It seems at least twice a week we get asked by our collectors and gallery visitors- “how would you frame something this old?” Or “What design would look best with my ______ (fill in the blank: antique map, contemporary woodcut, rare 20th century etching, etc.)”
We have been in the framing business for almost as long as we have been in the print and map business- that’s a lot of time to learn and fully master framing techniques and design! Our custom framing combines carefully designed aesthetic appeal, historical appropriateness, and conservation techniques. Each frame is hand-built by our framer, Alan, who works on our second floor of the gallery. Nothing is ever sent out of the gallery, and our framing projects are completed within 2 weeks of design and drop-off.
Below are just some tips we would like to offer you, so you can better understand your framing choices. But if you still have questions, please bring your items down to our gallery. We are happy to work with you to create the best design for your artwork!
- When it comes to matting a print, there is no rule of thumb for how much or little matting to add. A more important tip to remember is that the frame width and the mat width should never be the same.
- When adding colored or textured mats, remember that you want the art to command the most attention- not the framing job. This doesn’t mean you have to stick with all neutral mats, but it does mean that the matting design should always be complimentary. Many times, by choosing bold or bright pops of color from the image as your mat color, you only lessen the effect of the color in the image.
- Frame and mat to the art first, and to the room second. It is important to know and consider where the art will go in your room or house, but don’t bring colors or patterns from your room’s design into the framing design unless it works with the art. The frame design chosen should always relate to the art. Remember, you could easily move the art to another room or redecorate, and you don’t want to have to re-frame your art every time you change your home design.
- Be open to the idea of mixing frames- not all of the frames in one room or in one gallery wall have to be identical. A little variety can really draw attention to the unique nature of each art piece.