A bubble glass frame features a convex piece of glass instead of the traditional flat piece of glass. This style was exceptionally popular around the turn of the 20th century, often used for displaying family portraits.
Bubble glass frames are available from specialty Internet stores. To give glass its domed shape, the glass rounds are located outside the frame’s borders and the photograph is mounted inside the glass. This mimics a bubble shape.
Laying a flat piece of glass into a frame mold makes convex glass. This glass is then heated to a specific temperature that allows the glass to barely blend. The longer the glass is kept at this temperature, the deeper bend the glass develops.
Mounting pictures in a domed glass frame is similar to a regular picture frame. However, it is important to properly place the photo inside the frame, as the shape of the glass helps to protect against humid environments. This was originally the design’s intention, especially for houses that did not have cooling systems.
There are two ways to mount photos in convex glass.
- Leave the photo flat to prevent it from touching the glass. This helps prevent any cleaning fluids or photo ink from sticking to the glass. This method involves mounting the photo to the board with a special, acid-free adhesive.
- Authentic bubble glass picture frames place the photo directly against the glass. This requires creating a bubble to form for the picture. The picture needs to be mounted on a convex board that is the identical size as the frame. The photograph and board are then mounted inside a standard oval frame, which is then closed in the back with hardware.
Never apply glue to the photograph, only the board. This makes it easier to get the photograph directly in place. If someone is new to using special techniques, consider practicing beforehand to prevent damaging valuable family photographs.
When measuring convex glass, measure the length and width directly across the glass. Do not include the bend of the glass. Convex glass ranges in depth between ¾ inches to one-inch, but custom frames can have deeper bends. InLine Ovals can create custom designs, including oval convex frames that measure 13-1/2” by 19-5/8”.
Oval picture frames make up less than five-percent of today’s picture frame market, but long ago, they were among the most popular styles. If families have old portraits that require new convex glass replacements to fit old frames, they can easily help create custom replacements. This also includes any convex glass replacements for gauges, clocks or other instruments.