I recently had a artist/customer come into my store with a copy of an article from Artist Network.com, an art-business magazine sold here in the US. The author was Chris Paschke, a Certified Picture Framer who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at the National Conference, held every January in Las Vegas. The essay, written about how artists consider framing an afterthought to their work, seemed to resonate with patrons at the framing counter as well.
Picture Framers are trained in the care of your artwork, and can explain the differences between – and find the proper materials for – your specific artwork. Working with a framer is more of a convenience for the artist – they help explain proper preservation techniques and reversible treatments for your artwork. Framers can assist you in choosing from the over 3,000 frame samples on their wall with a design principal that specializes in just that: choosing the correct picture framing objective for your piece in proportion, color, and style. A good framer will also assist you in trouble shooting, delivery, installation, and even shipping needs if that is desired.
Your Picture Framer will start with questions about you, your palette, and design aesthetics. BUT, a frame does not have to match anyone’s sofa. A piece of art, framed correctly with good design, will work in any room setting. Talk to your framer. The two of you have a wealth of knowledge, and together can reach the perfect design solution. A good picture Framer will be someone you have received good reviews about, or is a member of the Professional Picture Framers of America. Another thing that this framer has learned first hand and agrees with Chris about is this: A good Framer knows his or her limits. It’s a principle of knowledge, respect for the artwork, and the relationship between the artist/client and the framer. I tell all my design team that if it cannot be figured out, then admit you don’t know how. It is easier than a situation becoming frustrating for both parties involved.
A frame can sometimes make or break a piece of art. When choosing a framer, stay clear of the 50% off stuff – know what you are getting into. Framing is not an afterthought, it’s an extension of the piece–the history of which I wrote about in our last blog.