Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What you don't see...

Custom framing is not an exact science, but things seem to go together best when you're careful. When you pick up a completed custom framed piece, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it should be free of dust under the glass, corners should be pretty seamless, and the frame should be free of dings or bumps. What you don't see are the countless openings and closings to get that last speck of dust out, care to keep the frame from being bumped by other frames in the process, and time taken to doctor the corners to make them perfect. In the course of working on your framing, your framer may have to solve many problems to assure your satisfaction. Here is a sample of what happens in the process of "framing:"
  • Your framer pulls uncut moulding to make your frame. He (since your author is a he, I'll keep it simple and say "he") inspects it for flaws and other shop dings, cuts the frame and sets it on the nailing table.
  • Next, he prepares the corners for joining, inspects it again, joins the corners and hangs it for finishing. So, in this process, there are 3 opportunities for damage.
  • Next, he pulls matboard, inspects it for damage, cuts the mat opening to fit your artwork, cleans the bevel and inspects it for bad cuts, mounts your artwork in the mat and sets it aside for finishing. In the mat cutting process, there are in essence about 3 chances to damage a mat, although there are countless times when a mat can be damaged (e.g. a matboard cut on your finger is highly painful and blood does not come out of a mat).
  • Next, after inspecting it, he cuts the glass and puts the frame "package" into the frame. Glass either fits or it does not. If it does not, you cut another. It's a rare instance that you can cut just a little off a piece of glass. On one project, I went through an entire box of 4 sheets of glass before I succeeded in cutting one that fit the frame.
  • Now, the glass fits, blow out dust from the glass and mat, drop in the matted piece, pop in a couple of staples and inspect for dust and particles. If there are particles, you pull the staples, blow out the dust, staple again and inspect it again. If there are no dust particles, you proceed to the fully stapling part. If there is dust, you open it and blow it out again (I've found if you don't get the dust out in the first 2 tries, because of Murphy's Law, you can count on 4 or 5 tries).
  • Dust is out and you staple up the back, paper it, wire it, apply your label and bumpons in the corners. Rarely, are there failings in this part of the process.
  • Now, your framer inspects the corners and uses a corner filler to smooth out the seams where the corners come together.
  • Finally, he calls you to tell you it's time to pick up your work, puts it in a bin and waits for you to come get your masterpiece.
There you have a small sampling of the process of a framing project. As your framer, it's our job to measure accurately, cut accurately, treat your artwork with care and respect, and inspect, inspect, inspect.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Owning original Art

Have you ever gone to someones home and your senses were filled by their Art collection? Creating an Art collection is much different from decorating a house although your Art will eventually decorate your home. Your Art is much more personal than a mere decoration. Deciding to collect art is exactly that, a decision. And it comes from an appreciation of the creativity around us. Like any big project, you break it down into manageable steps (like the saying, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.) Step 1, say to yourself, "I'm going to build an Art Collection." Don't stress, step 1 is free. Step 2, identify what media you like or prefer (e.g. oil paintings, pastels, sculpture, printmaking, ceramic, etc. ) Step 3, decide you want to buy one piece of art each year. Or, I want to spend $300 (or $3000, etc.). It becomes a game. When you go to a gallery, you say to yourself, "is today the day?" Once you decide to enrich your world with Artwork it's a matter of narrowing down to the piece to buy. If you have a gallery or artist you like, visit regularly. If it's a gallery rather than an artist, learn about the artists they represent. If you like a particular artist's work, ask to meet him or her. Like I said earlier, owning Art is very personal. Attend openings. At Nelson Fine Art, we have an opening reception for artists every month on First Friday. If a piece of art at a reception seems interesting to you, ask the gallery owner to introduce you to the artist. Visiting with an artist can give you a better sense of what he or she was trying to accomplish. Just like that, you've added to the art experience. You can't do that with a vase or print you buy at a store. Step 4, buy! Now wasn't that simple? And in a few years you will have a collection of Art to be proud of. Benefits of buying original art? You own one of a kind pieces. If you met the artist, you have a better understanding of your piece. By buying original Art, you also encourage your artist to continue. And you keep the dollars local.

Friday, July 3, 2009

How to enjoy an economic downturn

You don't have to spend money. Have you ever been to a business website and been told that? Doubt it. What I'm trying to say is during these economic times in which we find ourselves sometimes it's important to find things to do that are free or cheap. Here, I'm talking free. Every month, Nelson Fine Art features 2 different groups of artists. Group #1 is presented on First Friday during our monthly art shows. Group #2 artists lease gallery space and are generally seen throughout the year. As a matter of fact, right now at NFA, we have 4 new artists in Group #2 to add to our mix of regulars. Between the 2 groups, you can usually see about 40-60 new pieces of art each month. No charge. Ever. I'm not saying we don't sell the art. We'd love for you to buy one original piece of art each year, but that's another post for another time. So, while you are concerned about the economy and your finances, try something free, come to Nelson Fine Art and expose yourself to art.

This public service announcement is brought to you by Nelson Fine Art, Tree House Custom Framing, and the Brew Plum Coffee Bar. (Here's the sales pitch) When the time comes that you or a friend needs custom picture framing, please use us and recommend us. Remember it's the framing that makes the rest of the gallery work. We'll work hard to earn and keep your business and trust.