Picture Framing Automatic translate
Whatever technique you work in - in oil painting, watercolor, pastel or collage, you just need to study in detail the process of framing your own works. The American artist Ross Merrill tells us how to frame the paintings correctly.
The design of the work is probably no less important for creating the unique character of the finished picture than the last brushstroke on its surface. Nonetheless, artists regard this as something secondary; very often the design problem is something sudden, belated, or even forced. If you perceive the work on framing in this way, then in many ways you lose its huge potential. In practice, placing the assembled frame in a still unfinished painting, you will understand what else needs to be done to complete it. If we talk about functional aspects, the solid frame protects the work from damage, shock and tearing. As for purely aesthetic issues, a good frame allows you to accurately emphasize the most important qualities of the picture and highlight its true beauty. In the hands of a professional baguette master, even a mediocre thing can “sound” in full force.
Key Practical Points
Regardless of what exactly you are going to do - to give work to a professional baguette or assemble a frame yourself, it is very useful to know the main working moments of the frame and some of the nuances associated with it. But first, let’s get acquainted with the basic terminology of baguette making. Baguette (Molding) decoratively designed trims that form the actual frame. The history of the baguette originates in the elements of architectural decoration; it can be made of planks decorated with carvings, molded wood or even gypsum plastic. Baguette is usually pickled, covered with paint or gilding. The fold is a recess cut out in the inner edge of the frame for a picture.
Front coating (Glazing) transparent protective coating of the surface of the picture, plain or acrylic glass. Gaskets, slips (Spacers) are small strips, usually made of wood or thick cardboard, in the width of the fold. They are located between the front cover and the edges of the picture to prevent direct contact between the picture and the glass in cases where the mat is not used. Gaskets can be painted or tinted to match the color of the frame.
The window in the mat (Window Mat) is a sheet of thick cardboard that surrounds the picture around the perimeter; Passe-partout brings an element of elegance to the work, and in addition, prevents the painting from contacting the glass. The edges of the passe-partout window are usually beveled and can slightly overlap the borders of the picture.
The backing is the basis (Back Mat) a durable sheet of cardboard that holds the sheet - the work and, as a rule, is used to design works made on paper. Usually attached along the inner top edge of the window to the passe partout.
The Backing Board is a high-quality cardboard, foam board or sheet of plastic that is often placed on the backing - the base on the back side and provide the picture with additional protection.
Fastening baguette accessories (nails - needles) (Framer’s points) are small elements made of stainless metal that are “fired” from the “baguette gun” parallel to the back sheet of cardboard into the inner edge of the fold to secure the entire “baguette package” in the frame. Typically used for work done on paper. Plates (Mending Plates) are small rectangular metal plates that hold a piece of art on canvas or cardboard in a frame. Usually made of copper and have one or two holes at each end. One end of the plate is screwed onto the frame, the other either on the subframe of the picture (also with a screw), or holds the back wall of the cardboard without fasteners. The plates can be bent to increase pressure on the subframe. Offset Clips function in much the same way.
The only thing that brings together different types of painting techniques is that artists almost always frame completed work. This is the point where form and functional features intersect. Of course, you want the frame to emphasize certain qualities of the work and enhance the overall emotional impression of the work. However, a solid, high-quality assembled frame is required, which will reliably protect the work from accidental damage as a result of careless handling. We present you several different types of baguette and how to finish them.
Frames can be divided into three main categories depending on the shape expressed in the profile of the baguette used. The first is a frame with a higher inner edge, directed in the opposite direction from the picture, to the outer border of the frame (sample A). A baguette having this form is called a baguette with a reverse molding profile. Frames of this configuration seem to “push” the picture in the direction of the viewer. The next type of frames is a baguette, in the profile of which the outer edge protrudes higher than the edge adjacent directly to the picture (sample B). This view is called straight, or a classic baguette in the form of a set (cove molding). Frames of the third type are assembled from a profile of a relatively flat shape with a thin insert between the inner and outer edges of the baguette. This type of frame (sample C) is called a cassette baguette. The style of these frames is typical of Italian painting, and the insert, as a rule, is decorated or covered with paint. You also need to pay attention to the color scheme of the frame. You can leave it without finishing, pickling or coating with oil, making its surface darker, coating with gilding or silver, or, in the end, combine any kind of finish. Remember that frames covered with gold foil are very expensive because of the complexity and amount of work required to properly complete the finish. There is also a cheap choice - metal foil, which can imitate both gilding and silver.
Framing various types of work
Along with the rules for the optimal use of various materials on certain bases, there are recommendations regarding the choice of the type of frames for a particular technique and the type of basis. Here are a few recommendations.
Works on canvas. If you work with oil, alkyd, acrylic paints or gouache, some rules should be followed when framing work on canvas. First of all, consider the main components of the work. During the sequential preparation of components for assembly from the front to the back, you will operate with a assembled frame, a stretched canvas, usually a cardboard back, plates or clips, and hanging accessories. In some cases, for example, when the oil work is not varnished, you must use the front cover and gasket between the frame and the subframe, as shown in the second figure. When framing work on canvas, you have the main task to protect the edges of the stretcher and the back of the canvas. So that the edges of the frame do not damage the painting, you can lay felt along the fold, reinforcing it with double-sided duct tape; there is another option - rub the inside of the fold with paraffin.
Bends in the canvas can cause cracks on the surface of the paint. Museum specialists found a simple solution that allowed them to reduce vibration and the degree of bending of the stretcher and canvas - the back of cardboard. By fastening a sheet of durable, high-quality cardboard or foam board on the back of the subframe with screws or staples, you will prevent dust, dirt and other elements from entering the space between the subframe and the canvas, and mitigate the effects of changes in relative humidity. Using a backdrop is the cheapest way for long-term “conservation” of work done on canvas. Remember that there is no need to drill holes in the back for ventilation. Studies have shown that this is essentially a worthless practice; in addition, you put the work at risk: dirt and dust easily penetrate through the holes in the “package” of the frame. If the humidity is significantly higher than 70%, which is typical for a tropical climate, the use of a backdrop contributes to the accumulation of moisture and the appearance of mold. In this case, this item should be discarded. I advise you to attach “bumpers” to the rear of the frame - rubber gaskets. They interfere with the tight contact of the picture with the wall, providing effective air circulation. Most artists prefer not to draw works on canvas under glass, since the completed thing is usually varnished. But in some cases it is impractical, for example, painting with gouache, pastel or oil pastel easily loses its magnificent textured characteristics. There is another reason for the front coating of paintings on canvas - the protection of the work in those cases when it is in places of heavy traffic or where it may be at risk of damage.
Painting with acrylic, watercolor, pastel, gouache, tempera is successfully performed on paper. During the sequential preparation of the framing components, you should have: an assembled frame, a front cover, a passe-partout window, a picture on paper with fastening along one (upper) edge, a substrate - a base, a backdrop, a back cover, nails - needles and hanging accessories. When working with paper, particular attention will be required to choose the material for the front cover (since paper work is sensitive to damage), mats, the parameters of the window in mats and mounting the sheet itself. As a front coating, inexpensive window glass is often used. Unfortunately, it has a noticeable greenish tint. It is better to use transparent glass of a higher quality, it is colorless and justifies a slight difference in cost. Baguettes will offer you, in addition to these materials, glare-free or frosted glass. The most expensive glass has a textured surface and for best efficiency should be in close contact with the sheet. However, this is not the best option, especially if you frame the work done by pastels. There is a more expensive glare-free, frosted glass, some varieties of which do not allow ultraviolet rays. In addition, you can use plexiglass with a built-in UV filter. However, compared to glass, Plexiglass is more sensitive to mechanical damage and scratches, which contributes to the formation of static electricity, especially when cleaning it. Some artists use a special varnish as a front coating. In order for the varnish to not drip when dried, forming drops, use industrial fans or hair dryer.
The next question to which attention should be paid is how to lay the space between the front cover and the work. Sometimes this is a narrow cardboard strip around the perimeter of the frame, but more often artists use a window in the mat. As for the reliable "conservation" of your work, use windows in a mat and a substrate - the basis of 100% rags. Baguettes offer acid-free cardboard and cardboard with a low content of acids. However, often cardboard over time returns to a high acid content. The new alpha pasteboard is impeccably clean and acid free. This is a good choice for framing paintings of a moderate price range, although 100% ragged cardboard is still a high “museum” standard. The passe-partout window and the substrate-base are often fastened together so that the hole in the passe-partout is precisely and qualitatively aligned with the sheet - a work that, in turn, is attached to the substrate-base.
For a loop (fastening) use a high-quality linen (linen) tape with an adhesive coating based on rubber. The paper should be glued along the upper edge to the window in the mat or on the substrate - base. (In museums, works are usually glued to the substrate - the base so that the mat can be removed without hindrance without damaging the picture.) Japanese tissue (thin tissue paper) is the standard gluing agent, and rice or wheat paste is preferred due to their high quality and uncomplicated process removal. It is not recommended to use a tape that is sensitive to pressure drops, with time it turns yellow, and its composition becomes insoluble. Water-activated adhesives often contain dirt particles that can stain the paper base.
To effectively protect the work behind the substrate - the base must necessarily be a backdrop - a sheet of foam board or plastic. Some artists create a “package” of front cover, mats, paper work, substrates - the base and back, tightly gluing their faces with a special high-quality and durable tape (for example, Marvel Seal brand). This is a really good way to “preserve” the paintings, but this should be done in low humidity conditions. When gluing elements with high humidity in the "package" may remain moisture, which will lead to the formation of mold. If you frame the work with pastel (especially not fixed by a special composition), it is advisable to redirect the bottom cut-out line of the window (cut from glass to the picture) along the lower border of the substrate, the base, so that particles of crumbled pastel accumulate here. Pastel dust often falls into the space between the mat and glass, giving the work a sloppy look. Creating a reverse bevel, of course, will not prevent the shedding of pigment particles, but will help to “hide” the pastel particles.
Work on solid, tough foundations
We are talking about materials such as hardboard, wooden board or canvas on the board, as well as techniques such as egg tempera, encaustic, oil and acrylic painting. Similar to canvas work, when preparing for assembly, you should arrange the components from the front to the back as follows: assembled frame, picture, cork wedges, plates, and hanging accessories. As in the case of work on canvas, you can use the front cover, especially if you work with egg tempera. In addition, you can install a protective coating for the backdrop. During the framing of paintings on wooden boards, it is necessary to provide some space, taking into account the physical processes of compression and expansion of the board, depending on the differences in humidity. To do this, make the frame a little larger on all four sides. Then insert separate pieces of cork, foam board or cardboard for passepartout between the edges of the board and the inner edges of the frame. These rather elastic elements will allow the board to change dimensions under the influence of atmospheric conditions. To ensure proper assembly density for all components, reinforce the back of the board with two plates at the upper border of the frame and the other two at the bottom. Fasten one end of the plate with a screw on the frame, the other should hold the board without fastening.
Mounting and suspension elements
The purpose of this framing stage is to ensure that all components are neatly assembled so that when they are suspended, each component remains in its place.
Framing a picture on canvas has the following options for attaching a stretcher in a frame. There is a standard practice adopted by most museums: easily bendable plates are used to ensure reliable contact of components (plates are sold in a household goods store). One end of the plate is screwed onto the back of the frame, and the other on the subframe. As a rule, a reliable installation of the picture in the frame is provided by two plates on each side. You can use clamps with offset or spring. The former are curved and manufactured in a wide range of sizes. The end of the clamp with the hole is fixed with a screw on the rear side of the frame, the other end (without the hole) abuts against the back of the subframe. The spring clip acts in approximately the same way, but the spring mechanism is at the heart of its “operation”. Usually, nails are used, which, unfortunately, have a number of drawbacks: they rust, become loose over time, and eventually fall out. Nails hold the picture in the frame not hard enough, unless you drive them into the subframe. However, in this case, they significantly reduce its rigidity. Works on paper or small-sized paintings on hard substrates can be framed with nails - needles, although they lose contact density over time and fall out. A strip of thin cardboard on top of these elements will help keep them in place with a loss of “tenacity”. Frame large work on rigid substrates using plates. As for the suspension systems, there is a choice. Screws with a ring head instead of a hat (hooks) are the most popular suspension elements, but they create two problems: they can cause splitting of the wood, and when careless work, penetrate too deep and protrude onto the front surface of the frame. If using screws, first make small holes for them in the frame with an awl or drill to make it easier for the screw to enter the frame. In addition, be careful that the length of the screw does not exceed the depth of the frame.
The best option is to use a plate - a clip for a suspension - a metal strip with a loop at the end. The clamp is attached with one or three screws (depending on the weight of the picture) to the rear side of the frame. Screws for fixing the plate - the clamp is smaller in diameter and shorter than the "hooks", which reduces the risk of damage to the frame. A wire is passed through a loop and twisted for greater reliability. There are several different types of wire for hanging pictures. Baguette men offer a solid solid wire or consisting of twisted threads - cores; however, I found that braided wire is more suitable because it does not unwind when cut. Some twisted threads - the cores have a plastic coating, they also showed themselves well. Like clamping plates for suspension, the wire differs depending on the load,so choose the wire according to the weight of your painting.
Frame in the "framework" of the reasonable
After you put all the components and materials together, it will become clear that the framing is not at all a complicated matter. The artist is really concerned about the need to devote enough time for himself or a baguette to properly draw up his paintings. Once I was told about an artist who gave the baguettes only a week to insert 30 of his own works into the frames for display at the exhibition. Neatness and accuracy are of great importance, and it is very difficult to do accurate work in a hurry. Remember: the better and better the result of the frame, the more expressive the picture itself becomes.
Framing paper work
Due to the many available materials on the market and the artists’ own preferences, there are several ways to frame high-quality watercolor work. The artist - watercolorist Jones Rotel from Cincinnati shares his art of framing paintings.
1. First, Rotel attaches the work to the back of the window in the mat using adhesive tape.
2. Then it inserts into the frame the front cover, mats, the work performed, the substrate - the base, and also strengthens the back of the foam board in place.
3. Using a baguette gun, she drives nails - needles into the inner edge of the frame to securely hold all the components of the assembly.
4. At the final stage, the artist fastens the wall with a double-sided adhesive tape - a cover for the backdrop. Using a hand drill, Rotel makes small test holes on the back side of the frame for screws - hooks, then passes the hanging wire through the heads of the hooks and twists the threads - wire veins.
Final elements of work: fittings
A responsible mission is entrusted to the tiny details of the fittings: they hold as a whole the whole “package” framing the picture and allow the picture to be hung on the wall.
If you want to be sure that the canvases or boards are firmly “sitting” in the frame, you can use spring clips or biased clips. Plates - clamps for suspension are screwed to the rear side of the frame in order to suspend the picture on almost any support. This is perhaps the best option, especially for massive work. In addition, ring head screws (hooks) are often used. I advise you to use braided wire, since at its ends the threads do not unwind; there is another choice - twisted wire coated with plastic.
About artist Ross Merrill
The artist and head of the conservation and conservation department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He began his museum career as a specialist preparing paintings for exhibitions, engaged in the assembly of frames. In addition, he cut and covered with gilt a baguette of his own design.