One of my favorite techniques when framing, is a float. First, what is the difference between floating a piece of art or just putting it in a shadow box? The main difference is the height of the frame. Shadow boxes are normally intended for larger items such as jerseys, guitars, textiles, even shoes! So the frame generally has to be substantially taller to allow space between the item and the glass. Floating can be used with smaller frames used in normal/traditional framing.
Certain paper pieces have deckle edges, the feathered edges give the piece character and I don’t like to cover that up with a mat or a frame. This is where a “float” comes in handy. It creates a dramatic effect that makes the art appear to be hanging in space. The piece isn’t confined to a certain space inside a traditional mat with a beveled edge, it is on top of an uncut mat so the piece has no border. You are not just confined to floating paper pieces either. You can float canvas, photographs, artwork on board, sculptures, pretty much anything! You can also still have the double mat look with a fillet between mats. If you decide to go against the double mat, an acrylic spacer is placed between the glass and the art to assure that the glass does not touch the artwork itself. Even though the piece is “hinged” to stay in place, it is completely removable and does not do any damage to the piece. Floating is a great way to enhance the edges of any piece of artwork.
To see more about shadow boxes click here!