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Matting & Framing vol 09-05

After selecting an image to complement your interior, the next step is to select a mat and a frame. Keep in mind that framing artwork is important not only for the aesthetic value it adds to décor, but it serves to protect your art as well.

The Frame

The frame provides the architectural as well as decorative support for a work of art. Frames can be built in all sizes and shapes and come in a variety of styles and colors to enhance your artwork.

A common error people make when choosing frames is to pick out something to match the room, not the art. You select an image that will look great in your room. Trust that a frame you select to go with an image will naturally look great with the décor and the design style of your room as well.

Make sure the width of your frame is proportionate to the size of your image. A wide frame tends to overwhelm smaller images. A thin frame would get lost around a large piece of art.

All our framing comes with standard foam backing board and dust cover, preventing dust from getting to your artwork and enhancing preservation.

The Mat

Matting is the paper or fabric border that surrounds your art within the frame. Its purpose is both decorative as well as protective.

The main purpose of the top mat is to keep the cover glass from coming into contact with the artwork. This also provides an area where air can circulate. Differences in temperature between the outside and inside of the frame can cause moisture to condense behind the glass. This moisture may damage the inks and colors and can serve as a breeding ground for mold, mildew and fungi. Placing the material directly against the glass would result in buckles, wrinkles, mold formations and "sticking" to the glass. A mat will prevent this from happening.

Mat board, as a graphic element, can serve to highlight a color, accent a shape, or increase the overall size of the framed piece. Color obviously plays an important role in this transformation process. It is best to select a neutral color for the top mat. Whites and other pale earth tones give the image room to "breathe" and go well with most interiors.

The bottom mat completes the matting of your artwork. Certainly one of the main reasons we use matboards to encase art is decorative: to bring out the colors in an image while drawing in the eye. This is where the inner mat comes into play. With only about 1/4" or 1/8" exposed beneath the top mat, the bottom mat is usually selected to beautifully bring out accent colors hidden within the artwork.

There are many creative and elegant techniques that can be used to add distinction to your framed artwork, creating a museum like quality to the piece. The addition of matting can mean the difference between an insignificant piece that gets lost on a wall and a dramatic one that serves as a perfect accent for a room. All of our matting is exclusively acid-free, museum quality conservation matting. This means that your artwork will be fully protected, and no materials or techniques will be used that cannot be reversed, leaving the art undamaged and in its original state.

Artwork on canvas needs exposure to air and should not be encased behind glass. For this reason, we do not offer matting or glass for canvas pieces.

Artwork on paper should be matted so that a border of the paper remains visible. When the print is signed and numbered, a bottom heavy border will allow the signature to show within the finished framed piece. Our framers will automatically do this for you.

The Glass

All glass is not created equal. In order to preserve, protect and get the most out of your artwork, you have to think about some important attributes of both your artwork and your home.

If the item you are framing is one-of-a-kind, rare, irreplaceable, of great monetary or sentimental value, or if the room you are hanging it in receives above average direct sunlight or fluorescent light, then you should frame your art with UV protection conservation glass.