The foremost consideration in framing, naturally, is the preservation of the art or artifact. The frame itself must be structurally sound, and the other components must be of an archival quality so that the artifact won’t be harmed in the near or long term.
That being said, we can move on to the enjoyable question of how it should look. Our belief is that the framing should enhance the art, but never compete with it; that is, it should draw the viewer’s eye to the artist’s work, not to our work. If it’s too simple or too decorative, it could be distracting, and diminish the effect. So that’s when you and I collaborate to produce a treatment that pleases you, serves your artwork and makes it look as if it belongs where it’s going to hang. There are no rules, but there are a lot of useful guidelines; we can think about the style and scale of the room, the furniture, and the colors, etc., but the most important thing is that you feel good about it.
Every piece, in the hands of a different owner, can be framed differently, because each owner is unique, and has his or her own relationship to the picture. So making the design suitable and pleasing to you is the most interesting part of the job. It’s fun; you’ll see.
You’ll have a lot to choose from when you’re deciding on a frame; metal or wood, simple or grand, contemporary or traditional. We can offer you everything from simple, thrifty diploma frames to highly ornate classical frames; from hand-finished American and exotic woods to hand-carved or closed corner frames leafed with 22K gold or 9K white gold. All of them are made to order and usually completed in from one to three weeks. There is also an available line of oval and circular frames that can add interest to a wall display, and they’re pre-made in standard sizes. In all, we have nearly two dozen suppliers of frame mouldings, so we can find something that meets your criteria nicely.
Creating satisfying design calls for more than just the frame selection. Matting, that paper border under the glass, is used in the framing of most paper-borne art and has several functions: it keeps the glass from touching the art, it gives the paper room to move as it expands and contracts in humidity, and has nearly infinite possibilities for fine-tuning the artistic effect of a design.
There are hundreds of shades of mat boards in neutrals and colors, both subtle and bold; some are even covered in silk, fine linen, coarse linen or suede (there’s a board that looks like astroturf, but we’ve only used it once). Judiciously used, the matting can make the artwork seem more serene or more urgent; the colors can lead the eye to an important feature of the composition; it can make the painting’s colors seem more luminous, extend the artist’s intended effect, or something else. We learn something new every day, and that’s the fun of it.
For art that doesn’t need matting, such as a poster, you can choose to have it mounted. By this, we mean attaching it to an archival mounting board with an acid-free paste, then putting it in a vacuum press to make the poster permanently flat and prevent its rippling from changes in humidity.
Oil or acrylic paintings on canvas can be stretched on stretcher bars before framing, and needlework can be stretched on needlepoint board and framed with or without a mat and glass, as you prefer.
We welcome the opportunity to solve interesting challenges and hope you’ll stop by soon with yours.
We accept all major credit cards and are open:
Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 to 7:00, Saturday from 10:00 to 6:00 and Sunday from 1:30 to 6:00. We’re closed on Monday, and during the summer, we’re closed on Sunday as well.
*The terms “museum grade”, “conservation quality” and “archival” are used here interchangeably and mean that the materials surrounding your art won’t deteriorate or cause any damage to what they’re meant to protect. Conservation quality materials are all we use. Click on “Conservation” for more information about this.