Original Art & Print Framing
All competent framers will be well aware of the Fine Art Trade Guild levels of framing, framing your artwork should enhance its visual appearance and equally importantly help protect it from the harmful effects of the environment
The established FATG Framing Levels are; Minimum, Budget, Commended, Conservation and Museum and the level of protection for your artwork increases dramatically as you progress along these framing levels.
Commended or better still Conservation level framing is recommended for original artwork or artwork that has any significant financial and sentimental value. I appreciate everyone has a budget to work to but generally in the Frame Workshop I work to a conservation level to ensure a high level of protection.
Choosing a Moulding
Many customers come in to the workshop with a clear idea of what they want, but the most common question I get asked is "Your the expert what do you recommend?" Always a tricky one as everyone has different tastes and budgets. I often hear "I don't want a large moulding as it will overpower the picture" In some cases yes, but I would always recommend get the best you can within your budget. A large moulding, I believe, has a presence (Commands attention like a Ferrari or an Aston Martin) and will draw your visitors towards it and then they will admire what's inside it. Whereas with a small moulding and oversized mount all your visitors will see is the mount.
Hinging and Mounting Artwork
In the workshop I frequently reframe items and I'm constantly amazed at the way some framers treat their customers artwork, I guess they think what is not in view does not matter? My frames look just as good on the inside as the outside. Ideally it should be explained to customers that any artwork of value should not touch the glass so a mount should be used and the other bad practice I frequently see is the hinging of artwork with cheap masking tape!
Prints that have been hinged using masking tape at the top and bottom, or worse still all the way round will mean that the print can't naturally expand and contract, and will eventually cause wrinkling of the print and the tape will eventually damage the print as it has no acid-free qualities. Prints must be hinged correctly with the correct conservation level tape to allow expansion and contraction caused by changes in room temperature.
Below is a prime example of why you should use a reputable framer, these gorgeous original old watercolours were brought in for reframing and the artwork had been secured to a cheap mount with sellotape all the way round, over time the tape has reacted with the paper and has eventually made its way through to the face of the artwork. I'm not a restoration expert but I doubt anything can be done to reverse the damage which is cost effective. The customer was quite happy to cover some of the damage with a smaller mount. The result is still a special bit of artwork which has been protected from any further damage.