Frame Selection

Choosing a frame should always be a collaboration between Framer and customer.  Ideally choosing a compliment for any artwork should be dictated by the individual piece of work, but quite often décor of the customer’s home can be taken into consideration. It is the obligation of the framer to advise the customer of external influences that can damage their piece of work and suggest to them techniques and procedures to ensure longevity to their art. For example conservation materials and UV glass. Basically this means that if you’re going to be placing your art in an area that receives regular sunlight, then you should take steps to protect the art.

Despite the years of experience a framer may possess, the customer will usually have a vision in mind our job is to marry these ideas with our knowledge to arrive at a finished product they are thrilled with.

Framing Options

Framing is an art in itself. There are endless possibilities with size, shape, colour and material. We’ll aid you in choosing the right material and colour to suit your art if you can’t decide. Then we build the frame from scratch, built to specifically fit, allowing us to choose mat size and not be constrained to typical frame sizes.
Matting can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be; single, double or triple mat; black, white or any range of colour. A gallery standard single white mat, to a double mat with different colours, to a complex laser cut mat custom made to suit any purpose. However, the primary function of the mat is to accentuate and draw attention to the art, not to itself. The customer’s personal taste is important when it comes to choosing matting. Different colours can alter what ones eye focuses on. An example of this could be a piece of art showing a street scene where a certain colour takes your eye down the street, where as another colour would have your eye encompasses the full width of the street.
There are three typical options that we offer for glass, which one you choose should depend on your level of investment in the art and also the location where you will put it. We carry a standard glass, your low-budget option, but still with great clarity and protection for your art. Second is non-glare, which is exactly what it sounds like. Non-glare is a great choice if you’re going to be placing the art where reflectance is an issue from a window or overhead lighting. Last is conservation glass, which blocks UV light and keeps your art from fading from the sun’s rays over time. An important thing to consider when framing old family photos would be to use ultra violet conservation glass to keep them from damaging light rays. In some cases framing a copy of the original is a good thing and to keep the original somewhere safe.
An alternative to traditional framing at a lower expense originally plaque mounting on 1/2″ multi density fibre board has developed into a form of art handling all its own. Photos and posters are the main candidates for plaque mounting. We would recommend not plaque mounting prints or original documents. The board is cut with a bevelled edge then painted a colour to compliment the subject. Excess paint is removed before a dry mount issue is applied to the board in a heat press. The image is then adhered to the board and after cooling, a matte laminate is applied. The product is easy to transport and light weigh.

Visual Effects - The Shop-14

Steps to Framing

The first step when a customer brings in an item for framing is to determine whether it needs to be dry mounted to remove wrinkles (photos, posters, children’s art) or stretched (needlework, moose hair tufting). Once determined we can move onto the next step.

Matting: The mat boards we stock at Visual Effects are free of acid and PH balance to ensure longevity to our customer’s art. Mat boards are used not only a cosmetic enhancer but also act as a barrier between the piece of art work and the glazing. When a photo or work of paper comes in direct contact with glass it encourages moisture to occur which can permanently fuse the artwork to the glass. We stock a full spectrum of colours and have our mat boards separated into colour families for easy choosing. Quite often a customer will want a neutral understated look for their piece of work or decide to focus on one or more of the obvious colours present. Depending on the mat chosen your will be drawn to either an obvious colour present in the art or a submissive one.

Next step Glazing: Our most commonly used glass is regular 2 mm which allows the full clarity of the artwork to be seen. Reflection control glass will greatly reduce the reflected light on a framed art work caused mostly from natural light sources but depending how far above the piece of work it is installed it can result in a loss of clarity of the image.

Ultra violet regular glass and UV non glare glass are a serious consideration when conversation of the artwork is a concern. As we discussed earlier the biggest enemies of artwork are humidity and light. UV conservation glass blocks 98% of the harmful UV rays which eventually rob the art of its pigment. Ideally the best place to keep a piece of fine art is in a dark closet with a relative humidity of 50 but because this will not be realistic the Industry has developed products that allow us to effectively conserve our art and will be able to view and enjoy it for many years.

Some mat boards today are treated with harmless chemicals that not only render the board acid free but act as a molecular trap that holds prisoner any impurities that come in contact with the artwork.

Finally we get to the frame compliment. Most customers will already know whether their preference leans towards metal or wood frames. There are so many options with either. The colours present in the artwork and the matting chosen will be the greatest aid in choosing the right frame. Some will like a modern look to their piece while others may prefer a more traditional or rustic look. It’s a process of laying the samples beside the art piece and seeing how your eye reacts to it.

Works of art in acrylic or oil paint on hardboard or canvas can be handled in several different ways. The traditional way to handle a work or stretched canvas has been to use a linen liner directly on the piece and capped with an appropriate wood frame. No glazing is required but can be installed between the liner and fame. Museums almost always request that UV glass be installed to ensure no harm comes to the painting during viewing. They also request that a piece of ¼ inch acid free foam board be screwed to the back of the stretched canvas using stainless steel screws and cup washers to guard against accidental piercing from behind.

Today many people are opting for a more modern approach to framing their works on canvas by using one of the many float frame options available. The canvas is affixed into the face of the frame leaving a small 1/4” to ½” transition space. The completed project results in a smaller package that more easily fits into home situations.

From Start to Finish

Framing Start to Finish