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Gallery Walls - Framing and Displaying your Collection

What constitutes a collection? Is it your children's school arts pieces? Is it a growing art collection? Holiday mementos or family portraits? Why can't it be all of the above? It can! Your collection can be anything you want it to be. What speaks to you and brings you joy? How do you present this collection? That's where we can help! We have a lot of clients wanting to create their own gallery/collection wall but don't know where to start. Hopefully we can give you some hints and tips, and images of some of our clients very own gallery hangs to inspire you.

Depending on the number and sizes of the pieces, there are different ways of bringing your collection together. For a more formal look and feel we can keep these pieces more uniform by choosing some constants within the collective design. This could be achieved by using the same moulding and matting, or it could be with keeping everything, including the sizes of the frames the same (even if the images are not all the same size)

Continue the formal look with a structured lineal hang, either horizontal or vertical. This style works best with an odd number of pieces, for example three or nine, depending of the sizes and space you have for the display. In saying this a grouping of 6, 8 or 12 can also look fantastic. There is always an exception to the rule, even when going formal. Take the below design we recently framed and installed for a client. Even though they are offset they still have a clean crisp formal look. 

Gallery hang framed needleworks Brisbane.jpg

A more informal look can be created in a myriad of ways. The key is to keep it random while still giving a purpose as to why they are hung together. An easy way to achieve this is to keep the subject matter similar. For example the candid family pictures, taken while on holiday or at birthdays or other certain milestones. If you have a more varied collection that includes photos, art and mementos than you can tie the collection together by keeping colours and styles of the framing consistent (even if using a combination of colours and different profiles in the frames). In saying this I have seen so many fantastic collections where it is just an eclectic mix and match and it looks fantastic. Somehow the collection speaks about the collector and when all the pieces belong to one person there is that persons individuality and spirit that ties the collection together.

Once you have decided on the look and feel of the collection, it is time to get them framed! When speaking with your framer, it is best to bring the collection in at the same time. That way you can make sure the materials and designs you choose work on all the pieces and then collectively work together. In the end the framing has to suit the piece or it will never look right, even when its part of a collection. It's is also a great idea to bring some pictures of the space and wall in where the collection will hang. This will help not only to work with the designing but also make sure that the collection will fit nicely in the space. Make sure you know the width and height of the wall and pics will let your framer know if there are any furnishings to consider.

picture framer brisbane edit.jpg

Now that the pieces have returned from your framer, you can see exactly how they all work together. The more formal layouts can be relatively easy to arrange and hang. Simply due to the structure and size and the placement being a little more rigid. 

Collection of templates antique brisbane.jpg

The more informal hangs can be a little more involved. The three secrets to getting this right are plan, plan and plan! Firstly, let's look at the overall shape of the display. You can create an overall shape using the outside lines of the frames, for instance a square or rectangle or even a circle. Another option is to find the central point and radiate the works out from there, creating a more 'random' and organic feel.

If your not confident in hanging the works you can always have us or another hanging specialist do this for you. The other option is the installation of a hanging system. These can be relatively simple to install yourself or again have us do the hard work for you. The beauty of these systems is they give the freedom to change the placement of the pieces, adding and subtracting as new pieces replace older ones, without any damage to your walls.

There are so many creative ways you can bring a little bit of your story to your home and gallery collection walls are a great place to start. Chat to us today about how we can help you create that gallery wall you have always wanted.

 

 

 

 

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Wall of achievement - Framing certificates and awards

Some would think it is just a piece of paper so why conservation framing. Why would you spend upwards of $200 considering you can pop into any department store and pick up a "certificate frame" for under $10. You could do that but take a moment and think, what does that piece of paper really mean. Are these cheap "certificate frames" really the way to go? Is even standard basic "acid free" custom framing worthy of your achievement? These documents signify something far more valuable than many first realise. When you stop and think about what goes into earning that piece of paper you might re-evaluate how you plan to preserve and present that single sheet of paper.

I have great admiration for anyone who can make it through university studies. My journey was "on the job training". For my career it was the right path but the work I do now crosses over daily with those who challenged themselves at an academic level. I have the opportunity to help my clients show off their achievement and most importantly protect it. How do we do that? We give you the information and offer you solutions.

Maybe a little fancy for most certificates but as this is to showcase the qualification of a framer it is fitting.

Maybe a little fancy for most certificates but as this is to showcase the qualification of a framer it is fitting.

So lets start by putting an actual dollar value on that piece of paper. Taking a quick look online the average cost of a degree in Australia is $10,000 per year and the average degree is three years. So already that piece of paper is sitting at a value of $30,000. Then we calculate the hours of your time to earn that piece of paper. University is a full time job. Three years wages at a conservative $35,000 a year (entry level) and we are now at $135,000. That is a very valuable piece of paper. When you look at the cost of conservation framing of your degree in relation to the cost of earning the degree, in numbers, the justification is clear.

Then there is the meaning of the degree. Your qualification! This piece of paper tells the person viewing it that you know your stuff. It is your credibility. If you are going to display your qualifications in a business environment where clients and colleagues will see it then you need to think about the message you are sending. This piece of paper is important. If you place it in a cheap readymade frame then you are telling the viewer its not important and what it represents is not to be taken seriously. However if you present it in a quality custom made frame with great design then you are telling the viewer that these credentials are solid and to be trusted.

Dark blue mattings with a gold fillet trim. (name has deliberately been disguised for client privacy)

Dark blue mattings with a gold fillet trim. (name has deliberately been disguised for client privacy)

Just these two points alone justify quality conservation framing your degree but you earned that. You worked hard and you sacrificed. You should be proud of your achievement. Edgar Degas is quoted as saying "The frame is the reward of the artist" and so to the frame is the reward of the graduate. Show it off. Be proud. You deserve it.

So why conservation framing? Think about how long that document is going to represent your credentials. You finish your studies say from the age of 21. Lets say you are lucky and are able to retire in your 60's. This is over 40 years of a working career. A career that's foundations were built on the knowledge you gained through your studies and that piece of paper is the proof. Cheap low grade framing materials will deteriorate the very pieces they are supposed to protect. We see this often with artworks that require restoration and conservation. The reason they need this specialised treatment is often a direct result of poor framing. It is the same for certificates and awards. Think to the future and do you want your qualifications still giving the viewer a sense of trust and security in your skills or do you want them giving a tired and daggy impression.

An example of the effects of incorrect framing. See how the paper has gone brown and splotchy. There are multiple reactions happening on this piece included UV burn, Mat burn, Foxing and Staining. These issues could have been avoided through proper conservation framing.

An example of the effects of incorrect framing. See how the paper has gone brown and splotchy. There are multiple reactions happening on this piece included UV burn, Mat burn, Foxing and Staining. These issues could have been avoided through proper conservation framing.

We understand that sometimes finances just don't allow for quality conservation framing. Having seen the effects of cheap ready made frames on documents in a short period of time, I am a big believer in waiting to frame the actual degree until you can afford the best. Many times I have suggested to clients we take a colour copy of the degree and pop the copy in a more affordable frame for the interim and let us make a safe conservation folder to store the original. (The folders your degree is presented to you in is NOT conservation quality). Then when you are ready the original will be in perfect condition for framing. Some people have said, "Oh I will just get a copy of it". It can be difficult to arrange copies of your degrees from the Universities if they are damaged and it is my understanding that they will come with a COPY stamp across the front. This does not look great framed and doesn't send a message of confidence to the viewer.

At the end of the day it is up to the client to decide how much they value that simple piece of paper but as a person who clearly believes in the value of education then knowing how to correctly preserve and present that piece of paper is what we are here to help with.

Simple yet Strong.

Simple yet Strong.

 

 

 

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Seeing Through The Pane - Glass choices

Glass quality and purpose, UV and museum glass, how is it made and is it worth the money?

The difference is clarity!

The difference is clarity!

 

You may remember the old way of reducing glare on pictures! Popular in the 80’s and 90’s, non reflective glass can only be described as horrible, it makes everything look out of focus and actually speeds up the process of aging, because it bounces UV light around beneath the glass. Now with amazing advancement there are glazing's on the market that do what traditional non-reflective glass failed at. We’ve had it for a while but its now becoming a standard as people come to see and know the results.

Museum glass may be more expensive, but well worth the investment when you consider the benefits.  Good quality museum glass cannot be beaten for its clarity, because it almost completely eliminates reflections, it is almost imperceptible. 

Next time you come into the studio, have a look at the samples of ordinary glass and museum glass, side by side. The difference is truly amazing! Museum glass allows for optimal transition of light, making the images appear clearer and colours brighter and more saturated. By eliminating 99% of UV rays, which will age, fade and deteriorate most materials, museum glass is the best investment towards protecting your precious artwork. 

If you are not worried about the reflection but conservation is a high concern there is a more affordable option that does not compromise on its preservation properties.

We ALWAYS recommend using this as a first choice.

And although we cant the reverse damage already done, if you notice some of your framed pieces are beginning to fade, you might consider bringing them in to have the glass replaced.

 

LINK: Click her for an article with a bit more scientific information on the different glass types and their benefits: http://www.frameusa.com/blog/what-are-the-different-types-of-picture-framing-glass/

 

 

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MIRROR MIRROR!!!!

It’s all about the frame….and the space…and the illusion. And of course, getting your lipstick on straight.

Mirror

People have been admiring their reflections in man-made mirrors since they began polishing the surface of a type of volcanic black glass called Obsidian, around 6,000 years ago. Mirrors remained primarily a luxury item until the 1800’s when a new manufacturing process, a coating on the back of a sheet of glass, made mirrors affordable and readily available to everyone.

There is much mysticism surrounding the use of mirrors, some believe that breaking one may cause 7 years bad luck. Once upon a time, people believed that when a member of the household passed away, all the mirrors in a house had to be covered.

Mirrors have famously been depicted in art through the ages, as with one of the most popular paintings in the London National gallery, the 1434 painting The Arnolfini Portrait, where the Dutch artist Jan van Eyck sneakily included a self portrait, in the mirror. Above it is the inscription: Johannes van Eyck fuit hic (Jan van Eyck was here)

If you zoom in on this image, take a peek in the mirror on the wall behind the couple…you can see him in all his glory:

A good mirror in a great frame can double your visual space and give an ordinary room the wow factor. Have a look at the hall of mirrors in Versailles, for example. Framers know mirrors, which many people don’t realize. It’s all about the frame and we really enjoy doing them.

‘One of the easiest ways to get light bouncing around and visually increase the size of your home is by adding mirrors.  One of the main factors to take into consideration is bringing the ‘softness’ and ‘individuality’ in with them.  The easiest way to work around this is by having your mirrors made by your framer.  You get to customise everything.  The exact moulding, size, shape, bevel to suit the placement within your home(and the other artworks, as an added bonus).’ Grant Hiscock, Interior Designer, ARTIS PURA Designs

We can get creative to give you something totally unique and perfect for your setting. We have a wonderful collection of antique frames that can easily be fitted with mirrors. We can also reframe and repair damaged mirror frames. Have a look at this vintage painted mirror we restored recently.

We cleaned and repaired the flaking original artwork on the mirror. We decided to keep the two original inner mouldings to preserve some of the original framework. The outer frame was replaced as the original was not strong enough to support the piece any more as we also added a piece of Museum glass to the front to protect the painting and the velvet frame from further deterioration.

We cleaned and repaired the flaking original artwork on the mirror. We decided to keep the two original inner mouldings to preserve some of the original framework. The outer frame was replaced as the original was not strong enough to support the piece any more as we also added a piece of Museum glass to the front to protect the painting and the velvet frame from further deterioration.

 

We have a broad range of traditional and contemporary frames that can be made to your specifications. The possibilities are endless….to match your furniture, interior, architecture, to reflect the light, double your space, disguise a feature in your home or accommodate your personal style…..just have a look at some of these gorgeous design concepts.

Pop in today and lets get creative!

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The History of Photography

Founder and Director of ARTIS PURA, Erin Salguero's first love was photography, a journey that led her to framing...

Along the way, she learned a lot not only about how to line up and shoot a great image, but the techniques and processes of old. In these digital days, we may have lost touch with the darkrooms, the chemicals and surfaces on which photographs were once printed and the impact photography has had on how we see and understand the world.

35mm Film and contact sheets from 1997. These images were taken and processed by Erin during study at Tafe. 

35mm Film and contact sheets from 1997. These images were taken and processed by Erin during study at Tafe. 


Painters used the first, simple form of ‘photography’ or rather the act of capturing the light cast from reality, with a device called the Camera Obscura.  This projected an image of what was in front of it onto a flat, glass surface, which painters then traced or copied.

Little did these clever artists know that soon enough, those images would be made permanent and do them out of a job. Painting itself was forced to change once the photograph became the established way of capturing reality…leading to the freeing up of artists and to the outpouring of creativity by painters such as Monet and Matisse, the surrealists, the modernists, the abstract expressionists and all the ‘ists’ that followed in trying to see beyond what the eye and the lens can capture.  

* more on the relationship between painting and photography:

 

An Example of a Daguerreotype

An Example of a Daguerreotype

Louis Daguerre created the first commercially viable process in the early 1800’s and it quickly it became the trend to have and carry a small Daguerreotype image of your loved ones. These were expensive, precious one-off items, made by exposing a chemically treated sheet of silver coated copper to light, and then chemically ‘fixing’ the image and removing the light sensitive component. Extremely delicate, these tiny portraits were usually placed behind glass and then in tiny decorative framed cases, to protect them. You can still find Daguerreotypes and the delicate images for sale in antique shops now and then. It’s important that you never try to open the case or remove the glass. If you need one conserved, whip it around to ARTIS PURA and they’ll take expert care of it for you. *

Soon after Daguerre’s invention, other processes followed, in an attempt to make photography more accessible and affordable. Images were made on glass (Ambrotypes) and small sheets of iron (Tintypes) and eventually, paper.

Private camera collection.  Photography by Cassandra Lehman

Private camera collection. Photography by Cassandra Lehman

Henry Fox-Talbot is the man given the honorable title of the inventor of modern photography, with his invention of the paper negative.  The Albumen print was the first commonly produced process to make prints using a negative on paper and allowing for multiple reproductions. The name comes from the use of egg white; the albumen was the binder, which adhered the light sensitive chemicals to the paper.

Eggs weren’t the only foodstuffs used in making photographic images, the Casein is a colloid derived from milk, casein prints are soft and watercolour-like and the relatively simple process is a specialised technique still used by some artists today. All of these processes still relied on the use of light sensitised silver, just like the original Daguerreotypes.

Although the first colour photograph was made as early as 1861, colour photography wasn’t commercially available until the Kodak Company brought out Kodachrome slide film in the 1930’s. Even then, prints were not available. Prior to this, colour was usually added to photographs by hand, using thin layers of oil paint.

 (Erin spent some time learning how to hand colour photographs in this traditional way and can restore old hand coloured prints as well as create a coloured version of an old black and white.See images below of a highly damaged photo with large sections missing.)

Colour negative film became wildly popular and readily available and affordable in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, many of these images are subject to fading. If you have some precious prints, we highly recommend that you check them regularly, preserve them in frames with UV glass and have copies made, as it is inevitable that they will fade over time and eventually disappear. Oddly enough, although this is a modern process, the images themselves are not likely to last anywhere as long as the beautiful and haunting black and white images of long ago. This is because colour prints don’t have any precious silver in the emulsion. 

Of course, we now have digital photography, digital prints and a plethora of imagery on screens, billboards and even our phones. It serves to wonder what future generations will have to ponder on, when they think of us. Will there be any permanent archive? Although we do take and share images of every precious moment in our lives, its important to engage the services of a professional photographer every now and then, to invest in archival prints and good framing, to ensure your memories and legacy will remain for generations to come.


Author -  Cassandra Lehman

ARTIS PURA are excited to have Cassandra as a permanent guest blogger. Her experience and knowledge helps to bring a broader more interesting flare to the ARTIS PURA blog

Her previous engagements include: Galleries Co-Ordinator for QCA, Griffith University,  Director, Woolloongabba Art Gallery and Senior Consultant - Arts & Events to the Alice Springs Town Council where she authored the Public Art Policy. Cassandra is now working in the private sector as an independent consultant for the visual arts and culture. www.art-consultant.com.au

* ARTIS PURA can assist with conserving the piece through framing only. Although we can assist with restoration of photographic images on paper we are unable to assist on works on tin, glass etc such as Daguerreotypes and Tin types. This is a highly specialised field. If you have a piece that needs attention please pop in and we will advise if we can assist.

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How to frame a piece of soap

Or perhaps we should ask why would you frame a piece of soap?
We are often asked to frame all sorts of precious, bizarre, and sometimes ridiculous objects. One that springs to mind was a bar of soap, purchased from the Museum Shop at MONA in Tasmania.

Some of you may be familiar with the sculptural work by Greg Taylor, created with multiple plaster impressions of female genitalia. Souvenirs of this work in the form of similarly shaped bars of soap are available for purchase from the gift shop.

In the interest of keeping this blog post G rated, we decided instead to show you how we framed another bar of soap, in the shape of a flower.  

 

Having tried to find an interesting piece to work with for this project I was lucky to stumble across this in my travels by an artisan in northern NSW. When framing works of a 3D nature we always need to choose framing materials that will cater for the depth of the piece. We also like to use fabric mattings as the depth of colours in fabrics help the piece to pop and look more luxurious. For this piece we chose a black suede mount. 

For the frame we chose a beautiful ornate gold to work not only with the colouring of the soap, it also works with the design and helps to create that feel of decadence. Just a single black matting and frame would have felt to heavy so we added a second layer of black suede matting with a gold fillet to break the expanse of black and make the design more interesting.  This help to lead the eye into to piece. 

As this piece did not need to be framed to full museum standards the soap was mounted using a suitable adhesive. In the case of the piece from MONA the client asked for conservation so we employed a sink mount technique so that no adhesives were used at all. 

Working with a piece such as soap (and in this case a bag of the off cuts from the carving) you can imagine the amount of soap dust and other white flecks that need to be removed. A lot of the time in framing is taken up with making sure there is no dust within the frame package. This becomes even more laboursome with a black suede matting as it holds and shows dust more than any other matting surface. 

To add extra depth and interest we added a mat spacer. This then helped create differnt levels to set the soap back from the glass so that it did not become lost at the back of the frame. We also chose to use Tru Vu Musuem glass on this piece to have absolute clarity. This glass is fantastic for 3D objects and other items that have fine detail that could be lost behind the reflection of standard clear glass. 

The final piece looks amazing. To think that something as simple as a piece of soap can be presented in such a way that turns it into a masterpiece. This is what ARTIS PURA and framing can help you with. 

Did you enjoy seeing this piece........

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Conservation Care Tip's and Hints

When you choose full conservation materials and techniques in a framing design you may believe that the conservation is 100% taken care of. This is not the case. As mentioned in our last blog post, the environment in which you hang this piece will play a vital role in the conservation of your piece over the long term. We wanted share with you some tips and hints to protect your piece well into the future.

*Hang your work on 2 hooks. By having two hooks you not only ensure the piece will not fall and the glass shatter and damage the work, you also will find it will not tip on an angle and be needing constant straightening.

*Never use 3M or other sticker style hooks.  In all the years I have been framing I can safely estimate that 90% of frames that come in with broken glass fell off the wall as they were hung from these sticker style hooks.

*Do not hang your works near direct sunlight. Although we have used 99% UV filtering glass (which is the best product on the market) there is still 1% of UV light that can get through. The UV rays, especially in QLD, are extreme and the UV glass is rated based on an overseas climate where the glass is produced. The other reason you should not hang near direct sunlight is that the heat that radiates can create humidity within the frame causing cockling of the paper and mould growth on the reverse of the glass.

*Do not hang your piece near an air-conditioning unit. Again this creates a humidity and moisture issue for the piece. This can cause mould growth.

*Do not place humidifiers and other scented air fresheners that push moisture into the air in the same room as your piece. Humidity and moisture are your pieces worst enemy.

*When cleaning the glass on your piece make sure you use our special conservation glass cleaner.  This cleaner is specifically designed for the special UV filtering glass. (You can purchase this cleaner in store. Being environmentally conscious, when your run out, bring your empty bottle in for a refill and we will take $3 off the price of a new bottle) Follow the cleaning instructions on the bottle. Do not use the cleaner to clean the moulding part of the frame. This cleaner can damage the finish of some frames. Use a feather duster or a lightly damp cloth. Never spray any liquid directly onto the frame. The liquid can drip down between the front of the glass and the rebate of the frame and then you have moisture (and worse chemicals and impurities) inside the frame. If you have a cleaner make sure they are aware of this tips sheet!!!!!

*Once a year (at least) get up close and personal with your framed pieces. Look for any signs of changes in the work, matting etc. Read more about what to look for at http://www.artispura.com.au/artis-pura-blog/2016/3/30/effectofweatheronart

If you ever notice any changes in you piece that concern you (even if you feel it might be nothing) please bring it in for us to check. ARTIS PURA guarantees all our workmanship and the products used to frame your piece also come with manufacturer guarantees. 

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Hasn't the weather been strange!

logo banner.jpg

 

Hasn’t the weather been strange!

Hot and dry one moment and humid and raining for days the next. It’s been hard to know what’s coming next!
“What has that got to do with framing?” you ask.

Extreme changes in weather, especially humidity levels, can have a dramatic effect on art and other framed items. Over the last month or so we have had quite a few clients come to us with concerns about changes they have noticed in their artworks, even some that have hung for 20 year with no issues. This is an ongoing issue in towns further north but we are seeing an increase in these issues here in Brisbane as the weather becomes more erratic.

Paper and canvas are highly susceptible to changes in humidity and the environment can easily win out against the highest levels of conservation framing in a normal home environment. It is generally not feasible to create a climate controlled space like they can in museums so addressing these issues quickly is key in the ongoing process of conservation.
 

humidity damage.jpg

 

This painting was placed outside on display in 85% humidity. The humidity warped the canvas to the point of snapping the rebate of the inner frame.

 

mould .jpg

Humidity (moisture) build up on the inside of the frame has caused an abundance of mould growth.

 

Notice that both the matting and the print have rippled due to excessive humidity and ( in my and the paper conservator I work with belief) actual moisture into the frame.

We suggest it is always good practice to get up close and personal with your artwork (and other framed treasures) to be on top of any changes.

Signs to look for include
(FROM THE FRONT)
-Condensation on the inside of the glass
-Rippling of paper
-Movement in the matting
-Staining or brown spots on the matting or artwork
(FROM THE BACK)
-Tape lifting
-Mould
-Discolouration of any kind

Did you know that approximately 90% of the restoration work that comes to us is a direct result of poor framing techniques and materials? The above tips may also indicate that the framing is doing more harm than good. Combine that with frequent fluctuations in weather and rapid deterioration is inevitable.

ARTIS PURA are committed to helping you conserve your treasured pieces and are offering, for the months of APRIL AND MAY, a free conservation consultation of any works that are of concern to you. So get up close and personal with you art today and if you have any concerns make an appointment to pop in and see us.
 

Do you know someone who values art and conservation of treasured memories. Forward this email to them today. Our offer is open to all!

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