper object), this did not appear to be a consideration on his part. Our frame we selected was the Larson Juhl #411432 "Zen" collection wood in matte gold, a 1 1/4" wide frame.

Stacked inside of the frame lip is a Larson-Juhl silver rope enhancer (#181112). However, in order to hide the framers points that were used to hold the two, sandwiched sheets of glass in place, we cut an etched matted gold mat (i.e. not shiny gold, but covered in a Florentine etch pattern). The mat was just wide enough to fit under the lip of the enhancer, but still able to hide the framers points (see the detail photo). Glass used was True-Vue AR anti-reflective glass, which appears nearly invisible.

We used a few very small bits of acid-free 3M ATG tape to anchor the certificate in place on the rear sheet of glass, cut a very thin mat of the same matboard we used for the outer mat and ATG'd it to the glass. It helped also hold the edge of the document (diploma) in place. Then, we carefully taped the edges of the glass to each other to create a tight package and pointed it all into the frame. We had to cut a narrow mat with a reverse bevel made from 8-ply mat board to add thickness behind the glass. Without it, we could not have pointed the glass and mat into place. And because our computerized mat cutter would not cut a mat thinner than 1 1/2" wide out of 8 ply board, we made a mat with a larger border out of 8 ply and cut it down to fit the opening.

We used two "D" ring hangers for hanging, since wire would be visible in the open glass areas. We also could have used one or 2 sawtooth hangers. We packed it up and overnighted it to Madison , Wisconsin in time for the client to take it back to Switzerland.

Designed and executed by Brian Flax, CPF

Images by kind permission of Dr. Lehman.