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Custom picture framers in RI

            Frame design encompasses so much more than simply putting a frame around your picture. The size, color, texture, and style all work together to enhance your artwork, while simultaneously complementing your unique personality and style. But the quality of the materials used will work to ensure that you will be enjoying your art for many years to come.        
            With the right matting and frame, the framing package can become a work of art in and of itself. However, care should be taken that the design does not overpower the art by drawing too much attention to itself. Some may mistakenly take this to mean that the frame should always be small, or simple, or that the mat should only be a small border in some neutral tone.  Not true. By taking into consideration the color, size, style, and visual texture of your artwork, the frame design will become part of the art, enhancing the piece as a whole.
framed silk embroidery

The Matting
            Attractive as well as functional, the matting is a key element in your frame design. By creating air space between the face of the artwork and the glass, the mat helps eliminate potential issues, particularly for framed pieces in humid climates. For instance, if a photograph is framed in direct contact with the glass, condensation caused by humidity could soften the photo’s emulsion enough that it adheres to the glass, causing irreversible damage to the photo. The space created by the mat will prevent this while also providing structural support for the artwork.
            The mats can also provide several design qualities that will enhance the art. The addition of a mat serves to provide size, color, and depth. Multiple mats add even more depth, giving the framed piece a three-dimensional look. Wider mats create breathing space between the art and frame, keeping the frame from overpowering the art. While neutral mats are adequate in some instances, mats come in a tremendous array of colors and textures, all of which will help the art to fit into its surroundings. To further coordinate with your décor, a wide variety of fabrics can be used to wrap the mat, creating something truly unique that you won’t find anywhere else.

            As recently as 21 years ago, there were basically two options for matting—paper mats or 100% cotton rag. Rag mats at the time came only in white, which is why one only saw art framed with white mats in museums and art galleries. Today, we have three choices—paper, 100% cotton rag, and archival mats. The third option is a blend of paper and rag, but with the harmful acids, lignin, and other impurities removed.  “Acid free” is a term one hears bandied around a lot these days, and is something of a misnomer. Paper mats are often advertised as “acid free” but this often refers only to the backing paper of the mat. The impurities are still present, and can potentially cause damage to you artwork, which is why we do not sell or recommend paper mats. By selling exclusively offering archival grade and 100% rag mats, we ensure our customers that their art will last for generations.

The Frame
            As with matting, the frame serves multiple purposes, both aesthetically and functionally. The frame lends strength to the frame package, adding structure that allows the art to be protected from the environment. A multitude of styles, colors, textures, and sizes are available in frame choices today, so your art can be framed to match virtually any décor. Bamboo-style mouldings can be used to great effect on Asian-inspired art, while olive wood veneers can be used to compliment that painting purchased in Italy. To complement today’s furniture finishes, mouldings are available in a wide variety of natural woods, from oak to walnut to natural cherry. Frame styles can even be combined, stacking one style with another, to create fresh, new looks that would be virtually impossible to find in a mass-produced frame. The sky’s the limit!

framed invitation

The Glass
            Glass, or glazing, is a very important element to the frame package, as it is the barrier that protects the visible parts of your artwork. All glass is not created equal, however, and for maximum protection, care must be taken to choose the correct glazing.
            UV-filtering glass has an invisible coating on the inside of the glass which blocks about 98% of harmful ultraviolet rays, as compared to the 50% blocked by regular picture glass.  Most people, when they hear the term “UV rays,” automatically think of sunlight; however, there are still UV rays present in our indoor lighting as well. As we become more energy conscious, and begin switching over to more fluorescent lighting, this becomes more of a concern, as there is a higher concentration of these harmful rays than in incandescent lighting. UV-filtering glass, however, is not an absolute. Just as you can still get sunburn at the beach, even with sunscreen, art protected by UV-filtering glazing can still fade if hung in direct sunlight or harsh lighting. Care should be taken when hanging the art that its exposure to harsh lighting is minimized.
            Non-glare, or anti-reflective, glazing can be an excellent choice when reflections are a concern. Non-glare glass has either a special coating, or has been chemically treated, so that the outer side of the glass softens the reflected light in a room. Depending on the intensity of the light in the room, this softening effect may be more distracting, as the effect can make your art look hazy. In cases such as this, anti-reflective glazing would rectify the issue. A special coating on the outside of the glass reduces the amount of reflected light, which will make the artwork appear brighter and sharper. Of course, UV-filtering should still be considered when using anti-reflective type glazing.
            Acrylic glazing, or Plexi-glass, is available for larger works of art, where using glass could be dangerous or overly heavy, or for items that need to be shipped. UV-filtering and anti-reflective acrylics are available as well.

military medals
            As a rule of thumb, art on paper should always be under glass. Changes in humidity can cause exposed paper to buckle and warp, and airborne grease and dust can cause staining over time. Due to a continuous “out-gassing” by oil paints, paintings on canvas are generally not glazed. Over time, this out-gassing causes a greasy film to appear on the inside of the glass, which would have to be cleaned by a professional framer. Needle art, such as cross-stitch and crewel work, often are not glazed. However, this is usually a personal preference. Most framers will advise the use of glass, which will protect these often very labor-intensive works of art from staining and other damage. Any artwork that receives matting should always be glazed. Just as changes in humidity can cause buckling and damage to art on paper, the same damage can be caused to that carefully chosen mat design if not protected with glazing.

What to frame?
            Whether it’s a limited edition fine art print, your child’s first finger painting, a movie poster, or a priceless heirloom, we will help you choose the perfect design for your item. We treat everything with equal reverence, so your work will be safe with us. Sometimes, the art can be accidentally damaged before it even makes it to a frame shop, because it’s been improperly stored or handled. If it’s a rolled piece, such as a poster, serious damage can be caused by rubber bands, tape, paperclips, even a gentle squeeze. Make sure the art is placed in a folder, protective covering, or tube before transporting, and allow us to remove the item from its packaging.

Consider the surroundings
            While you should certainly consider your room’s décor, care should be taken to avoid matching the framing to the room at the expense of what looks good with the art. Tastes and styles change, and what looks great with that red room today, may not look so good when the room is redone in shades of yellow. A good frame design should look at home in virtually any room in the house, and attention to this detail will ensure that the art will work with your future décor as well.

What do I choose?
            We feature approximately 4000 frame samples on our walls, with new designs added all the time. This may seem daunting, but our experienced staff will help you choose the perfect design for your art. We can suggest frame and matting options that will enhance your artwork, while keeping within your budget.

Visualize this!
            In this day of “try before you buy,” it’s become more and more important to know what we are getting before we commit. We’ve implemented FrameVue, a framing visualization program that allows us to show you what your framed art will look like—before we even start! With a few clicks of the mouse, we can show you what that large frame will look like, compare multiple designs at the same time, and even what the art will look like on your red wall. No more guesswork!

It’s all in the details
            Consider adding extra details. Fillets, creative mat openings, French lines, specialty paper or fabric mats can add a distinctive flair to your art. We are familiar with these options, and can help you decide which one works best with your item. Sometimes it’s the smallest element in framing your artwork that makes it spectacular.

            A good framer will help you with all the decisions that go into properly framing a picture, especially what the art should be framed with. A quality frame moulding, archival mats and backing, as well as UV-filtering glass, all work together to protect your prized art piece. Our staff has years of experience, and will work closely with you to choose the perfect treatment for the art, one that will last for many years to come.

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