Framing tips from a professional

We have all headed into a frame shop excited to finally get that family picture or purchased art work framed.
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When we get there we stress, what should I choose? Is this going to look good? Am I getting a good price? Should I try some where else?

Darren Peel of Canyon Gallery has graciously agreed to enlighten us with his valuable framing tips from years of experience.  This has always been a tricky decision for me,  as an artists my framing costs really start adding up but in the end everything Darren says is so true. It’s worth doing it right the first time if it is something you want around forever….

1.How did you get in to framing? I was a 16 year old high school portrait artist at the time I was looking for a way to frame my work for next to nothing. My brother worked at a glass shop that had a small picture framing section, I got a job working there and after a while I convinced my boss that I could run the framing section.  I learned a lot right off the bat and thought what a fun job it was to help people design framing for their treasures.  I’ve been framing ever since and love it.

2.Are there any hard and fast rules to framing & if so what are they? Let the professionals take care of it.  Honestly, you will save a lot of time being frustrated and really not save any money by trying to frame things yourself.  Framing takes a lot of patience and practice-especially the designing part of it.  It’s easy to get intimidated by the thousands of choices of frames and mats-we have a lot of experience and won’t lead you astray in choosing something perfect for your project that will be long lasting.

3.What are some things to keep in mind when choosing a frame? The most important rule is to complement the piece that you are framing.  We have re-framed a lot of pieces over the years because someone insisted that we “match” something in their home.  We have learned that you MUST frame for the art and give it a timeless look rather than a trendy look or perhaps too bold of a look.  Try not to match your framing to the wood, couch fabric or drapes in your home-these things will change and you will be re-framing again and again which is unnecessary.  Frame it so it will look good in any room in your home.

4.Is UV protectant glass always a must? Yes, and surprisingly, it really isn’t much more expensive than using regular glass.  Art can be damaged by sunlight of course but it can also be slowly destroyed by normal everyday “light” in your home.  It’s definitely worth protecting your treasures from fading.

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5.What are the rules when framing a giclee on paper versus canvas? Any paper art will require mats & glass which makes the overall framing package bigger and usually more expensive.  If you do have paper art to frame there is a new glass that we offer now called Museum Glass which is absolutely incredible.  This glass makes it look like there is no glass on the piece at all and it also is UV protectant.  It truly is amazing glass for those pieces that require it.  Framing a canvas, on the other hand, is a matter of choosing a frame or stacking a few frames together and coming right up to the image of the piece.  Glass is not required with a canvas and gives the art an “original” look.  Without glass there is no reflection which many people like.  The cost of framing a canvas is usually less because you’re eliminating glass, mats and overall size.

6.Do you feel colored mats are generally a bad design decision? Not if it complements the art.  For the most part however, I like to design quite timelessly and neutrally so as to not draw a lot of attention to the framing.  The framing should definitely be noticed secondary as the focus should be on the art piece.

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7.When is it worth really spending the money for quality & when is it ok to head for the premade? It really depends on how much the piece means to you.  A piece of art as simple as a drawing from your child can mean the world to you and should be preserved and framed correctly.  I hold my breath sometimes when someone is trying to save a few dollars and wants to “cut” a piece of art down to fit into a ready made frame.  In the end you really don’t save too much money going this route.  We frame a lot of needlework, cross stitches & make custom shadowboxes for many different priceless items.  I can’t imagine just throwing these items into a premade frame and calling it good.  I promise that you’ll be so much happier in the end if you have a professional framer help you choose the perfect frame and make it worth it by only spending a few extra dollars.

8.Are there any tips or secrets to getting a great quality frame for a little less? Most people are accustomed to waiting for a sale to come along for a great deal on picture framing.  A lot of people think that framing stores offering “sales” with discounts up to 50% are such a great deal.  I’m telling you that there is a scam going on.  We have done the homework on these so called “sales” and to be honest with you, you’re actually paying the same or sometimes more than framing with us!  They just hike the price up on the frame to be able to drop it.  There’s no way a company can offer custom work for 50% off and stay in business.  We do however, offer price matching in our gallery and if you bring in a quote from another store, most likely your cost will be less anyway but if not, we will match their quote.  We have a section of readymade frames that are discounted because they have been made from the left over moulding of other framing projects.  We do also offer some frames that have been discontinued from our vendors and we offer these mouldings for a discounted price.

Photos courtesy Canyon Gallery

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