Javanese Leather Puppet Framing

Case Study

Framed Puppetry

At Frame Today, we pride ourselves on handling each unique framing project with the utmost care and creativity. Recently, our Warners Bay store had the pleasure of framing a set of exquisite handmade leather puppets, brought back from a customer's trip to Java, Indonesia. This task presented a unique challenge, but our talented framer, Alessia, rose to the occasion with remarkable skill and innovation.

A Glimpse into Javanese Puppetry

This collection consisted of three intricate pieces: a male and female puppet, along with a centrepiece puppet that was particularly fascinating.





The centrepiece featured a dual narrative, depicting a scene of heaven on the front and a scene of hell on the back. The artistry was so delicate that one could see through fine gaps in the leather, showcasing the detailed craftsmanship.

Our customer had a clear vision: each puppet needed to be floated on a linen matboard with the moving arms positioned exactly as described by the puppet creator. Additionally, the centrepiece frame had to be double-sided to allow for viewing both puppets; heaven and hell.

The Framing Challenge of Merging Art and Precision

The key challenge in this project was designing a matboard cutout that not only supported the centrepiece puppet but also allowed both sides of the artwork to be visible. Using the Valiani computerized mat cutter, Alessia skillfully merged various shapes to create a precise outline for the puppet’s edges. This meticulous process ensured that the intricate details of the artwork were fully displayed, while also providing the necessary support.

The choice of a linen matboard was intentional. Its texture complemented the handmade nature of the puppets, enhancing their aesthetic appeal. The matboard's colour was carefully selected to highlight the fine gaps in the leather, creating a visually cohesive and striking display.

Bringing the Vision to Life

Floating the puppets on the matboard was a delicate task. Alessia positioned the moving arms with great care, following the puppet creator’s specifications. This attention to detail ensured that each puppet retained its original charm and character, while also being securely framed.

For the double-sided centrepiece, the framing solution was particularly innovative. Alessia designed the frame to be reversible, allowing the customer to enjoy both sides of the artwork. This not only preserved the narrative integrity of the pieces but also provided a dynamic display option, making it a true centrepiece in any setting.

Celebrating Unique Objects Through Custom Framing

We love the opportunity to frame and protect unique objects such as these and this project was a testament to Alessia’s commitment to excellence and passion for framing challenging and unique pieces. Expertise and creativity brought the Javanese leather puppets to life in a new way, ensuring that our customer can enjoy these beautiful works of art for many years to come.

Our approach to framing is not just about preserving art; it’s about enhancing it and creating a display that tells a story. Each project, like the framing of these Javanese puppets, is a chance for us to push the boundaries of our craft and deliver exceptional results that resonate with our customers.

If you have a unique piece that requires framing, visit any of our NSW & QLD framing stores, where we are always ready to take on new custom framing challenges.

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