Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Framing Myths....

Since there is a relatively small number of people who have had something framed custom, there are probably a lot of myths that I don't even know about. I'll list some here and add to it over time. If you have a preconceived notion regarding custom framing, please send it to me and I'll address it here.
Myth #1: So and so has a coupon for 50% off framing. That must be a good deal! See my post on January 14th. My bust on that myth is, yea, and they run the same coupon every week. If a framer uses the same coupon week in and week out, then their so called 50% off is their regular price. If you are into comparing pricing, use their 50% off price against everyone elses regular price. Their half price is pretty close to everyone elses regular price (at least ours).
Myth #2: I have a friend who frames in his or her garage. He/she is as good as you are. Yea, well.... My bust here is the professional framer who has devoted his/her life and career to framing continues to learn about products and techniques. I've removed more corrugated cardboard and "regular" mats from home framers work. Now, in deference to my home framing friends, this post is about everyone but you.
Myth #3: Acid free means archival or conservation. Some mats are by definition acid free, but they don't necessarily stay that way. Just look at an "acid free" mat after 3 or 4 years. It will be discolored. If the mat is discolored, then your artwork is right behind (both literally and figuratively). For a mat or backing to be archival, it is either cotton rag or alpha cellulose. These materials have met standards of museums, conservationists and the Library of Congress as archival grade. Back to "acid free" mats, they are buffered with calcium carbonate which is the key ingredient in antacids. A question to you, when you take an antacid does it neutralize the acid in your stomach for the rest of your life? As my friend Winnie the Pooh says, nufsad.
Myth #4: This isn't worth the extra expense of UV glass. It's just my child's painting from first grade. Maybe as important as archival mats, is UV glass. Most artwork (excluding ceramics) will fade over time as it is exposed to light. Light is not just sunlight; fluorescent, incandescent, halogen all light fades artwork. If you expect to keep a picture for 5 years, use UV glass. It's about 25-50% more than regular glass(an extra $5-$10 on most average sized pictures), but worth the expense.
Myth #5: Non glare glass prevents fading. My bust on that one is simple. It doesn't. UV glass has an invisible film on one surface that filters out ultra violet light. Non glare glass is simply regular glass that has been etched on one side to wipe out the reflection. UV goes right through it.
Myth #6: I already spent $200 on the portrait. It will be fine in a ready frame from ____-Mart. I heard an art critic talking with a student artist a few years ago and his comment stuck with me. "Your art deserves to live forever. Treat it that way." I've always said a frame doesn't make the piece, but it sure can ruin it. If you get a nice portrait or piece of art, plan to treat it like you value it. Believe me, the cheap frame will make it look cheap.
Myth #7: All you have to do is.... Some folks think the process of custom framing is easy. Well, it certainly isn't what you would call rocket surgery, but there are techniques and processes that we learn through education and experience that you can't see from the finished product. Most of those T&P's protect your work in ways you may not appreciate for several years. Everything we do is to protect and enhance your artwork.