Have a good idea of what you want to invest in the artwork? Is it a poster worth a few dollars or a family heirloom meant to be handed down from generation to generation? We have framing solutions for all budgets and needs.
Mats lay on top of the art with a beveled opening. They keep the art from being pressed directly against the glass while allowing the the artwork to lay flat underneath.
Posters, large edition prints and some photographs are often drymounted to foam board. This is a relatively inexpensive permanent process that uses a heat/vacuum press to adhere the work with a heat-activated adhesive. This helps them stay perfectly flat indefinitly.
Other more delicate, unique, or irreplaceable works are hinge mounted . This is a completely reversible type of mount that uses linen tape, rice paper, or acrylic adhesive tape depending upon the artwork substrate. The hinges are applied only at the top in order to let the artwork expand and contract naturally in it's frame without causing it to pucker or ripple.
Some prints with deckled edges, irregular papers or bleeding edges are float mounted , with the hinges hidden behind the work so that the work lays on top of the mat board with all the edges exposed. This often requires a spacer to keep the glass from pressing against the artwork.
Other special mounts might be called for with certain items: fabrics and clothing can be sewn to their backings, coins, metals and other objects can be mounted with silicone, and more delicate items are sometimes fitted with clear myar straps or specially fit acrylic, wood or paper attachments.
A wide range of materials requires a wide range of treatments . Little attention to conservation is needed for posters and other inexpensive or temporary artwork.
Most works on paper that require more conservative treatment, like small editions, artist prints, or unique and irreplaceable works, should be behind glass with adequate space and reversible mounting with stable materials.
Paintings and prints on canvas should be stretched on stretcher bars or mounted on stable materials and need only be put behind glass if they are in delicate condition or are to be hung in a high traffic area.
Certain mediums are more sensitive to light and can easily fade if not protected. No artwork is safe in direct sunlight, but watercolors, color prints and color photographs can be protected from ambient light using an ultraviolet light filtering glass or acrylic sheeting.
Archival materials are made from stable sources like cotton rag that do not contain acid, lignin or other chemicals that may harm or discolor artwork. Paper mats made from wood pulp fade easily, become brittle with age and can burn the art over time with exposure to light. Working with only archival materials ensures that your framed artwork will look good for any duration.
Keep in mind that things hold together well visually when elements repeat and vary at the same time. For example, use a second mat to pull out a strong color in a print, but only let a small amount show. Look at the kind of lines, shapes and patterns in the artwork and try to find a frame style that use a similar line or texture.
Space the proportion of the mat and frame to the artwork in a dynamic way. For example, a big mat for a smaller piece with a frame that is tall and thin, or a bigger frame for a large painting with a tiny fillet between the two.
Working with an Interior Design Scheme
Consider where the framed artwork will be displayed. Some domestic interiors require smaller proportions to fit nicely, while more public areas with large expanses of wall space may require a different set of proportions. The use and overall feeling of the intended space can help guide decision-making when it comes to colors, styles, types of wood and lighting.