Welcome to our Fall Framers Corner. Check out this unique and rare project from our Gallery Manager, Designer, and Framer Heather T.....

For those of you who may not 
know, our gallery manager is 
not just a framer and occasional 
artist, but she also has a degree 
in Art History.  

When this specific art piece came in, she was so delighted because this type of art is no longer allowed to be done in most areas, so framing it was an exciting moment for her.
Before we get into the framing portion of this piece, Heather wanted to share a little bit of history behind the art. In the medieval and early modern eras (ca. 1200-1600), a new type of funeral art had appeared in western Europe. 
Tombs inside churches, most often of wealthy and powerful people, were topped with large decorative stone or brass plaques, which had replaced the traditional three dimensional alabaster or other stone sculpture.
These brasses served as the memorials to the men and women who lay beneath and they sometimes held symbols or other visual references of their status and society.
Brass had a number of advantages over alabaster figures and incised stone slabs on church floors. The metal was durable and capable of taking engravings, and since it was flat, it could be placed anywhere in the church. In addition, these brass figures did not have to be full-sized portraits.
Brass rubbings were originally created by laying a sheet of butcher's paper over the piece and rubbing the paper with a waxy glob of black crayon. Later and, in certain areas, are now made using a heavy duty black almost velvety paper material and are rubbed with gold, silver, or bronze crayons. With the popularity of brass rubbings, they slowly wear away the brass, resulting in the banning of rubbings in most places.
This particular piece is just one of the many this local Montanan family has collected and researched over the years.

Our customer, Jaime, grew up traveling throughout England with her family and one of the things they would do, was to go to churches that had these brass memorial images and create rubbings of them. This one in particular was done somewhere between 1968-1972, using a black almost waxy material with a gold/bronze crayon.
It was later cut out into the shape of the women's figure. It was kept rolled and stored for many years, until our customer was ready to frame this magnificent piece.
Jamie and her family wanted the framing to be done similar to earlier framed pieces, however, the way the earlier pieces had been done was not as archival, so there were some changes made this time around

Heather and Jaime decided on a simple Matte Black acid-free mat, which Heather then floated the rubbing on top of using Mulberry Paper and Rice Starch.

The cutout in the mat for this particular piece was quite the challenge since it was not just a standard shape.
Heather Was able to create the special cutout using multiple shapes, all of which were layered together to create one cohesive shape to attach the Mulberry Paper behind the rubbing.

Lastly, the frame added the final touch. This small frame has an accent of gold beading on the inside to highlight the gold rubbing and the help separate the black mat from the black frame.

With a closer look,
you can see the black frame also has a delicate design to help bring out the intricate designs in the clothing of the woman depicted.
Overall, this piece may have a simple design but it has the perfect affect to make the rubbing stand out.
Jamie was very happy with the end product and so was her son, who now owns this very special piece.

1706 Brooks Street
Missoula, MT 59801