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hanging pictures

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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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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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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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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