The Importance Of Framing Art

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

I've talked about buying art before, but I've not really touched on the very important subject of framing, other than when I did a little tutorial for turning a cheap frame into a box frame here.

I'm a firm believer that a frame can make or break a piece, but I'm also hyper-aware of just how prohibitively expensive framing can be. Hands up who has prints hanging around in postal tubes and card-backed envelopes because they can't spare the cash to frame them!

Let's talk about when to spend the big bucks and when not to.

It would be madness to spend £200 plus framing a print that cost you £20, but it would also be crazy to spend £40 on a frame for a print that cost £1000 or more.

It should be relative. Nearly always. But there are of course exceptions to the rule, and rules were made to be broken!

My husband and I are big art fans. For us, buying art is predominately about surrounding ourselves with pieces that we will love for a very long time. Hopefully some of these pieces will at least hold, or perhaps even increase in value if we're lucky, but more importantly our children will hopefully want to hang some of it on their walls one day too.

Framing is so important. I never buy anything without considering how I want to frame it, and how much it will cost to frame first. I learnt my lesson there years ago, when I didn't ask how much it would cost to frame a scarf, and nearly fainted when I went to collect it and they told me how much it was. Let's just say it was more than five times the price of the scarf, and the scarf was not cheap! Ouch. That said, it looks amazing, and as I said, rules were made to be broken.

If you're spending upwards of £200, then does the piece have special requirements? Does it require specialist mounting or conservation glass? Would it be best float mounted? Or if it's a textile for example, does it need to be expertly stitched to the mount board before framing?

If yes, then you really need to be talking to either your local framing shop or a specialist fine art framer. 

If you're spending big money on art then it's makes sense to spend a decent amount on framing. After all, framing is not just for looks, it's preservation and protection for years to come.

That said, a cheaper frame is better than no frame at all, so long as you're not damaging the piece, so go ahead - it's much more fun to have your art on the wall, that have it hidden away waiting, right? And you can always upgrade as and when you can.

If you're buying a piece of art for less than £100, my advice would be to put it in an off-the-shelf frame if it's a standard size. However, if you want something of higher quality, to choose from a wide range of mouldings, a mount, or if it's not a standard size, you'll need to consider a bespoke frame, and this is where eframe might become your new best friend. I buy art that I perhaps wouldn't have otherwise bought, because I know I can get a bespoke frame for a very reasonable price from them.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

Recently I needed to fill in a few gaps to complete a new gallery wall in our living room. There were two spots that needed a piece of art, so I decided that I would design a tropical inspired abstract print for one spot, and for the other, I would re-print a photograph of my mother that my father took in the 60's (yes, a proper cliched model/photographer situation).

For the smaller print it was a standard 40x40cms size and I already had loads of white frames from my print business in my studio, however, I wanted black, so I just painted it and stuck it in. Done.

I wanted the print of my mother to be more special, and to be a specific size which was non-standard. I scanned the original print in a super high resolution because I knew I wanted the new print to be much bigger than the original. I was working with an old photograph, not the negative, and it's a bit scratched and faded, so I retouched it photoshop, and cropped it to my desired size, and had it printed on fine art photographic paper. It looks incredible and yet cost very little, and I used eframe to supply a perfect, simple black gallery style frame in the bespoke 40x70cms size. Strictly speaking, I should have a double mount to hold the glass away from the photographic paper, but it wasn't the look I was going for, so I broke that rule. Because I can.

It looks great on the gallery wall, and you honestly can't pick the difference between the high quality acrylic glazing that eframe use, and the glass of the other pieces on that wall. Nor can you tell which frames would cost £50, £100 or £200.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

I've actually been using eframe for years, both for my personal framing and my business frames (I have a print in one of their frames in our bedroom too), so I can honestly say that they're a great choice for anything that might be either a non-standard size or a piece that you know you don't want to shove in an off-the-shelf frame. There are hundreds of frame mouldings to choose from - simple gallery style to highly ornate, as well as and a big selection of mounts. They have a great interactive website where you can upload your artwork if you want to so you can see how it will look with your moulding choice. You can even get them to print an image for you (only if it's your own artwork of course) and frame it, or just mount it. The possibilities are endless.

You just put in your artwork dimensions, and when your frame arrives, remove the protective plastic from the acrylic, and pop in your artwork. Make sure to add mounting tape to your basket if you're using a mount, and backing tape to tape up the back of the frame. This is particularly important with larger frames that may warp without the tape support, but it also makes for a professional finish which makes all the difference.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

Be mindful of dust and stray hairs, as there is nothing more annoying than thinking your art is ready to be hung only to find a hair or piece of fluff right in the middle of your image and you have to start again, so check before closing the back!

And if all of this sounds too hard, they offer a full framing service too, where you send them your artwork and they'll frame it according to your choices so you just have to hang it when it arrives.

Now you have no excuse not to frame those prints!

Disclaimer: This article is posted in conjunction with eframe, but as always I only post about companies that I genuinely like.