Essentially the purpose of framing artwork is to protect it from damage. Picture frames are normally created from wood although other materials can be utilized such as silver, bronze, aluminum, and plastics. Frames can also be applied solely for aesthetic purposes but always remember to take colour schemes into consideration when you decide to frame a piece of art with one of many colours of the rainbow available for both mats and frames.
Glass or Acrylic? Pros and cons to both - Glass creates a very professional appearance but can shatter during transportation and has a glare. Anti-reflective coatings can be applied to counteract this. Though glass can be costly, it's a good long-term investment. Acrylic (plexiglass) is a lighter, shatterproof material but can be scratched and develop static cling between the plexiglass and the surface of the art. Often used on large-scale works where the sheer size of glass would make the work too heavy to be hung.
What type of art has to be framed? Certainly not everything! Framing with glass is most commonly utilized for watercolours, drawings and mixed media works but rarely over oils and acrylics. Often acrylics and oils can be installed without a frame, and oils if framed, tend not to be under glass, as they're in a state of movement until completely cured and the glass would limit this curing process. Acrylic paintings (once dried) are essentially water resistance as the acrylic is a plastic based material.
There are standard sizes of frames available (think 8"x10", 11"x14") but frames can be custom created to match any piece of art.
Most framers will add extra weight (length) to the bottom of a mat for visual balance. Example, a mat with a 4" border would probably have 5” at the bottom. This helps to make the piece feel grounded.
Always make sure your mat boards are acid free to avoid the chemicals leaching into your masterpiece over time.
General tips and tricks: Always select a frame that is too thin over too thick, as a thick frame can outshine your piece of art and never spray glass cleaner directly onto a framed picture! Rather, spray the cloth and wipe instead. When you spray onto the actual glass, it can drip under the corners and edges of the frame (unreachable by a cloth) and will be wicked up by the mat eventually damaging the actual mat and your artwork.
Need a piece of art that you purchased while touring The Art Map custom framed?
Be sure to check out Gallery de Boer in Owen Sound who offers a variety of professional and custom framing products.
by Erin, our guest blogger.