Instructables
Picture of Poured Concrete Picture Frame
Some ideas are so stupid you just have to try them out, right?

We recently acquired a whimsical yet edgy drawing from acclaimed New York artist Glenn Palmer-Smith.  The theme is Russian, and although I have made many picture frames over the years, I felt this piece called for something special.  When I thought about Russia, the stark concrete architecture from the Soviet era came to mind, so a frame with the same look seemed just right.
 
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Step 1: Sketch of Cross-section

Picture of Sketch of Cross-section
Illustration (1) is a cross section of the form I had to build.  I decided on a frame width of 2 1/2" and a depth of 1 1/2".  I also bought a pre-cut piece of glass which closely matched the size of the drawing -- 16" X 24".  I bought a pre-cut piece of 1/2 " birch plywood to use as a backing for the form.  I had a few odds and ends of 2 x 4s around from which all of the other form materials were made from (table saw needed).

Step 2: Interior Form Edge Installed

Picture of Interior Form Edge Installed
On Illustration (2) you see strips ripped to 1" x 1" and nailed in place on the back-board.  The dimension of the outer edge of these strips is the inside dimension of the picture frame.  Since the glass and artwork were 18" x 24" the outer dimensions of these pieces is 17" x 23" to allow for a 1/2" inset all around for mounting the glass and artwork from the back.  I went to the trouble of mitering the corners so the form would be smooth all the way into the inside corners.

Step 3: Outer Form Edge and Form Inset

Picture of Outer Form Edge and Form Inset
Illustration (3) shows the outer sides of the form installed.  The distance between the outer and inner form walls is 2 1/2".  Also shown is the first of four strips which were screwed in place -- these pieces  provide the form inset for the 1/2" x 1/2" rear groove where the glass and artwork will go.
courtervideo (author) 11 months ago

Hi obrown4: On the first cross section drawing and on step 4 you can see how the dovetail "hanging inserts" are supported by the "hanging strips." After the concrete is hard, the "hanging strips" are removed, but the dovetail shaped "hanging strips" remain permanently in the back of the frame. They are used to install the necessary hook eyes and wire for hanging. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for your comment, Phil

obrown411 months ago

So cool! anchored on a stud the frame shouldn't be too bad, i do have on question i see the hanging insert and assume you pour the concrete smoosh the stop on with the hanging insert and let cure. How do you get the hanging insert out? i'm having trouble figuring that part out. i'm making a project for my wife with poured concrete now i know what to do with the extra.

Laerkai2 years ago
Putin on the Ritz?
courtervideo (author)  Laerkai2 years ago
You got it!!

You can see more of the artist's work at glennpalmer-smith.com
mikeasaurus2 years ago
Great work, the exposed rebar gives it a look of age and I love it!
MaryT8M2 years ago
Man in the Moon?
courtervideo (author)  MaryT8M2 years ago
I don't know if you see other comments, so I will tell you: "Putin on the Ritz"
LOL I "see" it now.....I didn't pay attention to the little holes in the cracker......and obviously didn't recognize Putin.
courtervideo (author)  MaryT8M2 years ago
Yes, the artist is doing a whole series of "pun" drawings. You can imagine what his "Melon - Collie - Baby" one looks like...
bet it's good
courtervideo (author)  MaryT8M2 years ago
You can learn more about the artist at glennpalmer-smith.com. He is the most originally creative person I have ever met. Do see his galleries on the web site.
dchall82 years ago
Nice!! Something you might consider for your next project is to use copper wire instead of rebar. Expose the copper and it eventually turns green and gives a much different look.
courtervideo (author)  dchall82 years ago
Yes, I love corroded copper. But we were looking for a Soviet concrete structure look here.
So you've been to Moscow, too. I've never seen so much broken concrete in my life.
courtervideo (author)  dchall82 years ago
I think everyone in my family has been to Moscow except me -- but I have seen enough photos to get the idea.
ilpug2 years ago
Putin on the Ritz!
courtervideo (author)  ilpug2 years ago
Of Course! Thanks for writing!!
ChrysN2 years ago
Vladimir Putin on the Ritz. A unique frame from a unique drawing.
Out of curiosity, how much does the final frame weigh?
courtervideo (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
I was afraid someone would ask that. It's heavy, about 25 lb. But that's not too horrible if you compare to a big picture and frame.