Why should I consider custom picture framing?
Why in the world should I pay extra
for a custom picture frame, you ask, when I can buy a ready-made frame
at the local discount store? This is a good question, and indeed, there
are many times when a mass produced picture frame is appropriate. However,
when you are ready to prepare your fine art or treasured heirlooms for
display, custom framing is the best answer. A properly finished custom
frame is the union of artwork, mats, molding, and other elements to
create a presentation that is unique, that complements your personality,
and enhances your home or office. It is a one-of-a-kind creation that
you will never find in a department, discount, or furniture store. Your
beautiful fine art, needlework, special
personal object, wedding
invitation, or hard-earned certificates should be framed in a manner
that does them justice, and prevents their deterioration over time.
Your custom framed artwork is a permanent investment in the decor of
your home, which will outlast many of your other accessories. It is
more personalized than most of your other furnishings. Our certified
picture framer® and designers will recommend the best
design techniques, and color coordination to make the framing itself
a work of art. There are many design methods we can use to make your
artwork uniquely yours. We will discuss some of these now:
Aesthetic decision and functional
purpose! It provides a spacer to protect paper art or photographs from
direct contact with the glass. This is necessary, particularly in humid
climates, to prevent the art from coming in contact with condensation
or sticking to the glass and permanently damaging it. For example, if
a photograph is framed in direct contact with the glass, in a few years,
the silver oxide emulsion will adhere to the glass, causing unrecoverable
damage to the photo. The spacing provided by the mat will prevent this
while it also provides structural support for the artwork.
From an aesthetics point of view,
the mats provide several design qualities that enhance your artwork.
One or more mats can provide depth, width and color to your framed art.
Two or more mats remove the flatness, giving your framed piece a three-dimensional
look. This enhances any depth that the artist intended to create in
the original work. Your artwork needs some space around it to prevent
distractions from the surrounding wall treatment. Mats provide this
space, allowing your art to be seen clearly. Matboards now come in hundreds
of colors, textures and appearances. The choice of mat colors can be
used to achieve several benefits. Carefully chosen mats can often enhance
the artwork, while providing a transition to the rooms decor.
Fabric mats can be used to add texture to your art. Mats covered in
silk or smooth linen achieve elegance if your decor is more formal.
Some of our customers change their mats when they change their decor,
to maintain the coordination of their artwork. A discussion of matting
options would not be complete without mentioning quality options. As
recently as two decades ago, there were basically two options for matting
low quality/acidic paper mats (still referred to as paper
mats in the industry) or 100% rag mats. Rag mats at the time only
came in white. That is why one only saw artwork framed in white mats
in museums and art galleries. Today, there are three main options
there are still paper mats and we still have rag mats, only now, rag
mats are available in a full range of colors. The third option are archival
mats, which are a blend of rag and paper, but which have been treated
to remove most of the acid, lignins and other impurities. These mats
are suitable for matting all but the most valuable artwork, and they
come in a huge variety of colors and textures. Paper mats can be damaging
to art, which is why we don't sell or recommend them. We use archival
mats, and sometimes use rag mats when appropriate. You can tell whether
your art is framed with paper mats or archival mats by examining the
bevel cut in the mat opening. An archival mat will be a pure white without
any perceptible layering. A paper mat will be off-white, and you sometimes
will see the layers where the mat has been built up by lamination. The
paper mats will usually turn yellow or darker after a while, due to
the acidic materials used.
There are many occasions where it
is appropriate to mount more than one picture in a frame. Some examples
are: collage of family
photographs, graduation articles (diploma, tassel, pin, etc.), Wedding
items (photos, announcement, etc.), or photos from a recent vacation.
Collages of photographs
can tell a story or cite a family history. Do you know someone building
a new home or business? Collect or take photos in various stages of
completion, then have them framed in sequence in a multiple opening
frame, add appropriate remarks in calligraphy or on engraved plates,
then present it as a house warming gift. It's guaranteed to be the most
personalized gift they will receive. Multiple openings allow you to
display many small pictures in one frame instead of many small frames,
thus saving you space and money.
There are many special design treatments
that can be applied to your custom framing job. Some of these are: French
mats, carved mats, embossed mats, inlayed mats, V-grooved mats, and
etched glass. All of these techniques can result in a unique custom
framing job, but their use must be selected carefully to ensure that
they enhance, rather than detract from your artwork. Usually, one or
two of these embellishments applied in concert, will really create a
novel work of art.
Selecting a frame:
The frame provides structural strength
to enable you to cover your art with glass or acrylic and to hang it.
But the color, style and texture of the moulding add its own ingredient
to the recipe of your custom-framed art. We have a huge variety of mouldings
available(over 3000), but your choice should coordinate with the art,
the mats, and the particular effect you desire to achieve. For example,
a bamboo-like moulding is great for oriental work, or a Navajo
inlay works well for southwestern art. Mouldings made from natural woods
and finishes are often used to coordinate with similar wood furnishings
and to provide a simple elegance to the art. Mouldings can
be used in combination to build a truly unique frame that will add additional
width and color to your custom-framed art. A fillet, a narrow moulding
inlaid inside the mat, coordinated with the frame moulding can be used
to provide an inspired multi-dimensional look to your art. The possibilities
are nearly endless, but we can help you choose the best combination
for your very own presentation.The frame must be cut and assembled carefully
to ensure tight corners and structural strength. Frames with bold, deeply
embossed designs cannot always be cut so that the patterns match together
at the corners. This is so because there is no industry-wide mathematical
correlation between design spacing and even standard frame dimensions,
much less the infinite sizes available in custom framing. In these cases,
it is sometimes necessary to fill the patterns at the corner seams and
blend the colors so the mismatch is not noticeable.
Three dimensional objects present
no problem to our experienced framers. There is a way to encase everything
from WWII military medals for your grandfather, sport
jerseys, baby shoes, vacation souvenirs, or a china doll for your
daughter. A shadow box
can be very simple or it can incorporate rich fabrics and woods for
a superbly elegant effect. Heirloom plates, spoon collections, coin
collections, medals, and antique pistols are some examples of items
that can be displayed in shadow boxes. Larger items, such as dolls,
or an autographed football require display cases. Your design consultant
can determine the best way to display and protect just about any object
in a shadowbox.
Needlework includes all needlework,
and crewel, whether they be from kits or original designs. Tapestries
include hand woven rugs, handmade quilts, and batiks. Since these articles
represent a considerable investment of skill and time, it is very important
that they be displayed and protected from damage. There are many ways
to display these items, and each may require special treatment to bring
out the best in the work and to ensure its preservation.
We can build a mirror frame to fit
in perfectly with your decor. A mirror can be cut and framed to fit
any place, to within a quarter inch. Department stores or furniture
stores may be limited to only certain sizes or styles of mirrors, whereas,
we have a whole arsenal of sizes from which you can select. We carry
over 3000 mouldings so you'll be sure to find the perfect combination.
What is conservation glass and when do I need it?
First, lets discuss the need.
All sunlight and some artificial light contain an invisible electromagnetic
component called ultraviolet (UV) light. These light waves are much
shorter than visible light and contain more energy (the same energy
that causes you to sunburn). This higher energy creates a greater degree
of heat and causes more rapid deterioration of the molecular structure
of the pigments used in printing. Conservation glass should be used
whenever you are framing sentimental, valuable, limited edition and
one-of-a-kind artwork. Conservation glass is clear glass (preferably
float glass) to which an ultraviolet (UV) inhibiting film has been applied.
Conservation glass blocks about 97 percent of the UV rays, compared
to 46 to 50 percent blocked by regular clear and non-glare glass.
What should I use
to clean my picture framing glass?
Most commercial window cleaners
are good for cleaning framing glass. Avoid all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants,
or any cleaner that contains pumice, waxes, or harsh detergents. If
your frame contains conservation glass, you should avoid using anything
with ammonia (note that some commercial glass cleaners do contain ammonia).
Windows cleaners with vinegar or vinegar-D work great, and tests indicate
that they are safe for any glass. There are several new types of glass
coatings coming on the market which make require special care. We will
provide specific instructions for these special cases. You should always
spray the cleaner on the cloth, then wipe the glass. Otherwise, if you
spray directly on the glass, the liquid is likely to run down between
the frame and glass, and could eventually wick up the framing package
to the artwork.
Ten things to
know before framing your picture:
What and why
to custom frame. - Whether you are
framing a poster, your kid's handprints, or a fine work of art, custom
framing will reflect your personal taste and protect your piece for
years to come.
Consider the surroundings.
- While you should certainly consider
the room's decor, you shouldn't match the frame to the room at the
expense of what looks good with the picture. Keep in mind that the
room decor may change in the future.
Choose matting to enhance
your artwork. - Matting is the term
used to describe the "window-cut" material placed around
an image within a frame. They can be made of a variety of materials
such as paper, cotton and fabric in a wide range of colors. Mats serve
as a spacer allowing the artwork to expand and contract with changes
in humidity. Matting makes the overall size of the finished piece
larger and provides a space for the eyes to rest between the art and
An ounce of prevention. -
Many times cherished art is damaged prior to arriving at the frame
shop because it is improperly stored or transported. If it's a rolled
piece such as a poster, serious damage can be caused by rubber bands,
tape, paperclips and even a gentle squeeze. Make sure that the artwork
is placed in a folder, protective covering , or a tube. To prevent
accidental damage, allow us to remove the artwork from its packaging.
It's all in the details.
- Consider adding another detail.
Fillets, beveled mat treatments, creative window openings, specialty
paper or fabric mats can add a distinctive flair to your artwork.
We are familiar with these options, and can help you decide what works
best with your item. Sometimes it's the smallest element in framing
your artwork that makes it stand out.
Choose the best frame to
enhance your art. - There are thousands
of different frame styles and sizes that come in a variety of stains,
glazes, and finishes. Let us help you select the frame that best suits
your artwork and have it made to your exact specifications.
Archival materials protect
your art. - Some common framing materials
such as paper mats and cardboard contain acid that will gradually
destroy your art, and these materials are not used by Get The Picture.
Using archival mats and backing boards will help protect art from
the damaging effects of time and from common pollutants that cause
yellowing, fading and deterioration.
Mounting your artwork properly.
- The dry and wet mounting processes bond artwork to a board to
prevent artwork from bubbling or waving and are most appropriate for
posters and photographs. Pieces of any value are generally not dry
or wet mounted since these processes are irreversible and can greatly
affect any resale value. Museum mounting, commonly known as hinging,
attaches the art with paper hinges to the board. The art hangs freely,
allowing it to expand or contract with changes in humidity. Hinging
or archival photo corners are recommended for original artwork, delicate
photographic's, and other irreplaceable items.
Choose glazing to protect
your artwork. - Glazing refers to
the glass or acrylic material covering the artwork as a means of protection.
There are many variations including regular clear glass, anti-reflective
(chemically coated), non-glare (acid etched) and conservation glass
(specially formulated to help filter UV light). There are also acrylic
glazing products that come in the non-glare and UV filtering varieties.
Acrylic is lighter in weight and is safer than glass but requires
a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleanser. It is ideal for oversized
pieces, frames hanging in children's rooms, or items to be shipped.
Find the right framer - A
good framer will help you with all the decisions that go into properly
framing your picture. Quality framers have years of experience with
preservation framing and design using a variety of materials and methods.
A quality framer will usually hold the designation of Certified Picture
Framer; CPF®. The CPF exam is administered
by the Professional Picture Framers Association; PPFA. This extensive
exam covers all aspects of conservation framing techniques and methods.
For outstanding customer service and
the latest products, design theories, and techniques, you can rely
on framers with the CPF® mark of excellence.
Note: "Ten things to know
before framing your picture" guide is courtesy of FramerSelect(tm).
DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR SERVICES?
Andrew R. Langlois
Custom Picture Framer
149 Reservoir Ave
Lincoln, RI 02865
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