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The Importance of Proper Framing

A lot of people who move to Los Cabos, bring along works of art that mean a lot to them. Sometimes in transit, these works become damaged: glass broken, mouldings chipped, artwork crooked in the frame. They bring these beat up picture frames with their precious art to our custom frame studio for repair. In order to fix it, we have to open the frame package to clean and make necessary repairs and we are often horrified by what we see, armed with our camera we document the way the piece had been previously framed. We have seen fragile works on paper stapled, duct taped and glued to acid filled plywood boards and other supports. Not only is the art work being destroyed rapidly by the acidity of the products used, but the works can not be fixed without destroying them, so in essence bound for an early death. We then have to call the client giving them the bad news that not only were their works of art not properly framed, but that they cannot be fixed without being damaged. The client is usually shocked, saying they “had no idea, it looked great in the frame.”

There are really two parts to picture framing. What is on the outside and what is on the inside. Framing a work of art is not only to make the piece ready for wall hanging and to be aesthetically pleasing but more important, picture framing is to protect the work of art from the elements. When the client comes in with their art they rarely focus on the process of framing itself, being naturally more concerned with the finished look. Though it is not the client’s responsibility to make sure their works are being framed properly, it is essential for them to understand the importance of proper framing and ask questions to ensure their work of art will be handled properly and will last as long as possible. Because let’s be frank, a frame package can look beautiful from the outside, whether it is done properly with archival materials and preservation standards or slapped together using a plywood or cardboard support and duct tape.

When choosing how you want your piece framed there are countless combinations to choose from, not only the hundreds of moulding choices, and matting choices but the actual frame package that will compliment and work best to enhance your work of art. When working with a client we always start by saying it’s important to frame the work of art to match the art, not the couch or the drapes. This will guarantee that the picture frame will look its absolute best wherever it is placed.

Paper and textile art are two of the most fragile mediums in the art world and need to be treated so, whether you have decided to float the work to show off a deckled edge or want a triple mat to highlight certain color nuances. No matter the look you are going for, there are certain standards that must be followed. First, any material that will come in direct contact with your work of art needs to be acid free, this includes the mat boards, the backing support and the tapes, papers or hinge glue used to hold the work in place. A good rule of thumb is anything that can be purchased in your local hardware store should not come into contact with your art. The second, is that anything used to mount or hold your art in place in the frame package should be reversible without leaving any residue or damage if it must be removed. Third, works of art on paper need to be placed behind glass and UV protected glass most importantly. The key is the glass should not come in direct contact with the work of art. Through time and temperature changes the work will adhere permanently to the glass. There are other choices of glazing such as museum glass and anti-reflection, and your custom framer can advise you on the best choice for your situation, but the key is UV protection. Nothing can kill a work of art faster, even framed properly, than direct UV light over time, and especially our intense sun in Cabo!

Works on canvas such as acrylics and oils are not as fragile and therefore do not need to be placed in a frame package with glass or mat board. The framing choices are still endless with the range of mouldings, filets and linen liners, and any combination of the three. But again, the painting should be able to be removed from its frame package.

Remember, a work of art does not need to be expensive to be of value to you. Take precautions to ensure it a safe future so you may enjoy it for many years.

The Custom Frame Studio at Galeria de Ida Victoria is the most professional and equipped frame shop in Los Cabos. We import all materials including Crescent Rag Matboard, Tru-Vue UV glass and Larson-Juhl mouldings. We use archival methods of hinging & packaging the art and have a large selection of in-stock moulding and matboards. From the consultation to the packaging, all work is done in-house, so your artwork will never leave the premises. Custom framing is an art in itself. Through the process of designing a framing package, we work to house the artwork in a way that best showcases the art, making each frame package as personalized and unique as the art itself.

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