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picture 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.

Gallery hang old photos custom framing brisbane.jpg

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. 

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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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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An Interview with a Conservator

Many have heard me talk about the time spent being mentored by Jennifer, an Asian Arts conservator,  to gain insight into the art of paper conservation. I have known Jennifer now for 4 years and in this time I have been amazed at not only her skill, but her dedication to maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and quality of her work. Knowing many of our clients visit us for our expertise in conservation framing, I thought it may be of interest to learn a little more about Jennifer and the work she does. 

Q:  Hi Jen, I know you are an arts conservator, do you specialise in any particular area?

Jennifer: Yes, I’m a conservator of works on paper and silk with particular expertise in Asian Paintings, so hanging scrolls, woodblock prints and folding screens.

Jennifer Loubser after conservation treatment with:

Five Human Relationships, Represented by Five Different Birds

China, Ming Dynasty, c. 16th Century.

Hanging Scroll

Ink and mineral colors painted on silk  

294 cmH  x   112 cm  W

Collection of Honolulu Museum of Arts

 

Q:    Why did you become an arts conservator?

I knew I wanted to be an arts conservator when I first started my Art History degree and went on an excursion to the Lascaux cave. Once I finished the tour of the cave, they told me that it was an exact reproduction, and that the real caves were being preserved from damage due to exposure to light, oxygen, and even the carbon dioxide in people’s breath. From that moment, I knew my career would be conserving artwork.

Q:    How did you come to specialise your particular area?

Jennifer:  Ten years later, I had finished my art history degree and worked in numerous capacities, in the arts, in galleries and museums. I then had the opportunity to work as a conservator for the first time. It was all simply about being in the right place at the right time, when there was a flood recovery effort at the University of Hawaii.  Ultimately I was able to make this opportunity the focus of my Masters degree. I was introduced to the conservator at the Honolulu Museum of Art, was offered volunteer work and then found it was possible to gain intern points for this. The conservator then offered me a paycheck and so I worked as a specialist in a traditional Japanese painting conservation studio. Hence my focus on Asian art.

Q:   The materials themselves are quite different, is that what caught your interest?

Jennifer: Yes, the materials are all hand made and have been refined over thousands of years. These techniques methods have been perfected over generations and centuries, and are accepted and employed in museums around the world. The pigments, even the fibers used for making paper are all hand made, the attention to detail is extraordinary.

Q:    You didn’t start with a conservators course, how long was your training and where did you train?

Jennifer:  When I was speaking with art conservators about how to go about becoming an art conservator, they all told me: 'The degree is not yet halfway to where you need to be. You really need at the very least five years of practical experience as well .' So I needed to know I could find work in such a small field, before studying for a master's degree.After my Art History degree, Masters courses in preservation and conservation, I worked for seven years as a specialist conservator in Honolulu and South Korea with plenty of study in Japan. I then decided to complete my conservation masters degree in Australia. My masters was in Conservation of Cultural Materials at the University of Melbourne. There wasn’t a degree like that available, in Honolulu.  There are only a few places around the world where you can study conservation at this level. 

Q:   So there’s one in Melbourne?

Jennifer:  Yes, it started at the ANU (Australian National University) in Canberra, so when that continued as undergraduate study in Heritage Conservation, the new program emerged as the Masters Degree, in Melbourne.

Q:   So you speak those languages?

Jennifer:  Yes, especially Korean, as I lived there, I worked there in the same field, looking after museum collections.I had the good fortune to work on 10 meter high Korean Buddhist paintings, screen panels in the Seoul National Palace Museum, and studied with a lacquer master. I then had the chance to work again with Bhutanese monks, conserving several of the Royal family's thangka paintings in Bhutan. They were all incredible opportunities.

Q:    Why and when would you recommend consulting with someone like yourself?

Jennifer:  There are all kinds of reason, perhaps because an artwork or object has local historical value or even if an item has personal, sentimental value and has suffered wear and tear over the years, or has just deteriorated through time and exposure to the elements.

Mao, Lenin, Marx  Lithograph, panel one of 3-panel poster printed on paper   Chinese Cultural Revolution Museum, Shanghai  Private collection, Brisbane

Mao, Lenin, Marx

Lithograph, panel one of 3-panel poster printed on paper 

Chinese Cultural Revolution Museum, Shanghai

Private collection, Brisbane

Q:    Should you wait until it has deteriorated?

Jennifer:  When you originally notice the first, tiny bit of damage or change, that’s when its best to have an item evaluated, to see if it needs to have its display assessed, or the location. For example, having it de-acidified, if it has some noticeable change, may extend its life for many years. Damage has many causes and can be due to heat, age, humidity, insects or even physical damage.

Q    So is it ever too late?

Jennifer:   It’s never too late, but sooner is best. If something is obviously happening, if there is any change occurring, it can be much more lengthy and difficult to try to stabilise it, if you leave it too long.

Q:    So you aim to stabilise rather than repair?

Jennifer:  It is important that stabilisation and repairs are done by professional, peer-reviewed conservators if you value your artwork. The difference between a conservator and a restorer is that we (conservators) work to extend the life of an object, rather than to ‘over restore’. We respect the artist’s original intent, and aim never to interfere with the original artwork by ensuring when we do repairs they are sympathetic and reversible. It is the conservator’s job to know what is original and historical, and to be able to recognise previous restorations.

Where to find qualified conservators, through the national professional association, AICCM.
https://aiccm.org.au/civicrm/profile/view?reset=1&id=736&gid=99

Q:    Could you give an example of 'conservation gone wrong'?

Jennifer:  Most people know the story of the Sistine chapel, and the debate over whether it was over-cleaned. Some of what occurs over time becomes part of an artwork’s history. Other factors such as the effects of pollution over time can be cleaned or mitigated through prevention.  We (conservators) are not aiming to bring a thing back to the state it was on day it came into being. It is not necessarily so, with an artwork, that it should come to look like new.

Q:   Do you see framing as a necessary investment?

Jennifer:  Absolutely, especially with artworks on paper; framing plays a vital role in protecting work, to save it from the intensity of ultraviolet rays, especially in Queensland. The damage of the sun on paper is similar to the damage done to our skin. Ultraviolet filters and glazing can really extend the life of an artwork. Framing provides a small micro climate and is the  best straightforward approaches to protect and extend the life of a work. Ask for hinges attached to works on paper with reversible conservation grade Japanese tissue and starch paste. The framing should be done using conservation grade materials; pure cotton mat board and UV filtering glazing are vital. They definitely save you damage and money in the long run and extend the life of a work.

Q:    Could you give a couple of tips to people who want to preserve and protect precious items?

Jennifer:  The most stable place to display something is always the best place, preferably on an interior wall that doesn’t receive any direct sunlight. Stable temperatures are best. Air-conditioning is not as important as circulating air.  It’s a good idea to change things up a little, rotate your displays and store and rest your precious artworks for a period of time each year.

In Japan, they have preserved works for many hundreds of years; they rotate the display according to the seasons, never exposing the most fragile items to harsh and changeable conditions.

Just like frames should be made with conservation grade materials, storage boxes and tissue paper should be acid free and archival. You don’t want the storage material to cause damage itself, because it’s not acid free. Always make sure your storage box can effectively protect the precious item from dust as well as humidity and insects and you will have the pleasure and enjoyment of your treasures for many years to come.

https://aiccm.org.au/civicrm/profile/view?reset=1&id=736&gid=99

 

http://www.asianartsconservation.com.au/

 

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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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Our new home

Well we finally did it! After almost 5 years in the gallery we finally found the perfect new space to grow and expand. Located on the corner of Ipswich Road and St Kilda Place in Annerley the stunning heritage listed Art Deco building is the perfect space for our custom framing studio. 

ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Previously a photographic studio the space was pretty much ready to step right in. High ceilings with exposed timber and sweeping glass windows the space feels open and inviting. We have also almost tripled our space. This is great news as it will make our framing processes smoother and more efficient. There is nothing worse than clutter in a conservation studio.

Although it may not seem like it at first there are many parking options including on street parking in St Kilda place, off street parking at the rear of the building (exclusive for clients of ARTIS PURA) and if you still get stuck there is always parking in adjacent streets in and around the area. We have noticed that Monday is an awesome day to come in as the neighbouring businesses are closed. More parking for us.

With all this space we have so many new and exciting projects on the horizon. All of which are aimed at supporting and promoting the arts in Brisbane and the wider community. We also have space for stock. You can now come in and browse and purchase unique ready made frames, antiques, original art, mirrors, prints, DIY and art hanging systems . All this just in time for Christmas. 

We look forward to seeing you all in our new space. This really is a new beginning for ARTIS PURA. Those who have been in to see our new studio have been blown away. Pop in and say hi! We even have enough room for people to sit and chat about art and creative collaboration. 

 

 

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Spreading her wings to follow dreams

I guess I always knew that one day it would happen. Im sad but also so proud of the courageous move our amazing Grace is taking. There was never a question that fine art has been Grace's passion and calling. Like frames are for me, art is the air Grace breathes. Although framing has become a major influence in her journey, fine art would always be the ultimate destiny. 

So it is with a sigh and a smile I wanted to let everyone know that Grace has decided it is time to head into the next chapter and she has resigned from her position at ARTIS PURA. She is taking a bold and brave step and devoting herself to her art. Not only is she dedicating all her time to her practice she also plans to return to full time university study in the new year. 

Grace has been with ARTIS PURA from the beginning. From giving her time as an intern through to a formal apprenticeship and as a trade qualified tradeswoman. During this time Grace has never waivered in her passion for her art and her talent was cemented in an almost sell out show at The Woolloongabba Art Gallery last year. Fittingly she leaves ARTIS PURA as she hangs  a duet show at WAG upstairs that opens Friday night. 

Landscopes is the combined works of Grace Herrmann and Clare Cowley. Together their works explore their intimate relationships with the land. 

"Landscape paintings are a window to the past that encompass more than just a physical interpretation, a painting can express the emotional feeling of a place. Through the temperature of the colours and every subtle or expressive brush stoke, painting becomes an act of re-conjuring the feeling of standing in that place. "

We would love to see you there. https://www.facebook.com/events/1488195524824228/

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Grace for her years of service to ARTIS PURA and her friendship. I am very honoured to know this amazing young lady and I know we will see great things from her in the future. 

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A Grandmother's Legacy

After calling numerous framers who were unable to work with her, Desley came to ARTIS PURA with her special framing needs.  Having been fighting ovarian cancer for years, she wanted to create beautiful pieces, framed in a unique way as a lasting memory for her grandchildren.  ARTIS PURA brainstormed with her and devoted ourselves to making each framed piece of needlework truly reflective of Desley's love for her grandkids.

HMAS Jaxon - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

HMAS Jaxon - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Desley had the idea of a porthole but was unable to get help from her previous framer.  ARTIS PURA repurposed an existing circular frame for the HMAS Jaxon.  This frame turned out to be exactly the right size.  It's like we were in tune with the universe, which wanted this project to go forward.

ARTIS PURA removed four ornaments from the original frame and hand cast the bolts and hand-finished the frame to give it that old world style.

HMAS Jaxon Detail - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

HMAS Jaxon Detail - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

The final details are hand engraved (not laser engraved) plaques, hand patinaed, and oxidized to look aged, adding the personal touch reading "HMAS Jaxon" and "Christened by Grandma 2015."

Evie May = ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Evie May = ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Evie May, received a white timber grain shadow box frame and hand-finished matts with colours chosen to match the colours in the stitching.

The shadow box is lined with orange which matches the lines in the inset matt, giving the work some extra pop.

On this piece, ARTIS PURA used Tru Vue museum quality glass so it looks like there's no glass at all.  Tru Vue makes the colours pop, is crystal clear and has UV protection to keep the piece from fading.  This is a major improvement over traditional non-reflective glass commonly used in the 1970s and 80s which used an etched finish creating a diffuse and fuzzy view.

Since Evie May is Desley's grandchild's dog, we wanted it to be personalised.  The dog collar tag is an actual dog tag, hand-engraved (not laser-engraved) with Evie May's name.

Koi - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Koi - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Each year, Desley takes one of her grandchildren on a vacation to anywhere they want.  The koi represent one of those trips.

The frame is an ARTIS PURA design, influenced by a previously purchased frame.  With a hand finished matt to match the colours of the needlework.   Instead of the usual picture hanger, we capped this piece with a traditional oriental hanger.

Rubik's Cube - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

Rubik's Cube - ARTIS PURA Custom Framing

The last of Desley's four pieces is this Rubik's Cube.

Originally Desley's idea was to have each side of the frame in a different colour.  Ordering four different sticks of moulding and cutting them to size would have been expensive.  As Erin was looking at corner samples against the work, she realised that a Rubik's Cube is all about the corners and that using her samples would allow us to both cut costs and give the frame a more cube look.  After which, they were replaced with new samples from her wholesaler.  Fighting cancer is an expensive journey, ARTIS PURA took steps to lower the cost for Desley where we could.

We at ARTIS PURA Custom Framing are dedicated to using our creativity and ingenuity to provide Desley with frames which reflect the personality of each grandchild, and the special relationship she has with them.  We're excited to hear Desley is in remission again, and even though there's no cure for ovarian cancer, every time she goes into remission it buys her more time for research to develop a cure.  To help cancer research, please consider donating to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation

ARTIS PURA wants to make sure each customer's dreams are met when we create frames for them.  In the end, that's what makes us happy, making sure our customers are happy.  If you have a unique project which needs special custom framing, come on by and let us help you.

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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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Presenting Brisbane's newest qualified Framing Artisan!

It felt so satisfying to sign off the last few units of my apprenticeship the other day. To be able to say that I am a Qualified Picture Framer feels both comfortable and thrilling.

I was lucky to have two very knowledgeable mentors to guide me. Erin Salguero has helped me thrive in what I do best which is to create; and has taught me to be confident in areas I had once avoided. Dylan Marshall has been a bottomless well of knowledge and I feel very lucky to have had him as my trainer. I have also had the opportunity to observe, learn, and collaborate with the Woolloongabba Art Gallery.

The Picture Framing Apprenticeship goes far beyond just assembling a frame. It has given me knowledge and skills for conserving and sustaining history. Framers have a responsibility to preserve culture and not to be waylaid by cheap unsustainable trends. We are in a society that thrives on mass production and sustainability is often compromised. Picture framing is one industry that will always rely on tradition in order for it to remain sustainable. Often we find ourselves doing things and using materials without understanding why or where it comes from. The role of the artisan is dying, and even artists are becoming a chain in mass production. Mass production relies on the product to be cost effective, easily available and perishable. Picture Framing traditions need to stay intact so that a century from now we still have an archive of our current society.

By teaching others about conservation and archival methods Dylan and Erin play a role in the preservation of history. It might sound like a glorified position, but when looking back on generation Y we will be known as the disposable generation, and we need to pass on the knowledge of how and why we do things so that in times to come our culture progresses and keeps its rich history intact.

I am confident and excited about my future as a Picture Framer and Artist. I look forward to the wonderful things I will have the opportunity to frame and the amazing people I will collaborate with.  

This blog post is the first by our very own trade qualified Grace Herrmann. I just want to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of Grace and how much she has achieved since first walking through our doors. I see a bright future for Grace not only in framing but also in her arts discipline. Watch this space!  (Erin) 

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Boxing Buddha - Framing pieces of history

One of the challenges as a picture framer is being able to frame something you have never framed before. No matter how many years you have been working at the craft there is always something that will be brought in by a client that can have you scratching your head. Sometimes it can be pretty straight forward when the client is not concerned about conservation (and they have made the educated choice to proceed in this way) but when the item is a historical artifact that must be framed with full museum conservation techniques the game is changed. Recently a client came in, after seeing online the work we had done on the timber drone propeller, with an amazing antique artifact timber sculpture of Buddha. He requested it be boxed in a white frame with white matting as he was wanting to achieve a museum look. I explained to the client that white was not the best design for this piece as it would be too bright and take away from the piece. Modern white boxing would also not feel correct on an antique timber sculpture that has hundreds of years of patina. Instead we chose an off white beige mount (100 % cotton rag) and a stunning yet simple timber veneer box moulding by Bellini Fine Moulding. As the piece was very large and deep we also needed to create a box to extend the rebate of the moulding. This needed to be painting to match as close as possible to the main moulding. This was not the tricky part though. 

The complicated part was how to mount this large heavy timber sculpture without causing any changes to its current state. (eg. Screws into back of the timber). Luckily the piece already had a few rusty nail hooks in it that we were able to use as anchors and then using heavy weight fishing line, we strategically "tied" the sculpture to the rag backing. 

Once mounted the work was set back in the box behind Tru Vu Museum glass which not only has 99% UV filtration it also appears as if there is no glazing at all. We were very happy with the result as was our client. Mostly we are confident knowing that the piece can now be displayed pride of place and from a conservation standpoint we have done all we can to protect this piece of history. 

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