The process for this final photography frame was not as simple as it may seem.
The idea was to take two materials and join them using something else for that purpose. I decided to play with magnets and some other material to create something interesting. I the thought about delicate, soft and light materials such as paper or light wood or even fabric. I also decided to avoid the use of glues or traditional joining methods as screws and nails. I made that a rule. I first started to play with the polarity and properties of the magnets. They seemed so nice at the beginning…
After a while I started noticing how sensitive they are, and how strong! (sounds like the perfect catch)
So I played with them and wood and created figures making junctures with magnets putting the wood together. So I then thought about bringing some functionality to the idea of joining wood and metal without gluing or using screws or nails, or staples. I then remembered I just received some nice photos from a recent holiday. So I decided to make a minimalistic kind of frame, that would allow the user to put a picture easily and also to change it for another, that way rotating the pictures once in a while… Another issue about framing photography is the problem of gluing the picture to a surface. It’s quite expensive and often difficult to do. You better us expensive acid free glue and acid free mat boards, etc. And after you complete the expensive process of doing such, you already want to frame a different picture instead of the one you invested your money in.
So I tried to make a very simple frame only using soft light wood, the photo printed on photographic paper, and wood to work as the structure between the paper and the metal structure. After 5 hours or more of struggling with the magnets and losing all the structures by the point before I finished to make the frame. I had to redesign many times on the fly, so it could work many times, with different users.
It finally worked when I started to remove more and more magnets and elements like wood. I found out that the Bauhaus principle “less is more” really applied to this idea. So after fighting against magnetism and it’s treacherous behavior, I finally could assemble the frame. It’s a beautiful frame, but it’s not as practical as you could imagine. You have to be very careful when dealing with magnets while you mount your pictures. One minor movement and they go crazy!
In the end the result is magnetizing, its beautiful to see how straight and flat the pictures look and how the light and brittle quality of photographic paper is displayed. The downside is how fragile this frame can be… But then again, it’s built for being changed and customized, not as a permanent frame.