Jul 10, 2004
Can someone help me with this or point me to a previous thread?

The customer wants her papyrus painting sandwiched between glass. The finished size will end up being 68x26. I'm using UV plexi in front and clear plexi on the back.
How can I mount the papyrus (floating) between the plexi and how can I secure the finished piece in the moulding?
I'm pretty new in the business and your suggestions are welcome.
Sorry Phil, but I'll leave the serious answers of FACTS oriented "THIS IS THE ONLY WAY" to others.....

I have hated Papyrus tourist trinket stuff since the mid 70s, so I have little to no respect but I understand people who have gone on those kinds of trips and brought back the "Rosetta Stone of Papyruses" that they bought for $1.25. So if the customer understands that there is no intrinsic value past thier own enjoyment and its ok with them....... slap some atg on the back and sandwich the plexis together. If they had a museum piece, they wouldn't be sandwiching anyway.

Sandwiches are for P-butter, raisen, banana and jelly.

Welcome to the business. Keep your humor, some days it's all you got.

Unfortuantely, the little flyers that come with these items recommend sandwiching between glass. That's where your customers get the idea... I always dismiss that idea immediately, showing my vast expertise by offering at least three reasons why it is a bad technique. I emphasize that floating on a dark background such as black or dark brown will help emphasize the texture of the papayrus itself. (As we all know, this is much more interesting than the lame painting on the surface, but we keep that part to ourselves, right?) Then I always recommend a gold frame, since the Egyptians have been big on gold for thousands of years. As far as hinging, I've found that small linen tape (pass-thru) hinges will usually work. I try to hide them behind a chunky area of the papayrus for minimum visibility.
:cool: Rick
"Born in Arizona, Moved to Babylonia"
OK you guys, people who go to a great deal of trouble purchasing this so called junk, bringing it through customs, then home. Then bringing it to a custom picture framer, so that it can be displayed in their homes in a quality manner, do not need or appreciate a snobby attitude.

These so called cheap tourist things are a reminder of what is usually a once in a lifetime adventure. These "trinkets" can go on to become cherished family heirlooms.

Once they make it to a custom picture framing shop, they should be given the same respect as any other piece of "art" that comes in our direction. Granted, they may not need extreme conservation framing, but they should still get our respect.

When a new person goes to the trouble of registering on The Grumble, then asking, what to them is, a serious question, and then is treated in an insulting and flippant manner..... well, that just plain sucks, and it reflects badly on all of us.

Phil, welcome to The Grumble, I am sure that you will get some decent responses to your very valid question.

I have been framing for over 40 years and I am not positive about how you would attach the papyrus to Plexiglas. Myself, I think I would try some small dabs of Tacky Glue. To hold the whole thing in the frame, I would cut thin strips of wood, paint them to match the frame and pin or glue them in to hold the sandwich in place.

Like Rick, I try to talk customers out of the glass sandwich.

In the gift shops where these pieces are sold they are shown framed between two pieces of glass. And that would be fine if you live in a very dry climate (think mummies).

Papyrus is a vegetable product. If there is any moisture in between the pieces of glass, it WILL mildew.

If you point out the diffrence in relative humidity between Egypt and Florida, I think your customer will understand that what might work in the former would not be good framing in the latter.

Once over that hurdle, the piece will look good float mounted on black suede and fabulous with a black suede mat and gold fillet.

LJ's ivory deco frame with the gold lip looks like it was designed with papryus paintings in mind.

One word of caution - these things are never straight or square so leave lots of margin to minimize the crookedness of the painting.

Having said all that I must admit that I once let a customer talk me into the sandwich. It was a very small papyrus and putting it bewteen two pieces of plexi generated enough static to hold it.

Egyptian framing practices are not useful as a guide to good practices. Low cost tourist items
are a problem for framers, since their replacement cost is so high. One can cut slits in
one sheet of acrylic and pass starch and tissue
hinges through these slits, which allows the
papyrus to respond to changes in relative humidity
independant of the acrylic.

The original description doesn't say this is a cheap vacation souvenir, and I've never seen one so large. Most of the souvenir papyrus pieces I've framed have been 16x20 or smaller. For all we know, it may be "real" art of significant value, whether monetary or sentimental. Phil, what is the value of this piece, anyway?

Custom framed things have an average useful life exceeding three decades, in my humble estimation. Of course, dorm room posters may be destroyed in the first semester, and many framed heirlooms last more than a hundred years. Parents and grandparents still display framed items that were hanging when their grown children were in grade school. Fifty-year-old frames are common. We develop emotional attachments to the images we see every day, so we tend to keep them around.

We do a lot of re-framing for old pieces in good condition, which simply need color & style updates. And what's the primary reason for discarding them instead of updating the framing? Fading.

Regardless of value, anything custom framed deserves a design that would last at least thirty years, in normal ambient conditions and with normal care & caution by the owner.

Pressing the papyrus between sheets of anything would foster foxing & mildew. Condensation is a problem, as Kit points out, unless there's a generous air gap between the sheets. The air gap prevents abrasion and other damage from direct contact, as well, and allows it to acclimate to environmental changes, as Hugh points out.

Hugh's pass-through hinge idea works great, but use plenty of hinges. Or, a similar look may be created by hinging over the top edge of an undersized alphacellulose backing board, invisible behind the art, which may be glued to the acrylic background.

I wouldn't use any permanent or non-reversible adhesive, such as silicone. There are plenty of better alternatives, of similar cost & complexity.
The glass sandwich is only ment to be visible from the front. I attach a sheet of rag (just smaller than the papyrus) to the background plex. Then hinge like normal.
John- I agree. That's exactly why I try to talk them out of the glass sandwich approach. If a customer actually wants to be able to see the wall in the area between the piece and the frame, for valid aesthetic reasons, I use the method just mentioned by Jim and Dave, and provide enough spacing between the two layers of glazing that the art is away from the front piece. This is essentially an archival treatment. Of course this requires a relatively generous rabbet depth as well.
Explaining this process to the customer will generally weed out those who think the glass sandwich is a money-saving maneuver.
:cool: Rick

P.S.: Another whole issue is the structural stability of the entire package, and some decent-looking method of holding the stack of elements into the frame, as it will be visible from the front. Of course there's the old painted-strips-of-balsa squeeze-nailed into the rabbet technique. Anyone have any other preferred methods?
A narrow reverse bevel mat. Just wide enough to cover the staples. Reverse bevel so that dust won't show from the front.
When a customer walks into one of my stores, I am there to give them what they want. I try to explain the best and worst ways to do any project. Sometimes, more and more these days, price is a major factor. I always give my customers what they want. Period. If it is wrong, it's wrong. It keeps me in business and keeps them coming back.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU one and all for helping me out. you all have enlighten me abundently about this "sandwich" thing. It is a large peice and it does have personal value to her. (I guess memories (and bragging rights for being in Egypt) if nothing else. I have framed a few of these in a smaller size and the black suese is wonderfull. I called LJ about this and they kinda scratched their head and said " oh-oh".
When I foud this forum I spent H O U R S reading everything. You guys have a great sense of humor, and a lot of good experienced advice. If anyone out there needs input concerning large format digital printing ( I print on a 62" Colorspan) maybe I can help.