Framing is an important aspect of displaying and looking after works on paper. Following a few recent conversations, I’d like to share some thoughts and possibly even offer some guidance to anyone unsure about getting their recent acquisitions framed.
Clearly, how you get work framed is a matter of personal taste and there are a huge number of variables. However there are some established principles: never allow the art to touch the glass as this will damage the artwork. Do allow the plate mark (that’s the embossed edges where the plate was pushed into the paper going through the press) and edition marks to be visible. Typically both of these are achieved by using an archival mount or mat, cut with a marginally larger window than the artwork. This sits on top of the print but does not touch the inked surface and prevents the glass from touching. It also has the advantage of hiding any paper buckling which naturally occurs due to variations in humidity.
I favour quite a large frame (see below) with a slightly darker mount which means that the lightest parts of the image aren’t overwhelmed. As the subject of the etchings is the Tasmanian wilderness, it seemed appropriate to source sustainable Tasmanian oak when I made these.
As a number of people at the Arte Ricca exhibition opening responded very positively to this arrangement and what is an attractive timber, I have found a local framer who has a good range of beautiful raw timber mouldings that he cuts to size and then sands by hand, and like mine, he finishes by polishing with carnauba wax.
We had a long discussion the other day and came up with a specification that you could follow as an example, using a lovely darker tassie timber, archival mount and UV protective glass. The quoted price was good and offers excellent value given that these are archival, museum quality conservation frames made from solid wood and correctly sealed. It’s worth noting that work framed with cheap non-archival materials can actually damage your artwork due to acids, etc, and often is not that much cheaper.
If you want more information check out Hand Made Frames, 8 James St, Fremantle (near Fremantle Arts Centre)