It’s All In The Framework

Published July 20, 2012

When you make an investment in a beautiful piece of artwork it’s important to remember that the framing of the art is just as important as the art itself.

Whether it’s a photograph or perhaps a print, the key is to remember that the image should suggest the tones for the matting and the frame. The colour of the mat should be tied into the tones of the image. If not, it will have a tendency to visually separate itself from the artwork.

The key is to achieve one, coherent unit with the mat, image and the frame rather than three distinct elements.

For prints, the framing choices are endless. Frames range from simple metals and woods to fabric mats and guided frames. Oils have two different options; a liner with a frame or a “floater” frame. The choice is simply an aesthetic one.

An important point to keep in mind is that the liner and frame should not be the same size. This will only result in the image appearing ‘off” visually.

Dust, sunlight, and moisture are just three elements that may damage your art if it is not properly protected.

Professional framers agree that one of the most important components in providing protection is the glass. Not only does it serve as a barrier between the artwork and outside elements such as light, but it protects the art from fingerprints and other elements that may cause damage.

The most cost-effective way to prevent light damage is to put UV blocking glass in your frame. Over time, the UV glass will block over 97% of damaging light without affecting the appearance of your artwork. The downside is that you can expect to pay about two times as much as regular glass.

The choice of glass is usually based upon the location of your artwork. Various light conditions require different types of glass. Be sure to mention your light issues to your framer if you choose to have the work professionally done.

As far as maintenance of your artwork, it’s best to not hang your art near a fireplace or other heat source as heat can damage the art. It’s also a good idea for the art to be away from direct sunlight.

For artwork framed in glass, it’s important to not spray glass cleaners directly onto the glass. It is possible that the cleaner may seep under the glass pane and damage the mat or artwork over time. For best results, simply spray the cleaner on a soft towel and apply it to the glass.

Feather dusters work well for cleaning unframed artwork.

One last point; remember to occasionally check the back paper dust cover on the back of the framed art. Over time, small tears can appear and our little bug friends may enter and set up shop. To quote Martha, “This is NOT a good thing”.