02 Aug How Does Custom Framing Help To Preserve Art
Art pieces have tremendous value for their owners, be it financially, aesthetically or sentimentally. Yet, they are also highly fragile works that can be ruined by subtle forces in the environment. One way to keep your artwork safe would be to wrap it flat in acid free materials, while leaving them in a dark place. However, this would mean it never sees the light of day and will not receive the admiration it deserves.
In order to have your art pieces displayed in your home, office or any space, it requires the protection of a frame. Afterall, if the artwork deteriorates, then it will become a shadow of its former self and lose its value. This is why art framing is almost as critical as the actual art pieces.
The Importance of Having the Right Frame
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, why not simply buy a frame from a local art store? Other than the size of available frames, the purpose and abilities of the frame must be considered too. An appropriate art frame takes into account your art piece as well as the environment around it. For example, if it is placed under strong spotlight for full illumination, then the frame needs to be resistant to light and heat.
Protection factors to be considered includer:
- Conservation requirements
- Acidity effects
- Exposure to UV or infrared rays
Furthermore, a frame is much more than just a layer of protection. Be it the mat spacing or the actual frame itself, quality framing work helps to enhance your artwork. Visually, it can add a layer of contrast or help to expand the impact of the art piece. In this way, it brings out the best in the artwork and gives you great value for your money.
Consider the Mats Required
A mat refers to the background material that separates the artwork from the boarders of the frame. It serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Functionally, it prevents the artwork from sticking to any glass layer by distancing it.
Meanwhile, mats help to draw attention to the art piece by isolating it from the frame. This is done through having a plain and colour neutral buffer zone. When set correctly, a mat allows a smooth transition from the frame to the art piece.
Paperboard or Regular Mat Board
Regular mat boards are the most commonly used type of artwork mat. Made from wood pulp and altered to have a neutral acidity level, it has a 100-year lifespan. The upside of paperboards is their versatility, being able to be paired with most works. As such, they are typically used for art pieces in the low to mid-range as well as printed photos.
There are primarily 2 types of paper mats – acidic and non-acidic.
- Acidic paper mats are made from wood pulp and thus has acidic properties. This is why the bevel of a white paper mat gains a yellowish colour over time. What is happening is that the acidic compound known as lignin creates yellow marks over time.
- Non-acidic paper mats on the other hand will remain white in colour even in the long run. However, they do typically cost more than their counterparts.
Usually, acidic mats are used with inexpensive or replaceable art pieces. As such, when art owners are unsure of the worth of the art piece, they tend to choose non-acidic mats as a precaution.
Cotton Rag Mats
Cotton rag mats are constructed with a cotton rag core as well as a backing paper. These mats are acid free and considered to be appropriate for most art pieces. The only exception being that of artwork that requires higher levels of conservation. Given their quality, they are often used to house new high value art works, be it photos or watercolour paintings.
Archival or Conversation Mat Board
Archival mat boards are the most expensive and least acidic of the different types of mat boards. As the name suggests, they are primed for conversing the condition of art pieces, especially those which are fragile. Their materials include vellum, suede and linen.
Conversation mat boards made from pH neutral cellulose that is inert to chemical changes. Moreover, they have a lifespan of 100s of years, making them suitable for artwork that requires the highest level of preservation.
Consider Mat Presentation
Other than choosing the type of mat to be used to protect the artwork, you need to also consider how to present them. This involves its size, quantity and colour.
When selecting the size of the mat, you will be mainly thinking about how it affects the presentation of the artwork. Having a larger mat results in a more zoom in and focused visual experience. Conversely, a smaller mat makes the artwork look bigger and granular. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you have a minimum width of 2 inches in order to give sufficient separation from the frame.
Quantity of Mats
It is possible to add more mats to your frame. In doing so, a visual delineation is created, drawing eyes to your art piece. While this creates a pleasing level of depth, you should take care not to overdue it. The last thing you would want would be to take attention away from the art piece.
Colour of Mats
Generally, you can’t go wrong with a neutral colour mat as it serves as white space in the frame. However, on occasion, a coloured mat can provide a contrast that accentuates the artwork further. Given the risk involved, we recommend that you consult a framing services Singapore provider before selecting your mat colour.
Choosing the Frame
Artwork frames are typically made of materials such as wood, metal, resin, silver or gold. These materials each provide a different visual impact on the viewer and thus must be chosen to match the artwork. Depending on the material used, you will also find different levels of inertness and sturdiness. As such, their cost can vary greatly as well.
How Framing Professionals Assist You
Framing specialists such as ourselves understand the difficulty in picking the right frame that meets both aesthetic and functional needs. Moreover, rather than overwhelming you with complex questions, it is important that we use a streamlined process. As such, we commonly request for the following information:
- Photos of the space in which the artwork is to be hung
- Measurements of the art piece, walls and even possibly other objects in the space
- Colour code of the wall colour and possibly other surfaces
- The intended presentation and use of the art piece
- Environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight or wind
- Your budget
Other Types of Frames
Just like fashion or interior design, artwork frames also have trends or fads that come and go. Yet, they do tend to stick around for a much longer amount of time. As such, an investment in an art frame should last you for the lifespan of the art piece.
Unsurprisingly, there are a variety of glass frames for you to choose from for your artwork. These include regular glass, museum glass, conservation clear glass and Plexiglas:
- Regular glass are the most affordable but do tend to be highly reflective. As such, depending on its environment, it can make the artwork difficult to view. Moreover, despite being reflective, regular glass do not block UV rays from reaching your painting.
- Conservation clear glass is a moderately price option. As a premium, it assists to block 99% of UV rays while being slightly less reflective than regular glass.
- Museum glass is the most expensive option. Similar to conservation glass, it blocks 99% of UV rays, but is additionally non-reflective. This makes museum glass an ideal option for viewing and appreciating artwork.
Typically, glass is used to cover paper based artwork, providing a good level of protection for it. However, it is not suitable for oil and acrylic paintings as they need to breathe when cured. Furthermore, we recommend to reduce the amount of UV rays that reaches the glass grame. This can be done by installing a UV filter film on any windows in the space.
Shadow boxes are simply put, a deep frame that house 3-D objectives within them. Often the, object is hand stitched to a mat board or have small supports to help suspend it. In this way, a level of depth is created within the frame, allowing for increased levels of appreciation. However, shadow boxes can be tricky to create, especially since the supporting structures should not be visible.
Trust Impress Galleries’ Art Consultants to Build Your Collection
With more than 25 years of experience in the arts industry in Singapore, Impress Galleries is committed to providing top-quality art consultancy and distribution services for individuals and businesses. Our team of experienced art consultants is well versed in the Singapore art scene, helping you develop your vision for your space and sourcing for the best pieces to fulfil that vision. Our collection is sourced globally, and includes artworks by many famous local artists.
We also provide a range of artwork installation and framing services for those who are looking to set up and maintain their collections of artwork. Whether you’re looking to brighten up your space or frame your favourite art pieces, we have the solution for you. Get in touch with our art consultants today!