FAQs of Custom Framing
If you own art there are two things you need to know. Not all artwork is alike and none of it comes with a maintenance manual. Yet unless your artwork is cared for properly, it will deteriorate. So, how do you to care for your artwork?
How the artwork was created, where it has been and under what conditions and what kind of care or treatment it has received all affect its future care. The more you know the better care you can give. This care starts with your decision to frame and display your art. When framing, consider these questions:
If decorative qualities - color, style, design - are your most important considerations, then you may choose framing materials and techniques based solely on your decorating needs.
If the longevity and preservation of your art is your primary concern, then the selection of framing materials and techniques must all be directed toward preservation.
If both the preservation of the artwork and the decorative value of its framing are equally important, you may have to adjust either some of your decorating expectations or your preservation concerns.
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions; each piece of art has its own value and should be framed accordingly.
The materials used to frame your artwork have a direct effect on it. The types of matting used, the materials used to mount the artwork and even the glass in the frame are all important. Words like "acid-free," "ph neutral," and "archival" are often used to describe matboards and backboards suitable for preservation framing. Moist of these materials have an additive or buffering agent to reduce any acidic condition which may occur. Matboards and backing boards that are not preservation quality may become acidic over time and damage the artwork they surround.
Because paper reacts to changes in temperatures and humidity - expanding when they are high and shrinking when they are low - it is often mounted to keep it flat. Yet there are objections to fully mounting art: if the art becomes damaged at a later time, it may be harder to conserve than if it is fully mounted. The mounting may also introduce materials into the artwork that may not be removable.
There are preservation alternatives that you may consider which allow the art to be mounted in ways that are reversible and which allow the art to change with temperature and humidity while framed.
Surface protection is also important. Glazing, either glass or acrylic, keeps foreign substances (like airborne dust or oil from fingerprints) off the surface of the art. UV-blocking glass or acrylic will also help to protect your art from fading and other types of damage caused by ultraviolet light rays.
How and where your art is displayed will also have a direct effect on its longevity. Environmental elements - light, humidity, temperature, and even pollution - can affect your artwork. Discuss where you intend to hang your art with a framer as you plan your frame design.
Art, like everything else, needs constant care. Sometimes this care and maintenance should be performed by a trained specialist. When in doubt, ask. Making informed decisions about framing your art will add to your enjoyment of it and improve its condition and longevity.
How Do I Clean Regular, Conservation, AR (Anti-Reflective) Or Museum Glass?
Ammonia free cleaner is recommended for all picture framing glass. Since AR and Museum Glass are so clear, fingerprints which are not visible on regular glass are visible and many glass cleaners will just smear the skin oils from a fingerprint across the surface of the glass. We recommend using alcohol to remove these fingerprints.
Always spray the glass cleaner or alcohol on a soft cleaning cloth, NOT THE GLASS. When cleaner is sprayed directly on the glass, it tends to run down the surface and seep under the lip of the frame at the bottom, which can cause the cleaner to soak into the mats, backing and artwork and cause damage!
How much will it cost to frame my print?
There are many factors that effect the pricing of custom framing, from the finished size and the number and type of mats, to the type of glass, mounting method and frame choice. The best way to get a good idea of the cost of framing your item is to bring it in so our designers can give design it with you and provide you with a quote. There is no charge for this service and our designers would love to explore all the options available to meet your needs as well as your budget.
What is the advantage of "custom framing"?
Quality custom framing will outlast the carpeting and the furniture in your home, as well as all the cars, clothing, sound systems, televisions, Ipods, VCR, cell phones and any kitchen appliances you'll ever purchase. It can pass from generation to generation and still looks as good as when you purchased it.
What are you really buying when you use the services of a custom framer?
Talent ... yes, and the knowledge and ability to select the proper framing materials for your particular project. This means helping you choose the right colors, the right frame style, and most importantly, the right materials to protect your art, photo or memorabilia. There's the matboard, the frame, the backing board and the mounting materials to consider. And of course, the glass. And glass is glass, right? Wrong. All glass is not created equal. In order to preserve, protect and get the most out of your artwork, you have some choices to make. And with a little knowledge, those choices will be very easy.
What determines the glass I should use?
Your custom framer should help you select the right glass for your project. The very fact that you are having this item framed denotes its value to you. The best choice for any framed item is to use glass featuring TruGuard ® UV Protection.
What other glass choices do I have?
Tru Vue ® offers four types of glass available with TruGuard ® UV Protection. All four types block a minimum of 98% of harmful UV light rays.
MUSEUM GLASS ® - Anti-reflective technology with UV blocking properties
CONSERVATION PERFECT VUE - Proprietary technology improves transmission and clarity
CONSERVATION REFLECTION CONTROL ® -Single-sided etched non-glare
CONSERVATION CLEAR ® -Essential for conservation framing
Perhaps you have a very bright room in which you will display your artwork, or you intend to hang the piece opposite a window or lamp. Anytime you think reflection may become a distraction from the enjoyment of your artwork, you may want to ask for Conservation Reflection Control® Glass.
Many framers are conditioned against using reflection control glass. This is the result of the poor quality glass that has traditionally been available. These low-tech "non-glare" glasses have a highly frosted appearance because they are etched on both sides. The resulting fuzziness and distortion created dissatisfaction among many framing customers, which soured framers on the idea of reflection control.
Conservation Reflection Control ® glass employs etching on only one side, eliminating the reflection problem with only a subtle softening of clarity. (This "soft focus actually enhances some images such as portrait photography and impressionist landscapes, where an atmospheric effort is desirable.)
Ask your framer to see a sample of the four types of Conservation Series ® Glass over your artwork and judge it for yourself. The most important thing to remember when framing your artwork is to consult with your custom framer. The more he or she knows about your project the better they are able to use materials that will ensure your enjoyment for years to come.
What is Conservation Glass?
We've all heard about the dangers of ultraviolet light rays - particularly to organic materials. Exposure to UV light causes organic material to break down. This is visible in the form of fading colors and embrittlement and yellowing of the materials that bear the artwork. These effects, once started, are cumulative and irreversible.
The best way to preserve your art is to protect it from exposure to UV light from the outset. For starters, don't hang your art in direct sunlight or light it with fluorescent light. Ask your framer to use Conservation Quality Glass, such as Tru Vue ® Museum Glass ®, the highest quality glass available.
Museum Glass effectively blocks a minimum of 98% of the dangerous UV light - protecting your artwork without affecting the visible light spectrum so your colors show truly as nice in a year as they do the first day you frame them.
What Is a Fillet?
A fillet is a small moulding placed inside a frame or over a mat to enhance the design of the finished piece. Fillets add a sensation of color and texture to works of art because they are more dimensional than mats and add drama by keeping the eye focus on the artwork.
Combining mats with fillets is another very popular, creative and versatile way to frame artwork. A design can include a frame and fillet that are the same or different, depending upon the art and the effect desired.