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All You Need to Know about Canvas Stretching

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Monday, December 29, 2014

(Image source: http://canvas-print.co.za/canvasprint/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/gallery-wrapped-stretched-canvas-example.jpg)

Unframed paintings hardly look good from the side. Anyone who paints or visits art galleries has probably noticed that the raw canvas edges look shockingly white against the colourful, painted front. It looks even worse when bits of the colours get on the sides of the canvas during the painting process. It creates a design which is jarring against the painted front.

The canvas sides and edges hardly mattered in the past, but framed paintings are in vogue these days as framing not only compliments a painting but also adds a layer of superiority. This is where canvas stretching comes in.

Stretching a canvas is important as the process helps preserve the canvas and prepare it for framing. Canvas stretching is the process of preparing the surface (made of either cotton or linen fabric) by stretching it around a wooden frame. It is usually secured on the back, though some prefer to secure it on the sides, using staples, a metal spline or tacks. Finally, the canvas is primed with an oil based primer or acrylic gesso and it is ready to use.

Types of Stretched Canvas

  • Traditional Wrap: The painting/image must fit 3/4 of an inch wood stretcher bars so that the canvas can be easily installed in a frame. If you are using a traditional wrap, it is recommended to frame your painting/image as there will be unpainted edges and staples visible from the side. Framing is therefore essential to cover them.
  • Gallery Wrap: This type of stretched canvas is ready to hang. The canvas wraps around the bars, therefore the staples are placed on the back and hidden. The sides too are completely painted. It comes with a wire on the back, making them ready to hang as soon as you receive the new painting. Framing is not required with a gallery wrap.

Options for Stretching Canvas

  1. Outsource
  2. Stretching canvas needs proper skills so that the surface is free of wrinkles. If you are not familiar with the process, it is recommended to seek professional help to stretch your canvas prints. The frame shops have trained professionals to create the optimal visual impact. These shops offer canvas stretching services for new and previously stretched artworks.

    The biggest advantage of outsourcing this task is that you are guaranteed a high standard, professional stretching job. Stretching canvas involves a lot of hassles and is often challenging for an amateur. Just drop off your canvas prints at a frame shop and the professionals there will take care of the rest. The next time you see your canvas artworks, it will be ready to hang.

    With a professional offer canvas stretching service, you don't need to bother about the size as these framers have necessary tools and equipment to stretch any roll you bring in. Time delay is often a problem with many frame shops. It is therefore recommended to ensure that your framer has the reputation of finishing stretching job on-time.

    Also, opt for an experienced framer who can create the look you are after. One big challenge of outsourcing canvas stretching is that it is expensive. The cost depends on the thickness of the stretcher bar and the size of your image. However, outsourcing is still a cost-effective way considering the high standard stretching job you will receive.

  3. Stretcher Bar Sticks
  4. Don't consider this option unless you own a full blown production studio where you need tons of stretched canvas every day. This process require 10-12' stretcher bar sticks, a saw and an underpinner or joining machine. First cut down the sticks to required size and then join the bars using the underpinner to make the stretcher frame.

    This process can significantly lower your cost, depending on the quality of wood you use. There will be no time delay as the entire manufacturing process is in your hands. This further provides you the ultimate flexibility with the canvas stretching process. You can even create custom-tailored and unique stretcher bars by providing a design profile to the wood supplier.

    On the downside, using stretcher bar sticks needs skilled labour. You need to appoint trained and experienced employees and proper management is required. In addition, you need to make good investments in equipment. Stretcher bar sticks are only recommended for those who have huge volume of requisites for stretcher canvas prints.

  5. Pre-Notched Stretcher Bars
  6. If you're familiar with the process of canvas stretching, you can do it on your own. You will, however, need certain tools for that such as a staple gun and stretching pliers. Besides, you need to have enough patience to stretch the canvas by hand. You can even use pre-notched stretcher bars to further lower your cost, provided you know the traditional technique of stretching a canvas print.

    Several wood options are available with pre-notched stretcher bars. While the fir wood bars are the least expensive options, those made of pine wood are more expensive. The advantage of using pre-notched stretcher bars is that you can have complete control over the stretching process. Since the fir wood bars are inexpensive, you can considerable lower your cost by using them. Better yet, you don't need to have underpinner, saw or any other professional equipment to work with them.

    However, the biggest catch of using pre-notched stretcher bars is that you must have the technical skill of stretching canvas. You will further need certain professional equipment, for example, a canvas stretching machine otherwise it will take a lot of time and effort to stretch a print. And buying professional stretching equipment will raise the cost, making outsourcing a cheaper and cost-effective solution.

    Lastly, pre-notched stretcher bars come in fixed sizes. You will therefore need specific sized bars and adjust your print accordingly.

How to Stretch Canvas – The Basic Steps

  • Buy rolls or pre-cut, un-primed canvas
  • Measure how much canvas you will need
  • Lay the stretcher bar frame on your canvas (face down)
  • Fold up each edge. There must be plenty of canvas overlapping on the bar
  • Cut out the piece in appropriate size using a scissor
  • Fold the canvas over your stretcher bar, taking one side at a time and start stapling them using your staple gun
  • Now spin the canvas to staple the opposite side, pulling as much canvas towards you as you can
  • Repeat the same process for the remaining two sides
  • Remember that the centre of the canvas is tight
  • Now grab, pull, and staple along the bar with staples running down each side until you reach the corners
  • Finally, grab the canvas corner and pull it nice and tight, turning it on its side so that the canvas lay flat and staple it
  • One edge of the canvas must have a 45 degree folded line, while the other edge should have no fold at all

Repeat this process for all corners.

Conclusion

Though stretching canvas sounds an easy task to do, it involves a lot of measurements and special skills. You can start stretching your own canvas, provided you have the required skills and equipment. But remember that it might not have the high standard and professional touch to compliment your artwork.

What to Expect from a Professional Framing Service

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Thursday, December 18, 2014

(Image source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1117/4603522172_58d18144dd_z.jpg)

While making your own frames at home may seem like an easy thing to do, many a time, it isn’t. It is easy for things to go haywire, which only leaves behind a mess and thoughts about what could have been. That’s why it is best to leave certain jobs to the professionals.

We all want our art work to look gorgeous and stand out. We want it to razzle and dazzle, and capture the fancy of the audiences. However, your art work alone may not be able to do so every time. Sometimes, a little help goes a long way in influencing the audience to succumb to the work’s charm.

A professional framing service is your best bet when you need to get a painting framed. But that's not all that professional framers are for. The post lists a few facilities that a professional framing service can provide in addition to treating your artwork with the utmost care while framing it.

  1. Determining the Structure
  2. Typically, this step is given a miss as when you paint on a canvas or on a board, you tend to adjust its size in accordance with the shape of the canvas. However, if you paint on a normal sheet of paper, you may be left with extra paper around the edges which may need to be cropped. This is where the professional framer can help you.

    A good framer will take some mounting board and talk to you about the parts of the painting that need to be trimmed off. Once that’s taken care of, the framer will make a few markings to mark the four corners to denote where the frames will go.

    It makes sense to listen to the suggestions of the framers about this aspect as they’re experienced in this and have a sound idea of determining a suitable structure accurately. If you disagree with his suggestions, you can move the mount in different angles and see what the art work looks like. Whatever you decide will ultimately prevail.

  3. Figuring Out the Mount
  4. In case you’re wondering what mounts are, they are pieces of colored cards that are placed around the paintings before they are framed. In the USA, however, these cards are called mats and the backing board is called a mount.

    Paintings may or may not have a mount, and the frame may embrace the edges of the paintings. But having a mount is preferable as it can help bring out the colors and enhance the overall appearance of the paintings. They may have multiple mounts, often with only a bit of the one complementing the painting showing.

    Ask your framer for mount options and he will show you a range of samples in a variety of colors. He will also have a display board over which your painting will be fastened to make it easy for you to pick the right mount color. In doing so, you will have to view your painting from a distance to get a better idea of what it will look like once it is mounted.

  5. Finding the Right Frame
  6. (Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7e/Fillet.JPG)

    Professional framers stock up on an assortment of sample corners of frames. These too will be attached to the corners of your art work (aside from the mount board), for you to get a good idea of what it will finally look like.

    If you find it difficult to envisage your painting as a fully framed one, use your hands or sheets of paper to cover up the rest of the exposed parts of the painting. That way you will see only the angles decorated with the sample corner.

  7. To Go for Glass or Not?
  8. Most framed art prints that we come across have a glass front. While it is important for watercolors, pastels, and drawings to be framed behind glass, it may not be necessary for paintings that are varnished.

    Your framer will show you two types of glasses – reflective glass and matte glass (less reflective but absorbs some of the color of the painting) – and ask you to pick between the two. If you’re unable to decide, ask the framer to show you a few samples so you can see the difference and take a call accordingly.

  9. Cost Estimation
  10. (Image source: http://www.cruisinmuseums.com/2010_10_01_archive.html)

    The cost of framing depends on the size of the art work, the number of mounts used, the frame chosen, and whether or not you choose to have glass in it. Your framer may either give you a quote as soon as you select your frame or give you an estimate over the phone. If you're not happy with his quotation, feel free to try elsewhere.

  11. When the Pick-Up Date Is Here
  12. Just as you’re careful with all your purchases, be scrupulous with this one too. Before you pay for the framing, make sure the following are in place:

    • Does it have a mount board? Has it been cut tidily?
    • Is the mount flat and correctly placed?
    • Has the frame been attached properly?

    If you find any discrepancies in any of the above aspects, get them rectified before you make the payment. If you like the framer’s workmanship, do let him know about it. A little appreciation for a job well-done never hurt anyone!

Conclusion

All your art prints deserve a place of pride in your home or in the art gallery. Make sure you approach a professional framing service to adorn them with the most attractive and suitable frames, which will not only enhance their splendor, make them the cynosure of all eyes, but also keep them protected. The above points should give you a fair idea of how a professional framer can help you. Do make a note of them and make them work to your advantage.

Framing Paintings: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

(Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Barokke_lijst.JPG)

Only a truly creative person would understand the importance of protecting and beautifying a work of art.

Whether you create art yourself or buy it from an artist, displaying it tastefully will probably be the topmost concern on your mind. Most art prints are stunning enough by themselves to attract and retain the attention of the onlooker.

There are ways in which you can make these creations look more chic. Framing them is the easiest and most common way to smarten them up and present them in a way that can enhance their appeal.

If you're confused about whether you should go about the framing chore by yourself or hire a professional to do it for you, this post has some important pointers for you.

DIY Framing

(Image source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/71002131600982553/)

If you're creative by nature and love painting, designing and decorating, then it makes sense to give DIY-framing a shot. The basics of framing aren't very difficult to master and this activity can be a lot of fun. In fact, when you create the frame on your own, you might as well refer to it as a work of art in itself. Keep in mind that the frame you choose to create will affect the appearance, longevity and value of the art print.

Here are a few pros and cons for your consideration to help you decide whether DIY framing is for you.

Pros

  1. You Save Money:
  2. Framing your art work yourself will save you money as you will not have to pay the labor costs, which can add up quite fast. You can use the Web to shop for all the materials you'll need at discounted rates.

  3. You Have Total Control:
  4. Because you'll be doing everything yourself from scratch, you'll have the authority to customize picture the frames the way you like it. Add and delete elements from it based on what you want the final product to look like at any point. Mix and match colors, styles, woods, glass, etc. and flaunt your creativity to the hilt. In short, let it reflect you!

  5. Learn a New Skill:
  6. Once you become aware of the process, you'll find things falling into place. In fact, the more number of frames you make, the more your skills and abilities will improve. Soon you'll be able to do it like a professional!

  7. Makes for a Great Hobby:
  8. Once you realize how enjoyable, easy and inexpensive DIY framing can be, you can turn it into a regular hobby.

Cons

  1. It Can Get Complicated:
  2. While DIY framing is relatively easy, it can also get quite complicated, especially if you decide to create something intricate. If you're not careful with your craft, you may just end up losing the plot and ending up with a big mess rather than a beautiful frame. So that would mean a waste of your time, money and energy.

  3. You May Not Always Get the Desired Results:
  4. While you may have visualized your frame to turn out in a certain manner, chances are that the final product may not live up to your expectations. If you're not meticulous about it, you may unknowingly make errors in getting the measurements right, or get the wrong type of wood, etc.

  5. Keeping Up with the Changing Trends Can Be Difficult:
  6. Home-interior trends change rapidly with new styles and designs being created and sold at the drop of a hat. In such a scenario, it may become difficult for you to keep reframing your art work.

Professional Framing

(Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Frames_France_DMA_Reves_Collection.jpg)

If you're too pressed for time to build a frame on your own, or find it hard to create anything that will need you to let your (barely-there) creative juices flow, then you should give professional framing a thought. All you need to do is give them your art prints and leave the rest to them. Approach a good framer to ensure that you get exactly what you signed up for.

Here are a few pros and cons for your consideration to help you decide whether you should hire professional framers.

Pros

  1. It Saves You a Lot of Time:
  2. Making your own frames can be an extremely long and time-consuming process. If you're unable to give it enough time and effort, you may just end up losing interest in your project and leave it unfinished.

    Professional framers have special tools and equipment, as well as the experience to get the job done in a short span of time. Hence, it makes sense to outsource this work to the professionals.

  3. It Will Be a Job Well Done:
  4. Because framers specialize in what they do, you can rest assured that they will do a swell job with framing your art work. Thanks to their expertise, you do not need to worry about going wrong with measurements or the quality of the wood or even the color going bad.

  5. You Can Go for Intricate Framing:
  6. While you cannot even think about creating frames with intricate work/designs on them by yourself, you can definitely expect high-quality, intricate designs with a smooth finish from professional framers. Sit with them and let them help you decide and choose from the variety of frames they have on offer. Some framers even oblige when you tell them your specific requirements related to how you want the frame to look.

  7. Frames are an Investment:
  8. This will make sense to those who create art work and sell it. Good frames not only keep your art protected, but also help in presenting them well. This is particularly important when you're displaying your art work at a high-end gallery. The style, quality and the value that the frame lends to the art work can be quite influential in its sale. So it is highly advisable to get the framing done from a professional.

Cons

  1. It Can Get Expensive:
  2. The only con related to getting your art prints framed is that it can get a tad costly. Apart from paying for the material and supplies, you also need to pay for the labor. Further, professional framers may charge you several hundred dollars for a single painting, so if you have several numbers of paintings to be painted, it could cost you a bomb.

Conclusion

If you have quality art prints, it is imperative that you get them framed. Apart from making them look better, frames also help art prints stay in good condition. I hope the above pointers will bust all your doubts when it comes to getting your art work framed and help you decide which way to go.

Tips for Artists to Frame Their Paintings

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Friday, November 28, 2014

(Image source: http://www.grandor.ro/gdata/2011/12/national-gallery-interior.jpg)

Art comes alive and gets a personality of its own when it is framed beautifully. Artists have a hard time deciding on how to frame their paintings. Good frames do not come cheap, and when you have several beautiful pieces of art to frame then cost will definitely prove to be a serious impediment.

When you are an artist by profession your primary aim is to get your paintings to sell. If you are selling a watercolor for $400, the best price you can afford to spend on a frame is $30-$40. There are artists spending as much as 15% of the retail price on frames, and there are some who put cheap assembly-line made-in-China frames on their artworks.

So it all boils down to economics in the end. If you want your art to stand out and be spotted in an art gallery, it is necessary you put the best frames on your painting. The frame should complement the art and enhance its visual effect, importance and perceived value.

Here are a few tips for artists regarding how they should be framing their work.

The Viewer Can Spot a Good Frame

You cannot expect an average buyer to tell the difference between a museum quality custom frame and an assembly-line one. But they can definitely see and sense something 'different' in a quality-framed piece.

It is quite the same thing as with a 'designer' outfit and a 'rip-off'. Any fashion-conscious lady will be able to spot the 'difference'.

A good frame will accentuate your work, provide it complete and most reversible form of protection, and will go a long way in helping the painting stay beautiful for generations.

Also a discerning buyer will not like it when he realizes that his $3,000 painting has a cheap $30 frame on it. And in the world of art buying reputation and goodwill matters a lot. So do your best to keep customers happy.

Framing Works for Better Safety of Art

Presentation really matters when you are displaying art for sale.

A great frame includes the mat, the frame and the glass you put over it.

According to experts the use of quality materials will ensure the best safety and protection to the artwork.

Acid-free and archival mat board, backing and hinges prevent damage to the art in the long run. You should also ensure you use quality art supplies.

Acids present in mats and backing boards leach on to the painting over the course of time and result in yellowing and fading of color pigments. Acids also cause the breakdown of paper resulting in permanent damage.

You can avoid all this if you use archival quality framing and mounting processes for your artwork. UV-resistant and anti-reflective Plexiglass or acrylic glass is a good option especially because several galleries do not allow glass.

Frame Helps the Art Take Center Stage

An apt frame will be able to draw the attention of the viewer on to the art and also ensures the theme or the idea that the art strives to reflect comes across in all its glory.

A frame helps demarcate a painting from its surroundings and establishes a boundary with the external world. A suitable frame will help the viewer to stay with your art for a longer time and not get distracted by the 'goings-on' outside.

To a prospective buyer a framed painting looks much sturdier and has a 'finished look' which unframed artworks do not have. They will find it easier to envision it hanging on their walls and will be able to picture the overall effect it will have.

The average buyer looking for something to lift up their interiors will always prefer a framed painting that will go with their furnishings and decor.

If you are primarily aiming for this buyer segment, you will do well keeping abreast of popular interior designing trends and reigning color trends. Respected and established magazines and online stores also will help you get an idea of what people are prepping to splurge on.

This does not mean that you sell off your creative spirit for money but a few pieces for the market will always bring you the financial freedom that is so essential for all of us.

Framed Paintings Do Sell for More

A beautifully and professionally framed painting does sell for more in galleries and at stores. If the buyer is a homemaker shopping for her new home, she may in all probability change the frame to suit the decor, but the initial perceived value of the art in her eyes is greater if you have put a quality frame on it.

Discerning art collectors also value quality frames. The frame is a subtle clue about the quality of your artwork, and people who want the best will not be willing to buy your painting if you have a cheap frame that sends out the wrong message.

The frame makes up a part of the design element and is very much a part of the overall creative process. Most artists choose to add more than the actual cost of the frame to the retail price. This will help you recover your cost and make up for the time and effort you put into designing the frame.

You Can Go All out or Make Frames of Your Own

As stated earlier, frames can be terribly expensive. They range from $30 to $10,000 and beyond. And framing all of your precious artwork can also mean a big investment from your part. But there are options you can consider.

Standard Nielsen metal frames or IKEA frames are suitable options. You can also DIY the framing. It is possible to buy mats, frames and other stuff in bulk and go about creating the frame of your choice.

There are many Sydney picture framing shops that offer specialized services to artists. If you have a good working relationship with your framer it is possible to work out an arrangement that is economically viable and convenient for both of you.

Plain frames available in standard sizes are best if you are a professional artist. Also, keep the molding options limited to three or four, and ensure the corners are seamless for a professional and expensive look.

Do your research and zero in on the best framer in your locality. If he has an artistic eye and can contribute in the frame designing process, you will see that he can also turn out to be a solid adviser and partner in your art endeavor.

Conclusion

Frames do enhance and accentuate your art. A beautiful frame also indicates the value and worth you assign to your art. It affects the buyer psychology and increases its perceived value thereby resulting in a better retail price. So do brush up your framing skills to help sell your art better and for more.

6 Tips to Care for Your Precious Watercolor

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Friday, November 14, 2014

(Image source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4134/4931661986_85ae641f42_b.jpg)

A watercolor is unique in that it has a special blend of beauty and charm that is not achieved on any other art work. Watercolor paintings are delicate and are easily damaged, buckled and discolored, and can even crumple if not cared for properly.

Watercolors attract art lovers for their beautiful soft hues, subtle blending effects, varying degrees of transparency and even application. Watercolor-inspired home décor continues to trend this season too, and this is quite the apt time to bring a lovely watercolor painting home.

The color pigments used in watercolors are finely ground and combined with a water-soluble binder like gum Arabic. Artists mix the colors with water and paint them over absorbent surfaces like textured paper. When the water evaporates the color pigments stay on the surface bound by the gum Arabic.

If you have brought a lovely painting home and are wondering how you should take care of it, here are a few helpful tips for you.

  1. Watercolors Need to Be Framed
  2. Watercolors are best off when you frame them under glass, and there are compelling reasons to do so.

    Watercolors are usually done on paper which will deteriorate very fast if left in the open. Also, the paper is never given a water-resistant coating prior to being painted upon because it will make application of colors difficult. Most artists refrain from applying any protective varnish over their completed work which makes the paintings quite vulnerable to environment damage.

    Watercolors get reconstituted when they come into contact with moisture. Colors may shift, run or break, thereby ruining the painting. A glass front will protect the painting from dust and moisture damage.

    You might not like the idea of putting your pretty watercolor behind glass but even dust has the potential to damage the painting permanently. The paper on which watercolors are done is a very delicate surface and will be easily damaged when you dust is. A glass protective panel will protect your art from dust and moisture as well as from insects, mold and mildew.

    Ensure the glass your framer uses is glazed. UV-coated Plexiglass or Denglass is quite apt for the job.

    There, now you see why framing a watercolor under glass is recommended by experts.

  3. Archival Framing Techniques Are Essential
  4. Archival framing assures the looks, life and quality of your art for decades to come. A well-preserved art work will outlast almost every other item you have used to spruce up your interiors including your favorite rug and sofa.

    So what exactly is archival framing?

    Archival framing involves using materials that do not affect the painting adversely in any manner. The mat, the backing and the hinges used for attaching the painting to the mat are all 100% acid-free.

    The mat board should be made from cotton or linen rags. This is completely free of damaging acids and is considered to be of the highest quality.

    Use of adhesives like glue is a complete no-no as far as quality framing is considered. Paper tapes or Japanese paper hinges are great for attaching the artwork to the mat board. They are of archival quality and do not leave any permanent effect on the painting.

    Archival framing essentially is a fully reversible process and does not physically alter the original artwork in any way.

  5. Quality of Frame Matters
  6. When you go for archival framing, you cannot have too many options for the color. We often use colorful mats to help the art really pop but when it comes to archival framing the choice you have is a bit limited. Archival mats are usually used in neutral tones.

    If you really want an ornamented art display you can consider going for customized and decorative frames. They will provide the right combination of glamour and functionality to your art work. Our Sydney custom picture framing services will meet all your framing needs.

    If you are using a non-archival frame, you will have to line the insides of the frame where it touches the art with pH-neutral substance.

  7. Hang the Painting Away from Light
  8. Paintings in watercolor are particularly vulnerable to the effect of external factors like light and humidity.

    Never hang your painting opposite a window or on a wall where it is exposed to full sunlight for most part of the day. This will cause colors to fade and the paper to become brittle.

    The color pigments in watercolors are extremely sensitive and will quickly fade when exposed to the ultra-violet rays in sunlight. You will also be dismayed to see the paper drying out, turning brittle, bleaching out and taking on an ugly yellow hue.

    Fluorescent light is also as bad as sunlight for watercolors, so you will have to keep your art work away from it as well. Your gallery expert will tell you that the UV concentration in fluorescent light is the same as in sunlight.

    You should ideally hang the painting in a room with halogen or incandescent lighting. A low-emission ceiling spotlight is the best to highlight the painting.

  9. Do Not Hang in Wrong Places
  10. All places in your home are not suitable to hang art. Keep the watercolor away from heat, oils, odors and moisture in the kitchen. Also do not hang them near heaters or other heat-emitting appliances because that will damage the color pigments permanently.

    The best tip from experts is to rotate the paintings periodically to protect them from over-exposure.

  11. No Dramatic Changes in the Environment
  12. Dramatic fluctuations in the environment can also damage the painting. You feel colder in museums and art galleries because their temperatures are set below 20 degree Celsius and the humidity is maintained between 50%-65%.

    You need not fret too much unless you have a 100-year-old watercolor to preserve. The filtration system of your home HVAC will do the job quite well for other artworks.

    Ensure there are no dramatic fluctuations in temperature or humidity levels in your home. This will be harmful to all your fine art possessions.

Conclusion

Watercolors are luminescent and add a soothing, and serene charm to your home. By keeping in mind the above points you can assure they remain beautiful, and preserve them for posterity.

The Many Benefits of Custom Mounting Your Art

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Tuesday, November 04, 2014

(Image source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5538/9468050715_cc97b18d21_b.jpg)

How you choose to present your artwork, whether it is a water-colour, a photograph, a print or a drawing, affects its overall aesthetic appeal.

Mounting and framing your artwork will not only enhance its visual effect but also help protect your art from environmental damage and aging. Proper mounting will help you display the art in the most appropriate, safe and appealing manner.

If you are an artist you know that mounting choices should be determined by the importance and value of the art, its physical specifications (whether print, original, a photograph or a 3-D work) and the display requirements.

If you are a homemaker with an enviable art collection your first priority is probably how well the art enhances your home decor.

But whatever your concern, custom mounting your art will help you meet and exceed all the above expectations.

What Are the Different Aspects of Art Display?

All art forms do not require to be mounted. Gallery-wrapped or box-stretched paintings do not require to be framed. But other paintings, pictures and photographs will enjoy a better display if they are mounted and framed beautifully.

A frame helps draw a boundary between the art and its surroundings. It helps the viewer focus on the art and not get distracted by what lies outside.

A beautiful frame also adds to the beauty of the painting or the photograph. It was not for nothing that the early masters invested as much thought in getting the right frame as in getting the perfect brush strokes.

Another aspect to consider is the space where you want to display the art. If you put up a small painting on a huge wall, it will not get the deserving visual weight. The painting will look unbalanced and awkward with the large empty space surrounding it.

But if you mount the painting on a mounting board of suitable size then it can be slipped into a much bigger frame which makes both the art as well the display space look great.

Similarly large-size paintings can also be mounted appropriately to suit smaller display spaces.

Mounting gives a solid basis for display to various forms of artwork by attaching them to solid backings.

Where display of art is concerned mounting and framing are two distinct and separate steps which if employed together will give the best display and protection to your artwork.

If you have prints of photographs that are not of archival value like those of the last family holiday, then you can choose not to have a frame. These photographs can be mounted for display and hung on your wall.

What Is Custom Mounting?

With advances in technology, new and improved custom mounting techniques have found popularity and preference with artists and art lovers alike.

As stated above the type of mounting technique you use is determined by several factors.

Ordinary mounting techniques do not use archival materials or techniques. If you have prints or paintings that are not of great value and which you will replace after some time you can go for ordinary mounting methods.

But if you have an expensive art work or work of an upcoming artist that you expect to appreciate in value over time then it is recommended you go in for custom mounting procedures. Custom mounting is also referred to as museum mounting.

With custom mounting you get to pick and choose the quality of the mounting materials like mount board, adhesives and hinges. You also size the board to suit your preference.

Types of Mounting Techniques

Here are two of the popular mounting techniques which you can go for to give the best display for your art.

  1. Dry Mounting
  2. Dry mounting adheres the artwork to a rigid or semi-rigid surface. The mounting process is carried out by applying a heat press which attaches the photograph, painting or print to the backing board. However if you are worried the heat will damage the artwork, a vacuum press can also be used to the same effect.

    Dry mounting will help keep photos, inexpensive prints, posters and water-sensitive works from cockling and crinkling, and gives them a great display.

    The biggest disadvantage of this technique is that it is non-reversible. You are permanently altering the physical structure of the art by sticking it to the mount board. Dry-mounting is a strict no-no if you have a valuable painting or artwork. Dry-mounted art has virtually no resale value.

    Wet-mounting is an alternative which can be used if you want to avoid the heat. Here wet glue is used to paste the painting or photograph to the mount board. This is also a non-archival method suitable for less expensive artworks.

  3. Conservation Mounting
  4. Conservation mounting makes use of acid-free and archival quality mounting materials. The backing board, hinges, adhesives or tapes, and corners used in the process are all of archival quality.

    Archival-quality materials do not allow any environmental damage to affect the art work. They are also 100% acid-free and are designed to keep your artwork free from the harmful effects of leaching acids.

    Conservation mounting is recommended for all valuable art. They will protect the art and you can hang it on your walls for extended periods of time. Another benefit of conservation mounting is that it is suitable for a wide array of art forms. They can be used in shadow boxes also which are normally used for framing 3-D artworks.

    Conservation mounting is expensive and time consuming, but is well worth all the trouble because of the protection and longevity it offers your precious art. It is also completely reversible and leaves no trace on the artwork when removed.

You Can Go for Store-Bought Mounting Kits Too

Pre-made frames and mounting boards, and mats cut to fit can be got from professional framers. Custom mounting services are offered by all reputed framers. You can also go for separate purchases for the frames and conservation-quality mounting materials.

If you are an avid DIY-er you can take on as much mounting job as you like and order for fitting custom-made frames. You can also buy cheaper standard-size frames and DIY the mounting process to fit your art into the frames comfortably.

Conclusion

Custom mounting your art opens a plethora of possibilities as to how you can display and exhibit the beautiful creations. Consult your local frame shop and decide what your choices and preferences are.

Tips for Getting the Ultimate Refinished Picture Frame

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Friday, October 31, 2014

(Image source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3477/3758948453_9139769601_z.jpg?zz=1)

Refinished frames have a lovely aged look about them that not only adds a soft vintage charm to your home interiors but also looks great in virtually all styles of decor.

Old frames can be bought for a little more than nothing from thrift stores, yard and garage sales, flea markets and church sales. Take some time out on weekends and browse through to find some great frames for the perfect refinishing job.

Refinishing a frame will ideally take no more than a few hours. You will end up feeling happy about bringing back a fabulous piece to life which would otherwise have gone to waste.

There are several steps involved in getting a perfect-looking refinished frame. And the first one is bringing home the right frame for the project.

Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when starting out with your refinishing project.

Do not search for the Best Frame

Since you are on a refinishing job you can afford to overlook the minor dents, chips and scratches that you spot on the frame. All these will be practically invisible after you are done with your refurbishing and will in fact add to the unique look.

Chipped or broken glass can be replaced, but a point to note is that differently shaped glasses are higher priced and will cost you more than the regular square or rectangular ones. So when you are out shopping remember that the beautiful oddly-shaped frame will be quite expensive to refinish as compared to the more regular-shaped ones.

Wood Is Your Best Option

Wooden frames look great after they are refinished. Wood is also easy to work on and refinish.

All types of wood whether raw, matted or unfinished will suit perfectly well. When you sand the corners and the ridges, the wooden frames acquire a wonderful distressed look.

So when you are out shopping what you need to look for are chunky wood frames with plenty of detailing.

It is not just the frame that you need to pay attention to. The back of the frame is also equally important. If it is made of wood it will be easy for you to attach hanging hardware like wires and hooks.

The Less Desirable Options You Have

Metal and ceramic frames are not easy if you are looking at a DIY project. There are several laborious steps involved including the difficult task of removing existing paint and rust.

You will also find it difficult to attach hanging hardware to metal frames.

You will also do well to stay away from enamel and glossy finishes because it is very difficult to work in a distressed look. Giving a new finish to these frames will be an uphill task for you.

Laminate frames are also not recommended because they are easier to repaint than refinish.

Sand Away

The first step involved in refinishing is to give a proper sand down to the frame with a fine grit sand paper.

You need to sand thoroughly but remember to keep the rounds, ridges and all the detailing intact.

Once you are done with stripping away the original finish you have a virtually new frame to work on.

Easy Quick Fix for Dents and Chips

The dents and chips in the wooden frame may seem bothersome but you can fix them easily.

The slight scratches and dents can be covered by a dark acrylic paint. It will fill in the scratches and virtually make them invisible.

Tackle the Bigger Dents

For starters you need to clean up the frame thoroughly. You can use an oil soap like Murphy’s to remove stubborn dirt buildup and accumulated grime. Dry the frame and assess the extent of the fill-up job you have on hand.

Use wood putty to build up broken areas and fill dents and pits. You will have to be patient and wait for the putty to dry and adhere before smoothing on a fresh piece.

The chipped corners can be evened out with wood glue. There may be some ornate pieces or attachments that have come loose. Check them properly and use wood glue to fix them in place.

Next Step Is to Paint

Before you splash on the paint give a light sand over to the frame so that the paint will adhere properly.

You can use any paint in two shades so that one colour will be seen through at places when you are done with your distressing/refinishing. Here we are using paints in black and white colours. You can go for either latex or acrylic paint.

Apply a generous coat of black paint on the frame and wait for it to dry.

Use Wax or Vaseline for the Perfect Refinished Look

You need to rub on candle wax or Vaseline over where you want the first coat of paint to be visible. This will prevent the subsequent white coat of paint from sticking too strong to the base coat.

Apply a generous amount of wax or Vaseline petroleum jelly over the ridges and corners, and the ornate areas.

Time for the Top Coat

When you are done with applying the wax, it’s time to put on the top coat of white paint.

Allow the paint to dry completely.

Now carefully rub with a fine sand paper the areas where you have wax beneath. Do so carefully so that you do not remove the underlying coat of paint. The more you sand it the better is the refurbished shabby chic look that you get. Sand it until you are pleased with the look your frame has got.

Seal the Look

The final step is to give a protective coating with clear polyurethane. You can have the clear finish in gloss, semi-gloss or satin sheen. Alternatively you can also use wax to seal in the paint. You can go to the nearest Sydney frame shop and do the final few touch ups before slipping in your family pic.

Conclusion

Refinished frames are a great way to get a chic interior on a happy budget. Refinished or distressed frames sell for big money in decor stores. But with a few hours well spent you can get one for a few dollars or even less. So have fun refinishing!

How to Incorporate Jersey Framing in Your Home Decor

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Thursday, October 16, 2014

(Image source: http://inspiringinteriorsideas.com/pictures/2014/09/Stunning-Sports-Memorabilia-decorating-ideas-for-Ravishing-Basement-Eclectic-design-ideas-with-none-.jpg)

Sports memorabilia can really add to the glamor and sophistication of your interior decor. And it's not just the decor in man caves, your living room can also benefit from some sports therapy.

Our country is one of the most sport-obsessed nations in the world with every true blue Aussie a diehard fan of one sport or the other. Whether it is rugby, motor racing or football there are plenty of ways to incorporate the signed jersey and helmet into your interior decorating ideas without disgusting your wife or girlfriend.

That by no means is to conclude that all sports lovers are male but when it comes to interior decoration women have many more non-sporty ideas than to have a cricket-themed bedroom.

We are passionate about our teams and having a bit of that on display in our interiors will definitely add that special personal touch to our homes, so read on to get some great 'sporty' ideas and themes.

Where to Display Your Collection?

Loyalty to teams and jerseys is something that any man would love to showcase in his house. And sports mementoes provide a perfect blend of color and magnetism to chic and contemporary decors.

If your man has an enviable collection that he has built up with love and care over the years there is a strong possibility he will insist on putting up every single piece on the walls of your new home. So how do you go about achieving a happy balance between your dream home and the requirements of your partner?

• Consolidate and Curate

Rather than having framed jerseys, rugby balls and helmets, autographed photos, banners and other memorabilia scattered all round your home, group them in attractive displays in one or two places. Consolidate them appropriately and arrange in an appropriate manner, team-wise or sport-wise, to give each item maximum visual weight and impact.

• Choose Appropriate Rooms for Display

You can choose to display them in the game room, study or living room. Sport-themed decor is especially popular for kid spaces like bedrooms and playrooms.

But, in kids rooms you need to be careful that you do not display any valuable piece or breakable frames and picture glasses. You can hang the jersey of your child's favorite player, carefully framed with protective acrylic glass which reduces chances of splintering in case it falls off the wall.

Sport-themed wall murals and decals are really hot and trendy in the world of interior designing right now, so do check them out. Wall murals are expensive and should be a long-term investment, so choose color schemes and themes keeping in mind your growing child's needs. Wall murals look great in adult rooms as well.

• Man Cave Provides the Best Home to the Collection

The concept of man caves is also popular where your man can have a private space of his own where he can show case all his pet projects, toys and gadgets. It's also a place where he will enjoy spending time with his buddies or throw a party.

A flat screen TV to catch up on all of the latest sporting action and a double-door refrigerator to load up on preferred cold drinks will make it the ultimate haven. Do up the interiors with his sports memorabilia to get a designer-worthy man cave.

If you are space-starved you can consider converting your basement or attic into a sport-themed room. Guest bedrooms can also showcase your love and passion for the sport.

• Quirky Options

If you are in the early stages of doing up your home you can make a few tweaks to your decor plans and find creative places to incorporate the sports memorabilia. Designers speak about converting fishing poles and golf clubs into curtain rods, and other quirky ideas like using tennis balls as curtain rod finials. You can also choose to inlay a glass-topped coffee table with your collection of signed golf balls.

How to House Them Right

If you tack the game shirts to the walls and simply pop the bats and trophies on to shelf racks they will not enhance or contribute to your interiors. For sports memorabilia to look fab as decor items you need to house them properly and display them well.

• Frame Them for Best Results

Autographed jerseys and game shirts are valuable items and need to be displayed safely and appropriately. We offer superior jersey framing services that not only use conservation quality materials and protect your jersey from mold and mildew, dust, dirt and discoloration, but also employ fully reversible techniques. So if any time you feel like taking your jersey out of the frame you can easily do so without any damage to it.

Jerseys are quite big and might take up a big chunk on your wall when framed. But we can work a way out of that as well. We can custom mount the jersey to a board of suitable size so that only the part you want to be visible is seen and the frame will take up lesser space on your wall.

Jerseys are framed in shadow boxes which ensure the fabric does not touch the glass and are protected from any damage due to condensation.

• Glass Display Shelves Add Sophistication

Other valuable memorabilia like game-used or autographed helmets and bats need to be stored in glass display cases like the ones used in stores for high-end jewelry. Floating shelves also prove to be good display options.

Ensure that the display options do not harm or affect the memorabilia adversely in any manner. Keep the items away from direct sunlight, heat and moisture. Properly framed and displayed sports memorabilia can last beautifully for a lifetime or two.

Conclusion

Sport memorabilia add unique charm and endow your home with a distinct personality. When beautifully framed and aptly displayed they are no less than lovely art pieces. So go ahead and make your home rock the sport chic look!

How to Take Good Care of Your Art Collection

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Thursday, October 09, 2014
Art Collection

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If you own a beautiful, warm and tastefully decorated home you obviously possess art pieces that are not only expensive but are also of much personal significance to you. Art is one décor item that will never go out of fashion and will always look nice in a home no matter how many years have passed by.

Since you are keen to preserve your valuable art pieces for posterity it is better you be aware of all the threats your possessions face even within the safe confines of your home.

Being aware of the dangers will help you take proper precautions and if required, simple remedial steps to resolve the minor damages already done. Art restoration is serious business and other than gentle dusting and damp wiping where advised, no further cleaning or repairing activities should be performed by you.

There have been many instances where valuable artworks were damaged beyond recovery by DIY jobs carried out by ignorant owners.

So ensure your paintings and other art are well looked after and cared for, and educate yourself about the unique needs of your valuables. Read on to find out some really handy tips.

Let There Be Less Light

Exposure to light causes irreversible damage to artworks, especially paintings and photographs. The UV radiation present in the sunlight is the most damaging, causing colors to fade. The organic pigments present in paintings and drawings also become brittle after prolonged exposure to sun.

Another aspect is that the damage from exposure to light is cumulative; it builds up over time and therefore the deterioration of the artwork is a continual process. Natural sunlight is an extremely powerful source of energy and more than UV rays it is the visible spectrum that causes the maximum damage.

The flood of sunlight in your home causes varnishes on paintings to darken altering tonal effects and the overall viewing experience. Watercolor pigments fade in a very short period of time when exposed to full sunlight.

It is not just the paint and the colors that are affected, the structural integrity of the canvas or paper support also gets drastically altered. They are weakened and lose their flexibility. Canvases and paper become discolored and brittle.

It is a common misconception that modern ‘pigments’ and canvases are not affected, but just like old art they too bear the brunt when exposed to harsh sunlight for long.

There is plenty you can do to limit the damage from light to your art.

• Do not hang paintings and photographs exposed to direct or reflected light.

• If your living room is well-lit and you have beautiful art hanging on your walls, ensure you coat your widows with clear UV- film. Use incandescent lights which are less damaging than fluorescent lights.

• We offer great options in picture framing glass which will provide maximum protection to your beautiful art pieces. But it is always the second line of defense.

Control the Humidity and Pressure Variations

Moist conditions have the biggest impact on the life and appearance of all artworks. The natural and organic pigments used in paintings and other art forms have hygroscopic properties. They absorb moisture and swell up, or release moisture and contract based on the humidity in the environment.

Extreme fluctuations in temperature cause changes in the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. Rapid changes in humidity levels place your art under undue stress. Cyclic expansion and contraction causes flaking and cracking of the paint layers. This also causes structural damage to supporting materials.

Heat and humidity also speed up adverse chemicals reactions in paintings.

Another byproduct of moisture buildup in organic paint pigments is mold and mildew infestation. It not only cause disfigurement and discoloration, but can even digest entire artworks including canvases, paper and paints!

• You can do well by hanging your artwork in properly-ventilated rooms.

• Do not store them in airtight cupboards and boxes and forget about them.

• Hang your paintings away from heat and moisture sources like heaters and radiators.

• Do not hang valuable art in kitchens and bathrooms.

• Monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your home and make use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

• Check with our local frame shop in Sydney for proper framing techniques suitable in the unique local climate.

Creepies and Crawlies Are Destructive

Dust, dirt and insects like silverfish and borers can completely destroy your paintings and photographs if left unattended for long.

The reasons why they attack your artwork are many. Moist and damp environments, and dust builup encourage insects to grow and thrive on your artwork. Borers will eat wooden picture frames and supporting structures hollow if you do not undertake timely remedial action. Silverfish also gorges on paper and other similar organic stuff found in your artwork.

Ensure the artwork is kept in neat and hygienic places, and allow good air circulation in the rooms. Check for signs of trouble periodically and remediate them immediately.

Good framing techniques will provide adequate protection from insects and dirt accumulation. Insect-resistant backing and other specific techniques will provide your art the required safety.

Improper Framing Techniques Damage Paintings

The right framing techniques ensure the beauty of your art stays intact for years. A well-framed painting will remain beautiful and safe for generations and can outlast almost all other items used to decorate your home interiors.

But if you frame incorrectly it can lead to a total loss of the artwork.

Poor quality backing boards, mats, tapes and adhesives cause irreversible damage to artworks. Ensure you have acid-free mat boards. Linen tapes and other archival quality hinges are great for securing art to the mat board. In addition to acid and lignin-free and conservation quality materials, the picture frame glass also has an important role to play in how well your favorite painting stands the test of time.

We offer several types of UV-protection glasses that ensure your painting can withstand the harmful effects of UV rays and other light sources. Acrylic glass with UV protection is a cheap and viable option for residential use. For more valuable paintings you can go for museum glass.

Conclusion

All artworks require loads of TLC to live for hundreds of years. Keep them away from dampness, moisture and full sunlight exposure. Quality framing and safe display will ensure the best care for your precious art collection.

Tips to Hang Your Art Beautifully and Optimally

Amarisco Framing & Mounting Artarmon - Saturday, October 04, 2014

(Image source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/246/524874161_fd054c28b5_z.jpg?zz=1)

Hanging art is an art in itself. The way you put up paintings, posters and photos in your home will greatly affect the overall aesthetic appeal of your home interiors.

Artists and homeowners alike fret over where they will hang their favorite art. The height and the placement, the grouping, the size of the various paintings you put up and the color palette of the art pieces will determine the overall visual effect.

Another very important factor affecting the overall appearance and looks of an artwork is the frame. A well-crafted frame helps draw attention to the art or the painting, and acts as a distinct boundary demarcating it from its surroundings. And as any art lover with an enviable collection of paintings would know, choosing the right frame is also quite a task.

Let’s see how you can hang your lovely paintings and other artwork beautifully to achieve the desired impact.

Choose Your Art Wisely

As they say, the interiors of your home should reflect your personality. So buy your artwork carefully. Have a uniform thread running through them, or in other words, all your paintings should be part of a cohesive whole. None of them should strike a jarring note.

This might seem a bit confusing, but you have the freedom to choose your own narrative. You can select a theme that you really love and enjoy. If you are buying art for your beach house, the theme could be based on the nautical journeys of acclaimed seamen of bygone eras, or the different moods of the sea. If you are a fan of budding talent, build up a collection by emerging artists. Explore what fascinates young artists and find out which theme appeals most to you.

If you are running short of time, you will find it easier to choose art by genre, medium or even color.

Don't Hang All That You Have Got

If you are a true art lover and have been a diligent collector over the years, you will be tempted to display all that you have got. But refrain from overcrowding your home interiors with your possessions.

They will end up creating clutter on your walls and will make it difficult to focus on or appreciate any piece in particular. Assess your spaces and decide where your cherished art pieces will look the best.

You can also rotate your art occasionally so that you get to enjoy all of it, as well as  prevent the art from getting damaged due to constant exposure.

Frame Them Right

Good frames can make even the cheapest print and poster look like valuable art. This works particularly well if you don’t have the big bucks to go shopping in art galleries.

Frames are available in every variety and make. The mats you choose will also have a very important role to play in the overall visual appeal. So frame all those lovely posters you have and create an outstanding collage in your living room.

Throw Some Light

If you want your paintings to be at the center of attention, ensure there is proper lighting to complement them. MR-16 low voltage bulbs and PAR 30 bulbs are popular. Track lighting and recessed lighting with adjustable heads are among the favored lighting options for paintings.

UV rays are damaging to paintings. On prolonged exposure, they cause colors to fade and permanently damage your artwork.

Heat and moisture are also serious threats to the beauty and the longevity of your artwork. So ensure you do not hang your paintings in places where they will be vulnerable like in the kitchen or the bathroom.

Get the Spot Right

It is important you mount your art at the right height. Once you drill a hole into the wall, it would be quite unsightly to remove your painting and put it somewhere else.

If you have standard 8-foot high ceilings, ensure the center of the painting is about 5 feet from the floor.

This is the average human eye-height and your guests would not have to strain to look up or lower their gaze to enjoy the painting.

If you’re hanging the painting behind a sofa, ensure there is a gap of at least 6 inches between the top of the sofa and the bottom of the painting. In other words, in a room where people will be seated for most of the time, you can afford to hang art at a lower height.

Collages Are the Statement Pieces Your Home Needs

Grids or salon-style arrangements are great ways of enhancing the personality of your interior décor. They exude energy and vitality.

Groupings work better in open and spacious rooms than in cramped ones. So if you have a sparse living room or an empty hallway, spice them up with a bright and lively grouping arrangement.

While arranging a collage, trace the outline and cut out templates of each frame on kraft paper. Tape them onto the wall and mimic the pattern you ideally want. Move around the templates until you have attained the symmetry and the arrangement you desire.

Creating the perfect grouping is not difficult. Skim through your favorite personal photographs to find the right ones. Have them professionally framed to get a uniform look. Your framer will also be able to guide you as to which frames to go for to create a unique eclectic look.

Collages are about having fun, so don’t worry too much about getting it all perfect. There is no right or wrong way of putting up salon installations, just ensure you enjoy the end result.

Safety Matters

While hanging your art, ensure you give attention to the safety aspect as well.

Picture hanging hooks are safe and secure, and ensure a flush hang to the wall. A single hook is suitable for art weighing below 30 pounds. Anything above that requires two or even three hooks.

Strap hangers or D-rings are better than picture wires and hang securely from the hooks. In children’s rooms and for high-value art, use security hangers and installations that hold all sides of the frame firmly to the wall. You need to unlock the installation with a special key tool to be able to remove the art from the wall.

Conclusion

When mounting art, safety, aesthetics and convenience need to be taken into account. Also you need not worry if you messed up the first time. It is easy to fix the problem with a little spackle. So go ahead and have some fun with your art.



Amarisco Framing and Mounting provides high quality work at competitive pricing. Make an enquiry by filling out the form on the right or call us on 02 9439 3133