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custom framing

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Framing the Family

Imagine taking the time to re-visit the old family home. Just imagine you are there, walking through the rooms where your family has gathered and spent so many happy times (and lets be honest, some doozies too). When you look around, notice the walls. What can you see? Family portraits, paintings found on your parents honeymoon, war medals, mementos of their childhood, adorning the walls and adding to the decor. The story of each, proudly remembered and retold often.

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As a sign of the times, we are taking more and more pictures but creating fewer family heirlooms. With the advancement of the digital camera, the ease of clicking a pic is as close as your mobile phone. No more setting the scene, making sure the light is right, taking the picture, waiting for the film to be developed, and then the exciting moment of picking the right one for the frame on the wall. Now we point and click, taking multiple pictures of the subject and then scrutinising them, applying the best filter and then straight into the Ethernet.

Now we don't want to take anything away from this, as we do exactly the same thing. However, we also believe in creating the treasures that are the first things you would grab in case of a fire. Your grandparents wedding photo, the family portrait, you get the gist. These special moments, captured forever becoming the family heirlooms of tomorrow.

So, why do we frame these pictures? Basically, it is the feeling it creates. It helps build a sense of history and family, reliving the memories and creating the ambience of your family home. So does ''generic art'' such as prints from retailers, I hear you say. Yes, they can add to the décor and fill the spaces but they don't bring you!

So how do we take the pictures from the digital to the tangible? There are many places and stores that offer a print your photos service. Which can work well for your candid pictures, they are a quick and easy fix. When looking at creating your lasting treasures (and in this instance, photos) you need to think about how you want the finished product to look and feel. When creating the heirloom of the future, the materials you use are imperative. Using cotton rag matting, 99% UV filtration glass and the correct hinging and backing along with high quality inks will ensure the piece will last your life time and hopefully then into your grandchildren's lifetime. These are important details that will NOT be taken into consideration if you simply head down to Kmart or Officeworks to print and pop it into a store bought ready made frame. In fact this option will greatly increase the speed in which your memories will fade and deteriorate.

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You may already have some treasured family heirlooms, photos or art that you want to incorporate into the space with your recently created memories. Unfortunately over time, and due to incorrect framing methods and materials used in the past, these pieces might not be ageing well. The moulding might be slightly chipped, the glass may be cracked, the work itself has yellowed with dark brown spots (known as foxing). The backing deteriorated, allowing access for silverfish to invade and feast on the piece inside. This restorative work might not need to be an overly expensive process, depending on the damage that has happened of course, but it is worth having it assessed by a framer. Even a quick clean and tidy can make the world of difference.

Some simple ways to freshen up these older pieces might be to replace the existing frame with either a new custom moulding or a restored antique? If possible restoring the original frame will keep the authenticity and heart of the piece alive. Cracked glass can simply be replaced and upgraded. Upgrading the materials to conservation quality will increase the longevity of the piece and is always worth the small investment. Unfortunately the yellowing and foxing is something for a professional conservator, but like us, most framers will have a specialist that they work closely with and it can be organised and handled at the same time.

When looking at the display of such collections, the framing does play a large part. Check out our post on hanging your collection for more ideas and tips.

Your heirlooms, your pictures, your photographs, in essence your memories, will help turn your house into your home. Simply through adding your own personality and history through your pictures on display.

 

 

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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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Mosaic Crazy! An interview with Mosaic Artist - Alyson McGrath

Mosaics have been around since at least 800BC and are to be found all over the world. Originally made with pebbles, in Roman times, they came to be made from small chips of coloured marble, a natural, easy to cut stone, which was readily available in an array of beautiful colours. Mosaics were first only used as flooring, then as murals and eventually as monumental sculpture and picturesque wall pieces, such as the gorgeous example we framed for Brisbane Mosiac Artist, Alyson McGrath, recently

(check out the link to the video we made of her work, which went viral on social media)

 https://www.facebook.com/pg/ArtisPuraCustomFraming/videos/?ref=page_internal

Alyson kindly agreed to be interviewed for out blog. Learn more about her work and what inspires her.

Peacock Mosaic by Alyson McGrath, Framed by ARTIS PURA

Peacock Mosaic by Alyson McGrath, Framed by ARTIS PURA

Hi Alyson, Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about your practice as a mosaic artist.

Can you tell me something about more about Mosaic as an art form?

 "It's  a great question as some would classify it more of a craft than an art. Mosaic draws inspiration from various arts - in particular painting with the reproduction of the visual form. As you've said Mosaic art has been around for centuries and mosaic is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in the 21st century. Modern mosaic artists are exploring the textures and range of materials with many engaging in 3D design. I love the diversity of the art as it can range from the very formal, picturesque pieces to the total abstract incorporating so many different objects. "

Are there any mosaic artists who particularly influence you?

 "I wouldn't say influence but I do love the works of Martin Cheek, Solange Pfeiffer and our own Marian Shapiro. Martin Cheek uses a lot of glass fusion in his work and I love the way Solange Pfeiffer can render such amazing expressive pieces through her unique approach to cutting and placement. "

Can you tell me a little about why you were initially drawn to this medium?

"I have always been creative and artistic. The funny thing was I was drawn to this medium as a type of therapy. My sister and brother in law bought me a mosaic kit in my mid 30's and I loved smashing the tiles and creating a new art form. The combination of the physicality of the art and the seemingly limitless applications makes it a really attractive artform. It has become my 'go to Therapy' when I'm feeling stressed in other parts of life." 

How did you learn?

"I taught myself from purchasing a range of books and reading and researching the various techniques, tesserae (including glass, tile, ceramic tile, pebbles, smalti for example) and generally finding inspiration in the world around me.  I've joined several online blogs and facebook pages and I find people are really willing to share their experiences. It is an artform that continues to develop and mosaic artists are always willing to learn from each other. I can draw and love the sense of movement one can achieve in mosaics so this adds to its wonder. "

From where do you draw your inspiration?

"I am inspired by structure - I love incorporating 3 dimensional components into my work. I can also be inspired by an object which may have been tossed aside (eg. an old hat) and how I might use it as a basis for a mosaic piece. I'm also inspired by different mosaic techniques - I have not yet completed a full pebble piece and this appeals to me - both in terms of the medium and how the tessarae would be laid.  Colour is also a great inspiration - I find myself looking at nature and sometimes reflecting on how a particular element might be translated into mosaic. "

Alyson McGrath

Alyson McGrath

What do you like most about it?

"I find it really soothing - I can lose myself for hours planning a piece or drawing and creating the mosaic. I also love sharing my passion with others."

Do you have a favourite piece you have made?

"I would have to say that "My Burb" continues to be my favourite piece - it was a real challenge and I feel I captured the feel of some of the older homes in my suburb. I also enjoyed using a range of textures in the piece - the final 'touch being the installation of a street light (which does turn on and off)."  

"My Burb" by Alyson McGrath

"My Burb" by Alyson McGrath

Do you have an ‘ultimate mosaic’ dream? Something you are dying to make, someday?

"I do - I have a goal to travel to Ravenna (in Italy) and learn from one of the Master Mosaic artists there. "

Do you see framing mosaics as important? Have you always framed your work?

 "I haven't always framed my work but I do think that framing adds that finishing touch to my work . The mosaic may not be very tidy around the edges and framing it gives it that polished complete look. I'm so happy I've decided to frame my latest pieces. I'm really looking forward to framing my Geisha as Erin has already had some great ideas."  

What do you think is important to consider when framing mosaics?

 "I think it's really important that the frame complements the piece - it has to be of similar style and not detract from the piece. Ideally you want the frame to complete the work not compete with the mosaic if that makes sense.  I have found that Erin works so well with the piece that it is just seamless."

Artist and husband - Framing by ARTIS PURA

Artist and husband - Framing by ARTIS PURA

Can you tell me about the classes you run?

"I have run classes over the past few years - usually on demand when someone expresses an interest in learning. I generally hold 2 beginners workshops which introduce students to the basic technique of cutting and gives an overview of the types of substrates, tools and adhesives. I also have an informal group which meet and share ideas and thoughts while working on our mosaics in my back yard.  It's so relaxing and time just slips by." 

Do you enjoy teaching?

"I am a formally trained teacher so yes I do love sharing knowledge - especially when others are as passionate about the subject."  

How many students do you have at one time?

"I find 6 - 8 is the best size - any larger and you aren't able to devote enough time to each students." 

How many lessons do they take and how much do they cost?

"Lessons are 2 X 2 hours and cost $160 (which includes the materials you use to create your own mosaic)."

Do you have a website or a link you can share?

"My website is mosaicrazy - https://www.mosaicrazy.com/ - if people are interested in getting a group together, just contact me via my website.

You can also follow Alyson on Facebook

Many thanks for your time and for sharing your story with us.

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Everything old is new again - An Interview with Mona Ryder

Artist Mona Ryder has been frequenting the ARTIS PURA studio of late, working extensively with the proprietor Erin Salguero to frame some very special new and old works. Ryder is a bit of a legend in Qld and is an Australian artist of renown. Her work is included in major collections and public galleries around the country. As an artist, she has worked in across numerous capacities, in public art, sculpture, installation as a painter and in works on paper. Not one to blow her own trumpet, she very kindly agreed to be interviewed for our newsletter
Artist Mona Ryder ( photo: Richard Neylan Nolan)

Artist Mona Ryder (photo: Richard Neylan Nolan)

Mona, you started as a painter and then a printmaker and have so far had an incredible career, spanning several decades, and accumulated a wonderful body of work, and are represented in major collections around the country. Recently, you have started relooking at work from the past, and framing some of these older pieces. Why the new interest in having these works framed?

Its about legacy, at this stage in your career, you start to think about what you want to have preserved and protected. For example, I look at a work I did in 1984, and I still like it, I see elements in it of what I am still doing today. So I’m sifting through and selecting pieces that I think are important, to me and to my work as a whole. Framing is a statement of worth and of commitment. The works I have had framed were also works that were intended for development, for furthering and extending into new work, they deserve to be acknowledged and framing is about that, making a point of these works, that they are important within the scheme of my work as a whole.

So you didn’t see them as worthy of framing when you first made them?

One of the works was framed, but not under glass so I could see it deteriorating. Some of the other pieces were actually part of a larger body of work, titled Circus Follies of Exasperating Subtlety. Framing them at the time would not have worked in the context of the installation; they would have been too heavily featured, when they were intended as small elements of a greater whole. That body of work, as a whole, no longer exists. So in a way, framing these small pieces pays homage to the greater work, these small pieces have now come to represent that time, as a reminder, a kind of souvenir of that whole work as it once was.

Barney, 1985, mixed media, embroidery and watercolour, in antique frame, ( photo courtesy of the artist)

Barney, 1985, mixed media, embroidery and watercolour, in antique frame, (photo courtesy of the artist)

You’ve chosen antique frames and domed glass for some of your pieces, why is that?

I wanted them to have an aged look about them, as if they have come from somewhere else, from some other period. Circus Follies, for example, was like an old carousel, even as a new work, it had a weathered, aged feel to it. So I chose the domed glass frames, for these pieces, the oval shape appeals to me. These pieces are unusual, embroidered and stuffed, textured. They are rounded and soft, not flat and hard…the glass echoes this, and appears softer. At the time I made these works I was also looking at a lot of medieval art, so the shape of the frame references this, too.

It Never Lasts, 1984, mixed media, embroidery & watercolour

It Never Lasts, 1984, mixed media, embroidery & watercolour

You do use unusual materials; let’s talk about the leather paintings.

Ok, these are new works. When I was on a residency at the British School of Rome in 2015, I started a series of leather paintings. Each day when I came home after strolling through the streets, I’d work on the leather paintings, they were influenced by all the wonderful things I’d seen in the streets and alleys and in the churches during the day. I was also thinking about the associations between Italy and leather, the beautiful quality of Italian leather, and how that quality is present in so much of what we know is Italy, or as Italian. To me the leather represents all that, the mastering of fine craftsmanship; the years spent passing finely honed skills from master to apprentice, over the centuries.

You have created your own very unusual frames for these leather paintings, which Erin has made workable. Can you tell me a little about these?

I’ve wanted to make mussel shell frames for a year or so, especially in thinking about how to frame the leather paintings. I didn’t particularly want glass on them, but the museum glass Erin has used is virtually invisible, they don’t look like there is any glass on them at all. They are recessed back from the glass, the depth is important to the look of them, too.

Mussel Shell Chandelier, 2016, (detail), Mussel shells, red stockings  (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Mussel Shell Chandelier, 2016, (detail), Mussel shells, red stockings (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Anyone who knows anything about my work knows that I am very into mussel shells, I’ve even been recently developing them as a font. I’ve built a chandelier, stuffed them into shoes, filled suspended stockings with them sewn them on a cape. I’ve used them in so many ways, so it seemed inevitable that mussel shells would eventually come to be part of the frame itself.

Dance Me to the End of Night, 2016, (detail, installation view) mussel shells, found shoes, electric cable (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Dance Me to the End of Night, 2016, (detail, installation view) mussel shells, found shoes, electric cable (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Hanging Midden 2016, (detail, installation view) Mussel shells, red stockings,  ( photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Hanging Midden 2016, (detail, installation view) Mussel shells, red stockings,  (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

So you see the frame as being part of the work itself?

Definitely. I’ve often done that in the past, made frames around paintings and extended the painting to be on the actual frame itself.

Can you tell me a little more about your thoughts on the distinction and relationship between the work and the frame?

It’s about where I come from, my origins. Shells, for example, represent home, my childhood on the beach gathering shells, and also the hundreds of tiny shellfish that made each shell home. So framing work with shells says something about that. The shells are all saved from meals shared with family and friends, there’s a series of rituals involved in cooking, serving, saving, cleaning and then making a frame with them. There’s a conversation in each meal, in each frame. Its kind of a way of making them mine while still offering them up for viewing, of including the viewer in my conversation, of inviting them to the dinner table, and keeping it personal. Even in the context of being on display in a gallery, the artwork still has a pulse, a heart, a soul…

Mussel Shell Chandelier, 2016, (detail), Mussel shells, red stockings  (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

Mussel Shell Chandelier, 2016, (detail), Mussel shells, red stockings (photo: Mark Sherwood)*

So it’s still part of the living, breathing artist?

Yes, and that’s why I am so particular about how my work is framed. I think framing is far more important than people realise. The choice of matte board, the positioning of the work in the frame, the colours, the shapes and texture, they all matter. If you are doing a series, you have to be careful about that as well, so they all work together.

Listen, 2016, installation view (photo: Mark Sherwood) *              Listen, 2016 (photo courtesy of the artist)

 

Do you prefer to work with one particular framer all the time?

Yes, with a particular body of work, it is very important, to stay consistent and build a relationship. If you work with lots of different people, manufacturers and crafts people who assist in different aspects of creating works, its important to build a relationship and a level of trust. Framers are part of this team of artisans, I need to know that things will be done professionally, all the materials used will be acid free, nothing will be stuck down or trimmed and that the artwork itself wont be compromised in anyway. I find that Erin understands the way I’m working with the old frames, where as many framers just wouldn’t be as interested. And a lot of people just wouldn’t be prepared to take on the mussel shells, some framers might even laugh at me. Erin is not just respectful, she’s interested and knowledgeable. She’s clearly passionate about old frames and framing in general.

 

Some of the older work I am now getting framed, when I first completed it, I couldn’t afford to have it framed. It’s wonderful to see them all on the wall at last, instead of in boxes. Now I am confident they will outlast me!

 

Read more about the show at MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury)  in which some of these pieces were exhibited

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/3692451/roma-salt-lakes-and-a-touch-of-albury-at-mama/#slide=1

http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/3692451/roma-salt-lakes-and-a-touch-of-albury-at-mama/#slide=5

* installation views from Exhibition ‘Dance me to the End of Night’


Interview by Cassandra Lehman

Her previous engagements include: 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 arts consultant, writer and artist mentor. 

 

 

 

 

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End of financial year stocktake sale!

We're excited to be holding our first stocktake sale! Head in store to take advantage of our great end of financial year offers. Offers end 30 June 2016. Available in store only, while stocks last. No rainchecks.

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