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before and afters framing

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Get it off Death Row! Bad framing – what NOT to do!

You wouldn’t believe some of the things we see here at ARTIS PURA, Behind the scenes and behind the glass….I mean, would you appreciate someone using your favourite painting as a toilet? No, probably not, but this is inevitable if you don’t invest in backing for your stretched canvases. Without these seemingly small details and finishes then someone or rather some thing might just take advantage of the quiet, dark, private space behind your precious painting. Don't believe me, here is an example of a recently rescued painting, BEFORE we cleaned the cockroach poo away.

An example of cockroach excrement in the back recess of a stretched painting on canvas. 

An example of cockroach excrement in the back recess of a stretched painting on canvas. 

Backing for canvases are very affordable and often overlooked.  Something as simple as matte board, foam core or even paper will protect your paintings from poop, dust, insects or anything else taking up residence.

The other nightmare we see often when re framing and opening up framing packages done elsewhere is incorrect mounting techniques and materials. This is one of the most important parts of a framing package. It is what will either protect or perish an item. We see horrors such as sticky tape, masking tape, packing tape, gaffa tape, glue…double sided tape (we’ve seen it all!) That is just the mounting. Then there is the acidic materials like, MDF and everyday cardboard. It is so important to use products that are designed specifically for framing works on paper. 

The way works are mounted behind the matting matters. Mat boards and backings are there for support and to protect the artwork, keeping it away from the glass in front and protecting it from behind. Works on paper should not ever be directly adhered or stuck down permanently to these supports. Pressure mounted tape can be removed but can leave a slight ‘furriness’ to the paper or a residue. Japanese hinging is the highest standard, using pure wheat starch paste and Japanese mulberry papers and rice papers. (see last months interview with a conservator for more on these techniques) Wheat starch is a binder used in the making of paper itself and doesn’t change its PH over time. Our wheat starch paste is sourced through a paper conservator for its purity and high quality conservation standards.

Applying wheat starch to a Japanese paper hinge. 

Applying wheat starch to a Japanese paper hinge. 

In these images below you can see the damage done to works on paper by incorrectly mounted and hinged work using substandard materials and incorrect techniques. To repair this damage can be very costly and sometimes the damage is irreparable.

The other fatal error we often see is UGLY framing. Something we try desperately to avoid. Fashions and tastes do change over time, however, and what was once considered the cutting edge of design can come to look tired and dated. A new frame can give an artwork an instant makeover and a new lease on life. Here are a few before and after pictures.

 

Got something that is  looking tired, dated or just plain ugly on your wall? Bring it in for an obligation free design consultation and see if we can ‘pimp your art’ 2017 style.

 

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A "Sentimental Journey"

Often we have pieces that come to us that many would term as "ready for the bin". They appear to be beyond repair and look as though even Lifeline would reject them. Sometimes though these pieces are far more valuable than meets the eye. A lot of the time they hold deep sentimental memories and stories. Many emotions tied to a single image. This fortnight we had one such piece come through our doors. A simple watercolour of a sail boat titled "Italiano". The piece had seen better days. Framed by the artist with a single acidic matboard, very basic dated moulding, an old recycled painting board as a backing and basic glass. The mount board and the glass were covered in mould and acid burn. 

Before. 

Our client came to us wanting to give the piece a new lease on life. He wanted to present it in a way that told the viewer how important this piece was and that it should not be overlooked. Instead of me telling this story I thought I would do something a little different and let our client tell the story, his story. The story of a painting and the very special man who painted it. 


"Peter Meadows started painting in the mid 70's as a hobby as many do. He gave us the painting as a present in 1977, the year I got married. We have had it hanging around on and off ever since but took it down when it began to get mould on the matt board. I have always liked the picture and am so pleased to have had it restored and framed for a new lease of life in my office. It compliments our company logo in the space it now occupies and fits so well.
Peter was a bit of a sailor himself and kept a sailing boat on the Norfolk Broads, not far from their home in Norfolk, UK. I remember back in 1980 or thereabouts  going for a sail on The Broads with him before retiring to a fabulous pub for Sunday lunch!
His wife, my father's sister, Jean was a singer with the Ivy Benson All Girls Band from 1948 - 1951 and married Peter and left for Africa and a life on a tobacco farm! Very brave! She was my favourite aunt and I was very fond of her, and Peter too, who was always very kind to me.
Sadly, at 91 he s now very unwell and confined to a nursing home for his final days." Bruce B.

Triple mounted with 100% cotton rag matting, UV filtering glass and a gorgeous burl veneer moulding. 

In situ. My client mentioned there will be a beautiful antique burl veneer piece of furniture being placed under the signage. 

As an after thought, to preserve the frame that had been made by Peter Meadows we turned it into two small 8 x 10 inch photo frames that could then sit on our clients desk. 





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