The art and craft of picture framing

When you take your painting, print, photograph or other prized possession to Frame Warehouse you’ll quickly become immersed in the process of selecting a frame for your piece. It’s both an inspiring and enjoyable experience – wherein all your creative wants and desires will be fully realised. 

But behind the scenes, there is a complex level of artistry and craftwork involved in professional picture framing. We carefully construct our frames from scratch. This is just the start of what elevates our products and services from what’s typically on offer from the chain stores and other retailers. 

In this blog, we will set the scene on what goes into an ideal framing solution and show you why technical expertise and creative insight makes all the difference.

Letting the art lead

At Frame Warehouse we have a saying: ‘let the art lead’. First and foremost, we listen to what you are after and respect the unique characteristics of the work you want framed. Your subject matter will never be overshadowed or overwhelmed by your frame.

We’ll work closely with you in considering how your frame performs in several key areas:

  • Complementing the piece it is showcasing;
  • Harmonising with the space where it will be displayed;
  • Matching the surrounding environment, eg. interior colour scheme/aesthetic, furniture, decor etc.

 

The importance of instinct and vision

In setting about to expertly frame any given piece, there is an element of instinct which invariably goes into the mix. A special eye for detail is refined after many years of experience on the job. For any professional framer, this skill becomes second nature. 

A seasoned framer will pay close attention to the finer details during both the design process and during the construction of the frame. This is especially relevant when it comes to custom picture frames. In store at Frame Warehouse, we specialise in custom frame design – alongside ready-made picture frames and bulk frames. 

Our instinct and vision benefits our valued clients in many different ways, including: 

  • Understanding how to improve the overall tone of a piece of art/other items.
  • Ability to enhance the work according to the right proportions and finish. 
  • Application of colour theory. 
  • Knowledge of historical design periods and principles, ie. art history.

 

 

Finding fitness for purpose

As touched on previously, a frame should fit the environment in which it is situated. For example, if you have modern, clean interiors you might opt for a contemporary frame for your art. On the other hand, a more elaborately styled setting might call for a baroque framed antique print or some decorative wall photo frames. And if you are to display in a gallery, canvas frames and floating frames are a viable choice. 

When you scratch beneath the surface, there are multiple advantages attributable to even the most humble of picture frames. It’s all about the protection and preservation of the mediums contained within. 

 

 

 

What are some of the main conservation techniques used in picture framing? 

  • Conservation mat boards – Refers to pure, acid-free cardboard-like material sandwiched between the frame and subject matter to give the entire piece a finished look. Conservation mat boards are perfect for degree/certificate framing and are of museum/archival quality. 
  • Block mounting– Block mounting pictures/photos/other items not only protects them but also enhances their appeal. 
  • Floating frames – With floating frames the central image/object sits on top of the frame and gives the appearance of floating. This is particularly suitable for delicate works, as there is no risk of damaging the original piece. 

Custom sports memorabilia framing – A skilfully constructed sports memorabilia frame will not only fit 3D objects but will protect the longevity of old/fragile/rare items.

 

 

Inside an artist’s toolbox

As well as an artistic eye, knowing how to professionally frame artwork involves specialist manual skills. In creating a frame, whether build-for-purpose or ready-made, there is a definite craft involved. This takes considerable training and real-world experience. 

Here are just a handful of the tools which we might use at Frame Warehouse in putting together your perfect frame: 

  • Saws/cutting implements –  including table saws, mitre saws, computerised mat cutters, vertical glass cutters.
  • Speciality tools – including underpinner/v-nailer.
  • Power tools including staple guns and screwdrivers.
  • Squares, levels and corner clamps.
  • Presses – including heat presses, vacuum press and pressure clamps.
  • Wood glue/other adhesives. 

Have you found your peek behind-the-scenes on the art and craft of picture framing thoroughly intriguing? We’ve got plenty more to come on everything to do with framing. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog page. Should you have any more questions please do go ahead and contact us anytime!