Title:
Artwork Assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An artwork assembly and method is disclosed for providing a reveal between a dimensional support medium and a frame.



Inventors:
Peters, Jon (Red Bank, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/561829
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
11/20/2006
Assignee:
Peters, Jon (Red Bank, NJ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100043264PORTABLE ADVERTISING PLATFORMFebruary, 2010Johnson Jr.
20080028651Post-Disaster Notification SystemFebruary, 2008Katz et al.
20090241389ROTATABLE WHEEL ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS FOR MAKING THE SAMEOctober, 2009Puisis
20080034631Length adjustable pole display systemFebruary, 2008Kim et al.
20090300958Cake decorating mementoDecember, 2009Aguiar
20100071238LED DYNAMIC ADVERTISING LAMP BOX AND METHOD FOR MAKING SAMEMarch, 2010Guo
20060225330Visor signOctober, 2006Dion-winn
20010037591Outdoor sign with sealed sign moduleNovember, 2001Nicholson et al.
20060236568Greeting card-gift card-postage stamp assemblyOctober, 2006Switzer et al.
20100058631ATTENTION-ATTRACTING DEVICEMarch, 2010Oonishi
20070094902WIND RESISTANT MAGNETIC LETTER HOLDERS FOR LARGE SIGNSMay, 2007Petrocy



Primary Examiner:
HOGE, GARY CHAPMAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kaplan Breyer Schwarz, LLP (Matawan, NJ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An artwork assembly comprising: a dimensional support medium having an art-bearing surface and a lip, wherein said lip depends from a marginal region of said dimensional support medium; and a frame, wherein said frame receives said support medium and, when so received, said lip creates a reveal between said art-bearing surface and said frame.

2. The artwork assembly of claim 1 wherein said dimensional support medium has a thickness in a range of about one-half inch to about two and one-half inches.

3. The artwork assembly of claim 1 wherein said dimensional support medium is selected from the group consisting of stretched canvas, wood block, and medium density fiberboard.

4. The artwork assembly of claim 1 wherein said lip is an integral portion of said dimensional support medium.

5. The artwork assembly of claim 1 wherein said lip is a discrete element that is attached to said dimensional support medium.

6. The artwork assembly of claim 1 further comprising a fastening system, wherein said fastening system detachably couples said dimensional support medium to said frame.

7. The artwork assembly of claim 6, wherein said fastening system comprises tenons and rabbets.

8. A method for forming an artwork assembly, wherein the method comprises: providing a frame; providing a dimensional support medium having an art-bearing surface; and forming a lip at a marginal region of said dimensional support medium, wherein said frame and lip are dimensioned and arranged to create a reveal when said dimensional support medium and lip are received by said frame.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the operation of forming a lip further comprises attaching a flange to said dimensional support medium.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the operation of forming a lip further comprises removing material from said dimensional support medium.

11. The method of claim 8 further comprising providing a fastening system by which said dimensional support medium is detachably coupled to said frame.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the operation of providing a fastening system comprises: providing tenons, wherein said tenons are coupled to said dimensional support medium; and forming rabbets, wherein said rabbets are formed in said frame.

13. An artwork assembly comprising: a frame having an inside perimeter; a backing board, wherein said backing board is disposed within said frame and is set back from a front surface of said frame; a dimensional support medium having an art-bearing surface and a back surface, wherein said dimensional support medium and said frame are dimensioned such that when said dimensional support medium is received within said frame, a reveal is formed between said art-bearing surface and said frame; and a fastening system for detachably coupling said support medium to said back-board.

14. The artwork assembly of claim 14 wherein a first part of said fastening system is disposed on said back surface of said support medium and a second part of said fastening system is disposed on said backing board.

15. The artwork assembly of claim 15 wherein said fastening system comprises swatches of hook and loop fastener.

16. The artwork assembly of claim 14 further comprising a plurality of set-offs, wherein said set-offs determine the size of said reveal.

17. The artwork assembly of claim 16 wherein said set-offs are attached to said back surface of said dimensional support medium, and wherein said set-offs extend a distance beyond a perimeter of said dimensional support medium, and further wherein said distance is substantially equal to a size of said reveal.

18. The artwork assembly of claim 14 further comprising springs, wherein said springs are disposed in holes within said frame, and wherein said springs provide at least one of the following functions: (a) center said dimensional support medium within said frame; and (b) fasten said dimensional support medium to said frame.

Description:

STATEMENT OF RELATED CASES

This case claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/776,074, which was filed on Feb. 23, 2006 and is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to artwork and its presentation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Artists typically paint on stretched canvas. It is often desirable to display these “works on canvas” in a frame. If the framing is done professionally, the framed work will usually incorporate a “reveal.” The reveal, which is a small gap between the canvas and the surrounding frame, generally provides an attractive presentation that complements the artwork.

Several approaches are known in the prior art to form a reveal in a framed work on canvas. These approaches have their drawbacks, especially from the perspective of an artist wishing to frame his or her work for display and sale.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,052,136 discloses the use of “mounting devices” to frame a work on canvas. To use the mounting devices, the canvas is placed in the center of a frame. The frame and canvas are sized so that there will be a gap between the canvas and the inner perimeter of the frame. The mounting devices, which in some embodiments include a rigid rod having mounting brackets at each end, are then positioned so that they span the gap between the frame and canvas. In some embodiments, one mounting device is positioned near each corner of the frame/canvas. Each mounting device is then attached to the frame and the stretched canvas using the brackets via nails or screws.

This framing technique is alignment-sensitive and tedious. In particular, it requires that the canvas is perfectly centered within the frame. It also requires attaching the mounting devices to the frame at four locations and to the canvas at four locations. With two screws per bracket at each end of the mounting device, sixteen screws must be installed to frame a canvas. If the canvas is not properly centered, then all mounting devices must be detached, the canvas and frame must be re-centered, and the mounting devices re-attached. Depending upon the size of the frame and, concomitantly, the amount of real estate available for accepting screws, there might be a very limited ability to re-position the mounting members and screws, if needed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,112 discloses a frame for use with works on canvas, works on paper, and printed works. The salient features of the frame are an inner frame that receives the artwork and an outer frame that serves a purely aesthetic purpose. There is a gap (i.e., reveal) between the inner frame and the outer frame. The inner frame comprises four “walls” that are intended to snugly receive the canvas. According to the patent, this inner wall or inner frame disappears from view, effectively merging with the side walls of the stretched canvas. As a consequence, all that is discernable to a viewer is the canvas, the reveal, and the outer frame.

This patent discloses that the frame is preferably made of aluminum, plastic, or of another extrudable material, due presumably to the complexity of the frame design. This might be acceptable for a hobbyist, but not for a professional, who is likely to prefer a high-quality wood frame.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,112 discloses that to prepare a work on canvas for framing, mounting elements must first be attached to each of the four stretcher bars over which the canvas is stretched. The mounting blocks can be, for example, wood, which is nailed or screwed to the side of each stretcher bar.

The mounting blocks are received by a channel that is formed by two “lips” that the extend from the inner frame. If the mounting blocks are not properly positioned (i.e., level and at the proper height) on the side of each stretcher bar, the work on canvas will either not fit into the frame, or it will be lopsided such that the surface of the canvas will not be flush with the front surface of the inner frame.

It is apparent that both of the framing systems described above require a fairly high level of skill to properly align and install the various framing elements. If an artist who lacks such skill attempts to frame a work on canvas using the aforementioned systems, the outcome is more likely to detract from the art than complement it.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a way to frame a dimensional support medium, such as stretched canvas, without some of the disadvantages of the prior art. In particular, some embodiments of the invention provide a dimensional support medium (with an art-bearing surface) that is physically adapted to “automatically” form a reveal when coupled to a frame.

The present invention is described in terms of two primary illustrative embodiments. These embodiments are distinguished by the thickness of the dimensional support medium being framed and the differences in the configuration of the artwork assembly that consequently result. Notwithstanding such differences, in both of these embodiments, a reveal is created by simply coupling the dimensional support medium to the frame.

In a first embodiment, the dimensional support medium has a thickness greater than about ¼ inch, and more typically in the range of about ½ to 2½ inches. Typical examples of support mediums included within this size range include stretched canvas, wood block, medium density fiberboard (“MDF”), other stable materials, and canvas or paper mounted onto wood, MDF, foam core, or other stable materials. Those skilled in the art will recognize that large-size pieces of relatively dense support mediums, such as wood and MDF, will be quite heavy. These dimensional support mediums are therefore more suitable for use as painting surfaces for relatively smaller works of art (e.g., less than 30 inches×30 inches). Stretched canvases are, however, significantly lighter than solid wood or MDF and are often used as a painting surface for very large works of art.

In accordance with the first embodiment, a lip depends from a marginal region of the dimensional support medium.

The dimensional support medium couples to a frame. In some embodiments, the outer dimensions of the lip are slightly smaller than the inside dimensions of the frame so that the support medium fits, with minimal clearance, within the frame. When the frame and dimensional support medium are so configured, the lip “automatically” creates a gap—the reveal—between the frame and the sides of the dimensional support medium.

A fastening system detachably couples the dimensional support medium to the frame. The frame is typically somewhat deeper than the dimensional support medium to accommodate this.

In some embodiments, the dimensional support medium and frame are sold together as a kit or “artwork assembly.” In some of these embodiments, the lip, fastening system and dimensional support medium are preassembled. As a consequence, nothing is required of the artist, after creating a work of art on the art-bearing surface of the dimensional support medium, other than to simply insert the support medium into the frame and engage the fastening system. Doing so will provide a framed work of art with a reveal that separates the art from the frame.

In some other embodiments, the dimensional support medium, lip and fastening system can be provided together in the kit with a frame, but unassembled or partially assembled. In such embodiments, the artist simply attaches the lip to the dimensional support medium. In preferred embodiments, alignment fiducials, predrilled holes, or the like are provided to simplify the alignment task and avoid any potential for misalignment. The fastening system can be pre-coupled to the lip or this task can be left for the artist.

The first embodiment therefore provides the artist with a relatively thicker dimensional support medium with art-bearing surface that “automatically” creates a reveal, by virtue of the lip, when coupled to a suitably-sized frame. This is quite desirable and offers a significant advantage over the prior art, wherein a specially-designed frame or auxiliary mounting devices are required to create a reveal.

In this regard, the specially-designed frame of U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,112 effectively limits the artist's choice of framing materials to extruded materials (e.g., aluminum, plastic, etc.). Furthermore, while many artists have the ability to create beautiful and captivating works of art, they often do not possess the carpentry skills required to frame a work on canvas in a way that complements it using either of the prior-art framing techniques discussed above. Although an artist could send the artwork to a framer, this represents a significant expense that might either increase an artist's costs (thereby decreasing the profit on a sale) or impact the salability of their works (by forcing a higher selling price). On the other hand, the first embodiment of the present invention provides the artist with a trivially-easy system for obtaining a professional-looking framing job that complements a work on a relatively thicker dimensional support medium, such as a work on canvas, wood block, MDF, or the like.

In a second embodiment in accordance with the present invention, the dimensional support medium has a thickness that is about ¼ inch or less. Typical examples of support mediums included within this range include masonite and hardwood panels.

As in the first embodiment, the dimensional support medium couples to a frame. In some embodiments, the frame incorporates a backing board. The backing board is disposed within the region that is defined by the perimeter of the frame. The backing board is set back an appropriate distance from the front of the frame to receive the dimensional support medium.

To couple the dimensional support medium to the frame, a fastening system is used. The fastening system advantageously enables the dimensional support medium to be easily removed from the backing board and frame. Furthermore, when the dimensional support medium is coupled to a frame using the fastening system, a reveal is formed.

In some embodiments, the fastening system comprises small swatches of hook-and-loop fasteners (i.e., Velcro® brand) that are disposed in complementary locations on both the back of the dimensional support medium and the front surface of the backing board. When the dimensional support medium is pressed against the backing board, the hook-and-loop fasteners engage, thereby coupling the dimensional support medium to the frame.

Other fastening systems and/or centering systems, as will occur to those skilled in the art after reading the present disclosure, can suitably be used to couple the dimensional support medium to the frame and facilitate formation of the reveal.

In some embodiments, the dimensional support medium is simply centered by eye within the frame to create the reveal and will remain in place due to the hook-and-loop fasteners, etc. This approach is best suited to relatively smaller dimensional support mediums (e.g., 12×12 or less).

In some other embodiments, set-offs are attached to the dimensional support medium. The set-offs extend beyond perimeter of the dimensional support medium. When the dimensional support medium is inserted into the frame, it “automatically” centers and a reveal is formed.

In the second embodiment, the frame and support medium are sold as a kit or “artwork assembly.” Similar to the first embodiment, to frame a work that is created on the dimensional support medium, and to form a reveal in the framed work, the dimensional support medium is simply inserted into the frame such that the fastening system engages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a top perspective view of an artwork assembly in accordance with the illustrative embodiment of the present invention. A “reveal” is formed between the inner edge of the frame and the outer edge of a dimensional support medium.

FIG. 2A depicts a perspective view of a first embodiment of a dimensional support medium, flange, and lip for use in conjunction with the artwork assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2B depicts an exploded view of an alternative embodiment of a flange/lip for use in conjunction with the illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2C depicts a sectional view of a further implementation of a dimensional support medium, wherein the dimensional support medium includes integral lips that are suitable for use in conjunction with the artwork assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts a sectional view of the dimensional support medium of FIG. 2A as coupled to a frame, which is one implementation of the artwork assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 depicts a back view of the artwork assembly that is depicted in FIG. 3. This view depicts an embodiment of a fastening system for coupling the dimensional support medium to the frame.

FIG. 5 depicts a side view of a frame member of the frame of the artwork assembly of FIG. 4. This Figure depicts a slot or rabbet that is formed in the frame member, wherein the rabbet receives a tenon, such as shown in FIG. 4, to couple the dimensional support medium to the frame.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of a second embodiment of a dimensional support medium for use in conjunction with the artwork assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 depicts a front perspective view of a frame, including a backing board, for use in conjunction with the dimensional support medium depicted in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8A depicts a sectional view of the frame and backing board of FIG. 7 along the line A-A.

FIG. 8B depicts, via a sectional view, the dimensional support medium of FIG. 6 coupled to the frame and backing board of FIGS. 7 and 8A. This Figure depicts a second implementation of the artwork assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 depicts a view of the bottom surface of the support medium of FIG. 6, wherein, in some embodiments, set-offs are coupled to the bottom surface at the midpoint of each side.

FIG. 10 depicts a sectional view of the second implementation of the artwork assembly, as depicted in FIG. 8B, with the addition of set-offs, as depicted in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11A depicts a partial view of a frame for use in conjunction with the second embodiment of the dimensional support medium, where a spring-biasing element is used to both create a reveal and detachably couple the dimensional support medium to the frame.

FIG. 11B depicts the frame of FIG. 11A, wherein the dimensional support medium is received by the frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 depicts artwork assembly 100 in accordance with the illustrative embodiment of the present invention. The artwork assembly comprises frame 102 and dimensional support medium 110 that includes major surface 112.

Frame 102 is composed of four frame members 104A, 104B, 104C, and 104D that are attached to one another. Spline joints, wedges, nails, screws, and/or glue are typically used to attach the frame members to one another. The frame members are preferably, but not necessarily, made from wood, usually from species such as maple, cherry, mahogany, or walnut. In some alternative embodiments, the frame members are made of different materials, including, without limitation, metal or plastic.

Major surface 112 of the dimensional support medium is the surface to which paint, charcoal, ink, etc., is applied, to create a work of art. This surface is hereinafter referred to as “art-bearing surface 112.” It is to be understood that this moniker is used to refer to surface 112 whether it bears art or is, as yet, un-worked.

In the embodiment that is depicted in FIG. 1, art-bearing surface 112 of the dimensional support medium is substantially co-planar with front face 106 of frame 102. As described in further detail later in this specification, in some other embodiments, the art-bearing surface is recessed relative to front face 106. In yet still further embodiments, art-bearing surface 112 projects forward of front face 106.

Innermost perimeter 108 of frame 102 is dimensioned to be slightly larger than perimeter 114 of the dimensional support medium so that reveal 116 is formed therebetween. The reveal has a substantially uniform size; that is, it does not significantly vary in size from location to location around art-bearing surface 112. As a matter of aesthetics, reveal 116 has a width that is typically in the range of about one-eighth to about one-half of an inch, but can be any size.

Artwork assembly 100 adopts one of two primary “internal” configurations as a function of the thickness of the dimensional support medium being framed.

More particularly, in a first configuration, the dimensional support medium has a thickness that is greater than about ¼ inch. While the invention imposes no upper limit as to the thickness of the dimensional support medium, most such mediums will be no thicker than about 2½ inches or so. Examples of support mediums greater than about ¼ inch, and more typically within the range of about ½ to 2½ inches include, without limitation, stretched canvas, wood block, medium density fiberboard (“MDF”), other stable materials, and canvas or paper mounted onto wood, MDF, foam core, or other stable materials.

The artwork assembly has a second configuration when the dimensional support medium has a thickness of about ¼ inch or less. Typical examples of support mediums in this size range include masonite and hardwood panels.

FIRST EMBODIMENT

Dimensional Support Mediums that are Thicker than about One-Quarter of an Inch

FIGS. 2A through 5 depict the configuration of artwork assembly 100 when the dimensional support medium has a thickness that is greater than about one-quarter of an inch.

Referring now to FIG. 2A, dimensional support medium 210 and flange 218 are shown. The flange is attached to the lower major surface (i.e., the surface opposite to art-bearing surface 112) of dimensional support medium 210. Flange 218 is sized so that it projects beyond dimensional support medium 210, thereby forming lip 220.

In some embodiments, the flange is a piece of material having the same shape as dimensional support medium 210 (e.g., square, rectangular, etc.), but is slightly larger. In such embodiments, the dimensional support medium is centered on the flange. Since the flange is larger than dimensional support medium 210, a marginal region of flange 218 extends slightly beyond the perimeter of the dimensional support medium, thereby creating the aforementioned lip 220.

In some other embodiments, the flange is in the form of a frame, such as depicted via exploded view in FIG. 2B. Flange 219 has substantially the same shape as dimensional support medium 210. The outer perimeter Po of frame-like flange 219 is slightly larger than the perimeter of dimensional support medium 210 so that lip 220 is formed. The inner perimeter Pi of frame-like flange 219 is slightly smaller than the perimeter of dimensional support medium 210, thereby providing an overlapping region wherein the flange can be attached to the dimensional support medium.

In the embodiments that are depicted in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the flange is a discrete element, and therefore must be attached to dimensional support medium 210 using glue, nails, screws, or the like.

In some embodiments, flange 218/219 is formed from wood. In some further embodiments, the flange is formed from MDF. In yet further embodiments, other materials, such as plastics, etc., are used to form the flange. Those skilled in the art, in view of the present teachings, will be able to design and manufacture flanges from a variety of suitable materials for use in conjunction with dimensional support medium 210.

In some other embodiments, such as shown via a cross-sectional view in FIG. 2C, lip 220 is an integral part of dimensional support medium 210. In other words, for such embodiments, there is no flange, per se. Rather, lip 220 is formed by selectively removing material (e.g., wood, MDF, etc.) near the perimeter of dimensional support medium 210.

FIG. 3 depicts a sectional view of dimensional support medium 210 with discrete flange 220, as depicted in FIG. 2A, when coupled to a frame. This assemblage of elements represents one embodiment of artwork assembly 100.

As depicted in FIG. 3, lip 220 is dimensioned so that when positioned within frame 302, lip 220 abuts the inner edges of the main portion of each frame member, extending underneath overhanging portion 322. As long as lip 220 is wider than overhanging portion 322, reveal 116 is formed between perimeter 114 of dimensional support medium 210 and innermost perimeter 108 of frame 302.

It will therefore be appreciated that by appropriately sizing dimensional support medium 210 and flange 218 for a frame having a specific size, reveal 116 of a desired width is “automatically” formed.

Flange 218/219 has a thickness that is typically in the range of about 3/16 to about 6/16 of an inch. Lip 220 has a width (i.e., the distance that the flange projects beyond the perimeter of dimensional support medium 210) that is typically in the range of about 3/16 to about 10/16 of an inch. For a particular width of lip 220, reveal 116 is determined by the amount that overhanging portion 322 projects beyond the inside edge. Typically, the overhang is the range of about 2/16 to about 6/16 of inch. So, for example, if lip 220 has a width of ¼ inch and overhanging portion 322 projects by ⅛ inch, reveal 116 will be ¼−⅛=⅛ inch.

FIGS. 4 and 5 depict an embodiment of a fastening system for detachably coupling dimensional support medium 210 to frame 302. FIG. 4 depicts a back view of the artwork assembly, where four tongues or tenons 424 are attached, via screws 426, to the back of flange 218 at the mid-point of each side thereof.

To couple dimensional support medium 210 to frame 102, tenons 424 are rotated from a position in which they are substantially parallel to respective frame members to a position in which they are substantially orthogonal to the frame members, as shown. When in the orthogonal orientation, tenons 424 engage rabbets (e.g., slots, etc.) that are formed at complementary locations in frame members 304A, 304B, 304C, and 304D. FIG. 5 depicts, via an inner side view, rabbet 530 formed in frame member 304D.

In some alternative embodiments, a four-way lock mechanism is used. This mechanism extends four tongues, fingers, bolts, etc., into holes that are formed at complementary locations along the inside perimeter of the frame. Those skilled in the art, after reading the present disclosure, will be able to select, design, build, and use the depicted fastening system or other fastening systems that are suitable for detachably coupling dimensional support medium 210 to frame 102.

In embodiments in which art-bearing surface 112 is to be substantially co-planar with surface 106 of frame 302, the structure of artwork assembly is simplified if the thickness or depth of overhanging portion 322 is substantially equal to the thickness of dimensional support medium 210 (when a discrete flange is used to create lip 220).

More particularly, if these thicknesses are equal, then upper surface of lip 220 will abut lower surface 323 of overhanging portion 322 (see, e.g., FIG. 3). In such a case, lower surface 323 provides a supporting or biasing surface for use in conjunction with tenons 424. In other words, as tenons 424 are rotated into position within rabbets 530, lip 220 is compressively sandwiched between surface 323 of overhanging portion 322 and the tenons, thereby retaining dimensional support medium 210.

Of course, if dimensional support medium 210 is thicker than overhanging portion 322, and if it is desired that art-bearing surface 112 and surface 106 be co-planar, then a spacer can be situated between lip 220 and overhanging portion 322.

Based on the foregoing considerations, rabbet 530 is disposed at an appropriate offset, O, from front face 106 of frame 102 to situate art-bearing surface 112 as desired. That is, offset O is selected, as desired, to:

(i) align art-bearing surface 112 with front face 106 of frame 102; or

(ii) recess art-bearing surface 112 relative to front face 106 of the frame; or

(iii) project art-bearing surface 112 forward relative to front face 106 . . .

as a function of the thickness of overhanging portion 322 and the thickness of dimensional support medium 210.

It is important to understand that the foregoing complexities are not addressed by the artist; rather, they resolved by the supplier of the elements of the artwork assembly. That is, an artist simply purchases, as a kit, dimensional support medium 210 and frame 302. In some embodiments, the kit will include an appropriate supply of spacers to enable the artist to make his or her own decision as to the relationship of art-bearing surface 112 to front 106 of frame 302.

Also depicted in FIG. 4 is art-hanging hardware 428 for use in hanging the artwork assembly on a wall. In the embodiment that is depicted in FIG. 4, flange 218 is recessed relative to the back of frame 302. Doing so enables art assembly 100 to hang flush against a wall.

SECOND EMBODIMENT

Dimensional Support Mediums that are about One-Quarter of an Inch or Less

FIG. 6 depicts dimensional support medium 610 that has a thickness that is about ¼ inch or less. Typical examples of support mediums included within this range include masonite and hardwood panels.

FIG. 7 depicts a front perspective view of frame 602 that incorporates backing board 632. FIG. 8A depicts a sectional view of FIG. 7 through the line A-A. FIG. 8B depicts a sectional view similar to FIG. 8A, except that dimensional support medium 610 is coupled to backing board 632.

Referring now to FIGS. 7, 8A, and 8b, backing board 632 is set back an appropriate distance from front surface 106 of frame 602 to receive dimensional support medium 610. Backing board 632 is attached to frame 602 by glue 738 or other means. As a function of individual taste, this set back is such that when the dimensional support medium is received by frame 602, art-bearing surface 112 is:

(1) substantially planar with front surface 106 of frame 602; or

(2) recessed relative to front surface 106 of frame 602; or

(3) forward of front surface 106 of frame 602.

Like the first embodiment, dimensional support medium 610 is coupled to the frame using a fastening system. Dimensional support medium 610 and frame 602 are appropriately sized so that when the dimensional support medium is coupled to a frame using the fastening system, reveal 114 is formed.

In some embodiments, the fastening system enables dimensional support medium 610 to be easily removed from backing board 632. In the illustrative embodiment, a portion of the fastening system is located on the back of dimensional support medium 610 and another complementary portion of the fastening system is located on the front of backing board 632.

In the embodiment that is depicted in FIGS. 7, 8A, and 8B, the fastening system comprises small swatches 636 of hook-and-loop fastener (i.e., Velcro® brand) that are disposed in complementary locations on both the back of dimensional support medium 610 and the front surface of backing board 632.

For a relatively small-sized dimensional support medium 610 (e.g., about 12 inches×12 inches, etc.), a small square of hook-and-loop fasteners can be adhered to the four corners of the front surface of backing board 632 (as depicted in FIG. 7) and to the four corners of the back surface of the dimensional support medium. For larger dimensional support mediums, additional swatches of hook-and-loop fastener should be positioned at appropriately-spaced intervals. For example, in some embodiments, a patch can be placed every nine to twelve inches over the front surface of the backing board and the back surface of dimensional support medium 610.

When dimensional support medium 610 is pressed against backing board 632, the hook-and-loop fasteners engage in familiar fashion, thereby coupling the dimensional support medium to the frame. FIG. 8B depicts hook-and-loop fasteners 746 that are disposed on the back surface of dimensional support medium 610 engaging hook-and-loop fasteners 636 that are disposed on the front surface of backing board 632.

The thickness of the swatches of hook-and-loop fasteners 636 and 746 must be accounted for when determining the amount by which backing board 632 is set back from front surface 106 of frame 602. For example, assume that art-bearing surface 112 and front surface 106 of frame 602 are to be co-planar. Further assume that the thickness of dimensional support medium 610 is ¼ of an inch and the thickness of each swatch of hook-and-loop fastener is 3/16 inch. To create a co-planar arrangement, backing board 632 must be set back by about:


¼ inch (dimensional support medium)+2× 3/16 inch (each swatch)=⅝ inches.

Backing board 632 is provided with openings 634. The openings enable force F to be applied to the back of dimensional support medium 610 to dislodge it from backing board 632. More particularly, a finger can be inserted into one or more of openings 634. The inserted finger will contact the back of dimensional support medium 610. Pushing the finger forward to apply a relatively small amount of force Fto the dimensional support medium will cause the sets of hook-and-loop fasteners to decouple from one another, thereby freeing dimensional support medium 610 from backing board 632.

In some embodiments, dimensional support medium 610 is simply centered by eye within frame 602 to create reveal 116 between perimeter 114 of dimensional support medium 610 and the inner perimeter 108 of frame 602.

FIG. 9 depicts an alternative embodiment wherein optional set-offs 918 for forming a uniform-sized reveal are coupled to the back surface of dimensional support medium 610. Portion 920 of each set-off 918 projects beyond the perimeter of the dimensional support medium, effectively creating the “lip” as used for the first embodiment of the dimensional support medium (i.e., dimensional support medium 210). Set-offs 918 further simplify the process of centering dimensional support medium 610 within frame 602 to create reveal 116. It is notable that while in the embodiment that is depicted in FIG. 9, four set-offs 918 are used, the same benefit can be obtained using only two set-offs 918, as long as the two set-offs are positioned on adjacent sides of dimensional support medium 610.

FIG. 10 depicts a sectional view similar to FIG. 8B, except that FIG. 10 illustrates the use of set-offs 918, as depicted in FIG. 9. Those skilled in the art, after reading the present disclosure, will be able to design and implement alternative embodiments of set-offs for use with embodiments of the invention that incorporate dimensional support medium 602.

It will be appreciated that, as an alternative to disposing set-offs 918 on dimensional support medium 610, they can be disposed on the inside surface of at least two adjacent frame members. In such embodiments, the set-offs advantageously have a different form factor than set-offs 918. For example, they can be implemented as a small “bump,” formed from rubber or felt. One side of the bump is adhered to the inside edge of the frame members that form frame 602.

In a further embodiment, rather than coupling the set-offs to the dimensional support medium or the frame, a temporary spacer (e.g., akin to the spacers that used to create uniform spacing between tiles when they are being set to create a tiled floor or wall, etc.) is disposed against the inside surface of at least two adjacent frame members.

In yet some additional embodiments, a spring can be situated in each frame member at its midpoint. To do this, a hole is drilled from the inside edge of each frame member. A spring is inserted within each hole. The spring is sized such that, in its relaxed, uncompressed state, it extends inward into the open region within the frame. As long as the springs are uniform (i.e., similar spring constant and size), a uniform reveal will be created. Furthermore, if the spring provides a suitable biasing force, the springs can serve as the fastening system as well. In such embodiments, the aforementioned swatches of hook-and-loop fastener are not required.

FIG. 11A depicts a partial view of frame 602 and FIG. 11B depicts a partial view of frame 602 and dimensional support media 610. In this embodiment, spring 1150 is disposed partially within hole 1148 in each frame member (only the spring for frame member 604D is depicted). The free end of the spring is terminated with a small metal hemisphere 1052 (e.g., half of a “B-B,” etc.). The round, smooth surface of hemisphere 1052 facilitates insertion of dimensional support medium 610 into frame 602.

FIG. 11A depicts spring 1150 and hemisphere 1152 before dimensional support medium 610 is inserted into frame 602. FIG. 11B depicts the position of spring 1150 and hemisphere 1152 after the dimensional support medium is inserted into the frame.

As can be seen from FIG. 11B, to receive dimensional support medium 610, spring 1150 compresses into frame member 604D. The energy required to compress the spring is now in the form of potential energy, which biases hemisphere 1152 against dimensional support medium 610. It will be appreciated that surrounded by at least four springs 1150 and depending hemispheres 1152, the dimensional support medium is “automatically” centered and retained in position.

It is to be understood that the above-described embodiments are merely illustrative of the present invention and that many variations of the above-described embodiments can be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, in this Specification, numerous specific details are provided in order to provide a thorough description and understanding of the illustrative embodiments of the present invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize, however, that the invention can be practiced without one or more of those details, or with other methods, materials, components, etc.

Furthermore, in some instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the illustrative embodiments. Reference throughout the specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” or “some embodiments” means that a particular constituent, feature, structure, material, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment(s) is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention, but not necessarily all embodiments. Consequently, the appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” or “in some embodiments” in various places throughout the Specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular constituents, features, structures, materials, or characteristics can be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. It is therefore intended that such variations be included within the scope of the following claims and their equivalents.





 
Previous Patent: Lattice network display device

Next Patent: Floor Display