the good, the bad and the ugly (of framing)

OK, so I’ll leave “the good” for another day… Let’s concentrate on “the bad and the ugly” for now…

The trouble with framing is, the benefits of a quality job are not always immediately apparent, so it’s easy to see why some folks baulk at the cost of a bespoke frame and instead, choose something mass-produced. That’s not to say that a mass-produced frame won’t look entirely acceptable, as long as it’s selected wisely and inspected closely. I’m frequently asked to cut a window mount to fit a budget frame, and will happily do so (all customers are good customers, and there’s always the chance of future conversion to bespoke options) and often have to strengthen the corners or the hangers, and always have to add extra flexi-tabs to keep the back flat. 

An important aspect of framing is the protection it affords to your artwork, but the simple truth is, no matter how much money you throw at it, framing will  always involve a compromise or two. Reflection control, light transmission, UV blocking (at varying wavelengths), neutral colour at any viewing angle, scratch resistance, weight, cost. 

In reality, we rarely consider all the options because we don’t want to add hundreds if not thousands of pounds to our framing costs (I have a glass price list that would give you nightmares). So we all choose the best fit for our available budget depending on the criteria that’s important to us. People may choose either UV protection or “waterwhite” clarity, but rarely both.

Low cost (constrained budget) = limited protection, but limited is preferable to none.

However, I expect the majority of people will be getting their art framed for aesthetic rather than protection reasons… which is why this piece of “quality mount cutting” beggars belief. 

 Hard to believe that someone actually fitted the print to the mount, and the mount into the frame without thinking “No, that really won’t do”. Even harder to fathom the fact that it had actually made it onto the customer’s wall for a goodly amount of time before they decided to update the family photo within… and you really don’t want to know about the sticky mess of parcel tape and off-cuts of cardboard that I found packing the inside of the frame when I took off the backing board… to paraphrase a sign I saw in a tattooist studio recently “Good frames aren’t cheap, and cheap frames aren’t good”. So choose your framer wisely, and demand better.

So, you have your artwork framed and nicely displayed on you wall, whether that’s in your dining room at home, or in an office, or reception area at work, looking splendid and decorative, and making the place cheerful and a little less dull. Someone even gives them a once over with a duster once in a while. Inevitably, someone will decide the place could do with a lick of paint… Should this happen, please, can I ask you to take the frames off of the wall and put them somewhere safe before you break out the paint brushes? Then this won’t happen to you…      


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