naked art

sporadicvoltage said: Hello, I work at Michaels in the custom frame shop, and far more the often do I get people that want a frame that is what too thin for the size of the art work going in it. I give them the 2 reason as to why we wouldn't be able to use that particular frame they want. 1. "the frame will be structurally unsound" and they respond "well I've had it in a frame that thin for years and it never broke. 2. "it will look disproportional to the piece its self."

Oh, I’ve heard this so many times from customers. It seems that everybody wants a frame that is barely there. Without understanding the structural element of the frame, customers tend to get frustrated by being told what they cannot have.

There are ways to give a wooden frame more structural support from the back (stapling mat board strips across the length of the back from frame edge to edge) but I think it’s important to warn the customer and be up front about the instability of that type of solution.

For anyone who is super set on a really thin profile I will usuallly direct them toward metal frames. I personally don’t like metal (aluminum) frames as much as wooden ones, but they come super thin and the thin ones can be made larger than their wooden counterparts without loosing their structural integrity. The only problem is they do not come in as many finishes as wood frames.

These metal frames above show you just how thin they can be made and why. There is a structure that wraps around, basically adding a frame to the back of the work allowing the front to be barely visible.

Eenie, Meenie, Minie…

Usually people come in to get something framed and I help them pick out 3-5 really great options for their photo/artwork/certificate etc. With a few good choices laid out, it’s not long before that person is clearly leaning towards one or two of the options. That’s when, BAM, I come in with my final opinion to kill the indecisiveness and help them make their final decision. I’m good at being decisive when there is someone for me to work off of. On my own I am horribly, unflinchingly indecisive. I’m the queen of “sleeping on it” - which makes for awkward long pauses in restaurants while I choose between a pesto pasta or bolognese. So, I’m curious. What would you choose when faced with three options to frame a piece of art. Help me out on this one and take the poll…

Semi-DIY Custom Framing

I recently went home for the wedding of one of my best friends. The wedding and the whole week leading up to it were great and filled with lots of occasions for gift giving. It was, of course, my pleasure to shower my friend with gifts (since she is one of those people who is too humble to think she deserves anything) but as per usual, my wallet never seems to fit my intentions with gift giving. This means I had to get thrifty and crafty.

As a special gift, I decided to make her and her husband a personalized piece of art - a 4 color paper cut-out to commemorate the day they officially became a Mr. and Mrs. Instead of giving them a piece of paper though, I wanted to get it properly framed.

Though I’m a framer where I live and therefore have access to heavily discounted framing supplies and every tool I could possibly desire, when I go back home to my parents’ house I’m relegated to the same supplies most people have sitting around their home.  

In order to frame the gift for them to my standards (no cutting corners for me - I’m a pro) I got smart about what things I decided to have custom done…here’s how I managed a professionally framed semi-DIY frame job on a budget:

Read More

pookascrayon said: Adrienne, do you know anything about canvas repair? We have a painting my mother did, and it received a nasty gash through a long story I won't bother to relate.

I have not personally repaired a torn canvas before. That’s usually a job a framer will pass on to a conservator. Many framers have a trusted conservator that they use regularly.

If you are set on DIY, depending on how crafty you are and how bad the gash is, this may be a job you could tackle yourself. It’s a pretty involved job though which involves sewing the tear and repainting the damaged areas on the front of the canvas. All in all it seems to require the expertise of a professional. The images below are from the Gainsborough Products website which sells a kit for canvas repair. 

Since a painting from your mother, if nothing else, holds sentimental value, I’d highly recommend investing in a professional fix and finding a local conservator. A good one can practically work miracles. Just make sure to find someone based on recommendations and ask to see images of their work. You wouldn’t want your painting to turn into this botched restoration effort

Hope this helps!

Adrienne

Frames can be versatile and used in a variety of places - not just hung on your wall with art inside. 

Frames can be versatile and used in a variety of places - not just hung on your wall with art inside. 

As the end of wedding season approaches, I’ve noticed some pretty creative uses of frames. Not just for photos and table numbers, frames are being filled with everything from flowers to table settings to live people. 
My advice: get beautiful frames sized for some art you have sitting around at home that needs framing. Then when the wedding is done, take the flowers out or clean it up from your photo shoots and frame your art. Two birds, one stone. 

As the end of wedding season approaches, I’ve noticed some pretty creative uses of frames. Not just for photos and table numbers, frames are being filled with everything from flowers to table settings to live people. 

My advice: get beautiful frames sized for some art you have sitting around at home that needs framing. Then when the wedding is done, take the flowers out or clean it up from your photo shoots and frame your art. Two birds, one stone. 

One of my favorite uses for frames, is as a hiding place. A piece of framed art is the perfect distraction for an ugly thermostat, electrical box or even a secret safe.

Take any framed art you have (preferably in a wood frame) and attach hinges to one side of the frame. You may have to use a shadow box frame if you are hiding an object that sticks out of the wall some. Screw the hinges into the wall and you have yourself a super-secret hiding method. 

The first time I heard the term ‘glazing’ in a frame shop I was a little confused…but as builders know, Glazing is just a fancy term for glass or acrylic used in Frames (window or picture). When you go into a frame shop it’s best to be informed about the types of glazing out there to better understand what you should get for your artwork.

Empty Frame Trend

There’s been a trend lately (you may have seen it on Pinterest or your favorite design blogs) where people are hanging empty frames in clusters on their wall. I think it’s a great way to add interest to an empty space, especially if you don’t have any artwork for that space or can’t afford any artwork for the space. 

Here’s my advice for executing this look:

Don’t get your frames at a frame shop - ok, let me clarify before the secret framer mob comes to get me. Don’t get CUSTOM frames from a frame shop. Many framers keep wrong size, overstock or discontinued moulding frames around for a much better price. Since you don’t have any artwork to fit inside, you don’t have to be picky with size, so take advantage of discount frames. Also, thrift stores are a great place to find cheap frames - usually with bad artwork inside, but you can always take that out.

Choose a Color Scheme - They don’t have to be the same color - in fact I like it better when they’re not - but keeping all the frames within a few shades of each other will help the mismatched shapes and profiles look more cohesive. I helped a friend decorate a hallway with some frames we bought at thrift stores. We chose 3 paint colors and kept the silver frames as they were. The result was a nice mix of frames in the same color family.

Plan out your arrangement - As seen in the 'How to hang a multi-frame wall' post, it’s easy to plan out your frame arrangement before taking to your wall with a hammer and nail. Think about the overall shape of the wall, ceiling height, lighting and sconce placement and furniture when arranging.