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August 27th, 2009 - 07:21 PM
Yep, thats right. I'm a professional framer as well as an artist. I learned this fine trade from my father over 15 years ago. It started out as just a part time job to help balance my income while raising my four children. I took to framing like a duck to water and soon it became a full time job. Here are some valuable tips for framing your artwork.
1. When choosing a framer ask as many questions as you like and if the framer doesn't answer your questions or explain the process well or to your satisfaction, go to another framer. Be very careful of those who hide info from you, such as; putting museum glass on a poster that cost you less the $20.00. This kind of shop is after bumping up their sales. and doesn't have your best interest in mind.
2. If you have a stretched canvas with a dent or bulge spray the entire back of the canvas with water. The canvas will smooth out as it dries.
3. ....never let the glass touch your artwork! Glass is the number one cause of damage to art. Matting is not only for enhancing your work it's used to protect it from the glass. The mat creates a physical and air barrier between the art and the glass which will help protect the art piece from condensation that can occur behind the glass do to temperature changes. This moisture can cause damage by discoloration, buckling and it can serve as a breeding ground for mold, mildew and fungi.
4. What are spacers? The purpose of a spacer (and a mat is a type of spacer) is to provide an area of space between the work of art and the glass. You do not want any work of art to be directly touching the glass on a frame. Condensation, dirt, dust, and tiny particles can build up and adhere to the glass in your frame. This could result in damage to the work of art.
5. What about drymounting original art? Don't let anyone (not even your best friend) drymount a work on paper or anything else of value to a mat when framing it. Some framers may tell you that the work is too big to be secured with linen tape and that the piece has to be drymounted to foam core board to secure it within a frame. Don't do it!
6. There are several aesthetic reasons for matting art. It creates a field around the art to bring out it's colors and to draw the eye in. It adds drama to the presentation. It highlights a color, accents a shape and increases the overall size of the framed piece. It helps shape the presence of the piece,. For example, a black mat has the effect of lightening and enlarging the art work. A white mat will darken and shrink the image.
7. A rule of thumb to consider when planning a mat for your art is never use a mat lighter, brighter or darker than the lightest, brightest or darkest color of your art piece. And never use a "foreign" color. A foreign color is a color that is NOT in the art piece. You may be tempted to use the colors in the room you are decorating to frame your art to achieve a tie in. However, this generally doesn't work for the art piece and then if you redo the room, you'll likely have to redo your frame.
8. Using higher quality mat board is essential to protecting your artwork. Mat board that is NOT rated as Conservation Quality will allow the mat to discolor and possibly damage your artwork over time. These standard (paper) mats contain acids and lignins which for short-term use are fine. However, as a mat ages, damage can occur.
9. Protect your art from light and heat damage. Without light there would be no art. Light is what allows us to see and appreciate color. However, the very thing that allows us to enjoy photographs and art can also destroy them. Ultraviolet rays, or UV light, causes sunburns and wrinkles our skin. It also fades and discolors artwork. This damage is serious and irreversible. No conservation treatment can restore color to light-damaged materials. But careful framing and proper display can minimize the damage. I recommend conservation framing using acid free and lignin free mats which help protect your art work from the aging process. Use UV protection glass. The special coating on this glass block out 97% of harmful UV rays. Always hang your artwork out of direct sunlight. And never hang your valuable artwork over a heat source or in an area of high humidity. Heat and humidity will cause damage to your framed treasures.