Fitting & Framing

edge wrap
   So now we have all the components ready to be dusted and cleaned to create the final "package" to be fitted into a frame. To the right is a photo with a cut away view of a fully archival package. One final step I like to do before fitting the contents into a frame is to encapsulate or seal the whole unit with an acrylic tape as shown in the illustration to the left. This seals away the artwork, mats, & backing from a wooden frame which may migrate contaminants over to it. It also seals out air-borne contaminants & bugs, and slows down changes in temperature and humidity which can affect the contents. I say "slows down" as I do leave cracks in the seal of the package corners to allow for the release of rapid temperature & pressure changes, and for eventual normalization to the environment. I have had good luck with this technique over the years, and it has greatly decreased the amount of warping or rippling of artwork, as compared to what I've seen in open packages, due to the high humidity and temperature changes we experience here in the upper New England States.

   Time to pick a frame... and there are literally thousands to choose from out there. I usually recommend framing the artwork to suit it best and not to suit the room it may be going in, as who knows when next your going to paint or change the curtains, rug or sofa.

   Then off to miter 8 clean cuts of the frame moulding to inside measurements that are tight, but not too tight, measuring twice, & cutting once ;-)  The four sides are then joined on a corner vise with glue & properly placed brads to insure strength. The frame is finished off with a matching putty filling the inset brad holes.

   We can now insert the package into the frame and fit it with some galvanized brads or screw clamps if called for, making sure it is tight without undo pressure. Some D ring hangers & picture framing wire suitable for the weight of the picture frame can now be added for hanging. I often include a picture hanger for hanging the artwork on a wall that is a bit over-sized, (better safe then sorry), and some bumpers for the back of the frame, (don't you just hate constantly straightening pictures on the wall?). Some taped on foam corners on the frame and your artwork is set to go... ready for pick-up or delivery.

   Again... try to avoid hanging artwork in direct sunlight, especially if you are not using UV glass. Avoid hanging artwork in bathrooms with their high humidity, (damp paper can grow all kinds of nasty things). Do not store your artwork in places with extreme temperature & humidity changes like the attic or basement. If you notice any ill effects on a valued piece of art, bring it to a conservation picture framer or a paper conservator to examine.

   After re-reading it, this last page sort of sounds like a recipe. Well... I hope you enjoyed me "cooking" up a conservation style picture framing package for you.

"Bon Appétit"