Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Good Frame-Up

Franky and Meridith’s foyer has kind of developed over time.  And we’ve been able to carefully choose each item we add to the décor, including the wonderful photograph by Jeremy Kohm and its custom frame.

I find a lot of folks are intimidated by custom framing and often consider it “too expensive”.  So, I thought it might be helpful to share how we made decisions in this custom project and show how this piece was fitted and framed.

Franky and Meridith’s foyer is a mixture of old and new, sleek and slightly worn, down-to-earth and glamorous.  And we wanted to continue that dichotomy in the frame details.  So we chose a very simple wood frame with a beautiful hand-rubbed glaze and light distressing and asked that the mat bevel be edged in gold.

This simplicity both offsets and lends to the elegant Art Deco swimming pool, the gilded tones of the marble and pendant lights and the cool stillness of the water.  The large mat accomplishes two objectives: it endows the whole piece with a little heft, a greater visual importance in the rather large open foyer, and gives the image breathing room… if that makes sense.
A good frame shop should offer hundreds, if not thousands of frame and mat options, and its staff members can help you make similar decisions for framing your art and collectibles.  I think it’s important to consider where your art will be hung.  Are lamplight, sunlight and/or humidity issues?  How do you feel about glare?  And of course, there are many traditions and ideas about the proper look of framed prints, photographs, paintings, textiles and mirrors.  But ultimately, the decision is yours.

My sister is a framer, and she and her friends assembled our little project.  We custom ordered the moulding for the frame, used acid-free matting that was already in stock and then everything was handled locally, in-house: the moulding was cut; the frame was constructed; the mat was cut and its bevel painted by hand.

My sister actually fitted the work herself and allowed me to document the process.  First, she cuts the glass to size…
and cleans the glass and mounted artwork.

It’s important to tidy up the bevel corners.
She then tapes the glass and mounted artwork together.  The mat keeps the photograph from resting directly against the glass.  Before taping all sides, she double checks… did any lint sneak in?  If so, she removes the tape and cleans again.
We used clear conservation glass to protect the photograph in the sunny foyer.
She then secures the glass and art within the frame,
applies adhesive to the back of the frame,
and cuts black kraft paper to size.
This is a fairly heavy piece, so she used larger ring hangers instead of eye hooks.

To finish up, she sands the corners where the mitered cuts meet,
perfects joints with colored wood putty,
and cleans one more time.
Looks pretty good!
And it's ready to hang in Franky and Meridith's home.
You should expect the same care and attention from your local frame shop… whether or not your sister handles the job!

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