To further enrich your artistic experience, we are delighted to present to you our guide on the art of framing.
Framing is more than just a technical step; it offers a unique opportunity to personalize an artwork so that it harmoniously integrates with your style and interior decoration. By choosing the right frame, you do more than just make an aesthetic choice; you create a custom setting that not only preserves the work but also enhances and integrates it into your living space.
Our guide aims to explain in detail why framing is such a crucial step in the appreciation of an artwork. We cover various aspects of framing, such as material choices, current styles and trends, and framing techniques that can protect and visually enhance your artworks. We will also provide practical advice on selecting the perfect frame, whether it's for a contemporary piece or a timeless classic.
Our guide is designed to help you make informed choices, so that each artwork you own can be presented in the best possible way, respecting its integrity and enriching your environment.
Why is it essential to frame your prints ?
Due to the delicate nature of paper, prints require special attention to preserve their original condition and prevent any alteration over time.
Indeed, dust and humidity can compromise the stability and integrity of the print. These elements can not only affect the vibrancy of the colors but also alter the texture of the paper, leading to a loss of quality and value of the work.
Moreover, ultraviolet (UV) rays pose a significant threat to prints. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial light sources rich in UV can cause noticeable fading and rapid deterioration of pigments. This exposure can lead to a loss of color brilliance and degradation of the print's visual composition.
To counter these harmful effects, it is crucial to take appropriate conservation measures. This includes storing the prints in a controlled environment, away from excessive humidity and direct sunlight; the use of special glasses, such as UV-blocking or anti-reflective glass, can contribute to better preservation of colors and details of the work, while offering optimal visibility. These special glasses filter out harmful UV rays and reduce reflections, thus preserving the quality and integrity of the work over the long term.
It is also important to handle the prints carefully, using gloves to prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from the skin, which could further damage the delicate paper. Regular and gentle cleaning of the surface of the print and its frame can help reduce the accumulation of dust and other particles that could settle on it.
By following these conservation practices, you can ensure that the prints remain in excellent condition and retain their beauty and value for future generations.
What framing is most suitable for prints ?
To meet the specific conservation needs of paper-based works, we strongly recommend using a frame equipped with a protective glass. This transparent barrier is essential to provide effective defense against various external elements, such as dust, humidity, and UV rays, thus ensuring optimal preservation of your precious artworks.
Indeed, conventional papers and cardboards tend to yellow and degrade over time, and can even transfer their acidity to the work, which could irreversibly damage the work. To avoid this, it is crucial that the back of the frame and the mat board are made exclusively from natural, acid-free materials, such as cotton or cellulose, to maintain a neutral pH environment around the work.
Finally, it is also important to consider the frame itself. A quality frame, well-fitted and constructed with appropriate materials, will provide additional structural support to the work, while aesthetically complementing its appearance. A good frame should not only protect the work but also enhance it, in harmony with its style and the context in which it will be displayed.
By following these framing recommendations, you ensure not only the protection and conservation of your paper-based works but also their presentation in the best light for years to come.
Different types of frames
- Classic frame : These frames, representative of a timeless aesthetic, harmoniously match a wide range of artistic styles. Usually made of wood or metal, materials known for their durability and elegance, these frames are particularly prized for framing more traditional works of art. Their versatility is accentuated by the availability of a wide palette of shades, allowing them to be chosen according to the work to be framed and perfectly integrated into your interior decor.
- Floating frame (or American box) : Known for its distinctive design, the floating frame is characterized by an open structure on the sides, creating an impression of the work floating within the frame. This type of frame offers a modern and sleek style, enhancing the artwork without limiting it to a traditional frame. American boxes are particularly suitable for canvases where the artist has extended their work to the edges, as they fully expose these painted sides, thus offering a complete and unaltered view of the work. This framing technique is ideal for contemporary canvases or works that require a less imposing frame, allowing the work to fully express itself.
The floating frame has the advantage of providing visual lightness and a touch of modernity, while offering effective protection and enhancement of the work. By choosing this type of frame, you opt for a presentation that respects the aesthetics of the work while giving it a distinct presence in your space.
- Carved wood frame : Carved wood frames are works of art in their own right, displaying motifs and finely sculpted details in the wood. They add an additional artistic touch to the framing of the artwork, thus enhancing its overall appearance. The variety of styles available for these frames is vast, reflecting the diversity of historical periods, artistic movements, and individual tastes. These frames can range from simple and clean designs to elaborate and complex designs, offering a range of choices to complement and enhance any type of artwork.
This type of frame is particularly appreciated for its ability to emphasize or add a classic, formal, or traditional aesthetic to a work. They are perfect for classical paintings, portraits, historical artworks, or any other art requiring a touch of elegance and sophistication. Carved wood frames can also be used in contrast with contemporary works, creating an interesting dialogue between the modern and the traditional.
The quality of the wood used and the craftsmanship applied in the carving of these frames play a crucial role in their final appearance. Wood species such as oak, walnut, or mahogany can be chosen for their durability and natural beauty, while finishing techniques such as gilding, patination, or lacquer add richness and depth to the sculpted details.
Colors and materials
The selection of the material and color of the frame depends not only on the style of the work but also on the atmosphere you wish to create in your space. Wooden frames, with their varied finishes ranging from light oak to dark walnut, bring a touch of warmth and naturalness, ideal for classic or rustic interiors. Metal frames, on the other hand, offer a more modern and sleek look, perfectly suited to contemporary or minimalist spaces.
In addition, the quality of the finish plays a crucial role in the visual impact of the frame. Whether it's a glossy, matte, patinated, or textured finish, each detail contributes to the final appearance of the frame. Ornaments and sculpted details can also be added to accentuate the character of a work, especially for classic or historical pieces.
It is also important to consider the impact of the frame on the work itself. A well-chosen frame should not only complement the artwork but also enhance it without dominating it. It should create a visual and aesthetic balance, emphasizing the unique qualities of the work while integrating into the overall environment of the presentation space.
Different types of glass
- Standard glass : This classic glass is commonly used in many types of frames. Although it provides basic protection against dust, minor physical damage, and some measure of protection against UV rays, it is not the most effective solution to prevent fading of artworks over time. It can also present reflections, which can hinder the visualization of the work from certain angles or in certain lighting conditions.
- Anti-reflective glass : A special treatment applied to glass, anti-reflective glass significantly reduces reflections and glare, greatly improving the visibility and clarity of the exhibited work. It is ideal for environments where natural or artificial lighting could create undesirable reflections on the surface of the work, allowing for more comfortable and detailed appreciation of the art.
- UV-blocking glass : Specially designed to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays, UV-blocking glass plays a crucial role in protecting artworks from fading and degradation caused by exposure to light. It is essential for the long-term preservation of artworks, especially those that are light-sensitive or that are often displayed in well-lit areas.
- Plexiglass (or acrylic) glass : Plexiglass, lightweight and robust, is a popular alternative to traditional glass. Offering visual clarity comparable to glass, it is less heavy and less prone to breakage, making it ideal for framing large artworks or for works located in high-traffic areas where the risk of breakage is higher. Some types of plexiglass also offer UV protection, combining the advantages of lightness and preservation of the work.
- Museum glass (or conservation glass) : Offering superior protection against UV rays and minimizing reflections, museum glass is often the preferred choice for framing artworks of great artistic or historical value. This type of glass ensures optimal viewing of the work while providing the highest level of protection against environmental factors that could alter or degrade the work over time.
In short, the choice of glass for framing an artwork largely depends on the environment in which the work will be displayed, the value of the work, and the required preservation conditions. Each type of glass offers specific advantages, and it is important to select the one that best suits the specific needs of each work to ensure its optimal protection and enhancement.
Matting and Marie-Louise
- Marie-Louise (or inner fillet) : The marie-louise is a thin, often decorative band placed inside the mat and directly framing the artwork. It adds an additional aesthetic dimension to the frame by creating a subtle and refined visual transition between the work and the mat. This border can be chosen in a variety of colors and finishes to complement the work and add a touch of sophistication and finesse to the overall framing.
- Mat : The mat is a key component of framing, designed to visually enhance and protect a work of art. Made from cardboard, paper, or other quality materials, it is precisely cut to surround the work and is placed between it and the glass of the frame. The selection of a mat is not limited to its practical function; it also includes an important aesthetic choice in terms of color, texture, and thickness, offering a multitude of options to personalize the appearance of the framing.
The mat is not just a decorative element; it plays several crucial roles in the presentation and conservation of the print :
- Highlighting the Print : By creating a space between the work and the frame, the mat offers an elegant visual presentation that enhances the print. It draws the viewer's attention to the work, giving it a distinct visual frame that highlights its importance and beauty.
- Visual Protection : The mat acts as a protective barrier between the print and the glass of the frame, preventing direct contact that could damage the work, such as condensation or adhesion to the glass.
- Aesthetic Balance : The mat is also a tool for visually balancing the print with its frame. By choosing a color and texture that harmonize well with the work and the frame, it is possible to create a visual harmony that enhances the overall presentation.
In short, the mat and marie-louise are essential elements that, when chosen and used carefully, can transform the framing of a work of art into an enriched visual experience, while ensuring its protection and enhancement.
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