Custom Framing

Studio Craft specialises in custom framing and our trained staff will help you in every step to achieve the best framing solution for you.

Be prepared and ask your framer how they will frame it:

Think about what you are framing:

Custom Framing Components

Frame : Also referred to as the “moulding”. Usually the outside component and is typically made of timber/wood, wood composite, aluminium, perspex, even synthetic polymers and plastics. Usually a picture framer will order 2 to 3 metre long lengths of moulding from different moulding manufacturers. Moulding factories can produce a vast array of frame profiles and enhance a frame by adding texture, design, colour, silver & gold leaf. Studio Craft has access to thousands of different frames and also has the ability to change the colour of some frames.

Glazing: Front face of a picture frame. This can be standard clear glass, non-reflective glass, museum glass or perspex.

Standard clear glass is 3mm thick and is used on most custom framing projects as it is readily available, affordable, and provides a clear view of the artwork.

Non-Reflective glass can provide relief from glaring sun but the slightly textured surface can make the artwork look dusty and not as clear as standard glass. Non-reflective glass had a huge impact on picture framing in the 1980s but today as it is more expensive than standard glass it tends to get used only on a few occassions.

Museum glass is a new revolution in glazing for picture framing and can come in a few different formats and is the most expensive glazing on offer but can offer UV filtering, anti-reflection and near invisible appearance. But be prepared to pay.

Perspex can also be found in a few different formats. Studio Craft only uses Shinkolite perspex , a high grade perspex that is not only light weight and will not shatter but it is also blocks up to 98%  of  UV rays. UV rays from the sun can be harmful to artwork as it will fade colours in an artwork.

Matboard : Also referred to as the mount, border. The matboard serves to enhance the picture framing design and can serve as a conservation tool, serving as a spacer between the artwork and glazing. Typically a matboard is made of cardboard pulp or cotton. Many cardboard matboards are now treated and have same archival qualities as cotton based ones. Be prepared when looking at matboards and make sure your framer uses only archival matboards. Poor quality matboards will only damage your artwork with high acidity levels and their own colour will be more prone to fading and discolouring over time. Matboards are typically placed over the edge of an artwork but can also serve as a backing so that the artwork can “float” on top of the matboard. Be aware of how your framer attaches your artwork to the matboard making sure they only use conservation tapes and adhesives.

Airspace : The amount of air between the artwork and the glazing and is an important component of conservation framing. Typically an artwork or photograph should never touch the glazing as built up condensation may result in the artwork/photograph sticking to the glazing or mould begin to grow in the micro-climate. A matboard provides just  enough airspace to prevent this in a normal climate. Playing with deeper airspaces in a picture frame is a great way to add another interest in the final framing design.

Mounting Hinges : Tabs of archival tape to attach artwork to backing or matboard. Make sure your framer uses only picture framing archival tape or archival paper tabs and archival paste. Hinging is ideal for conservation framing as the artwork is not permanently glued down and allows the artwork to be easily removed from the frame. Sometimes an artwork that has been hinged is clearly visible from the sides of the matboard where the matboard is placed on top of the artwork – a slight wave in the paper may be noticed but is a sound sign that the artwork has not been glued down. Some people do not like the wavy appearance so other techniques can be used such as flattening the paper in a press prior to framing.

Backing Board : The back of the frame and sometimes also the base on which the artwork is attached to. Be prepared and ask your framer how they will attach your artwork and what material is used behind the artwork.  There are many options here: mdf, foamcore, acid free foamcore, even perspex. There are also many techniques and many framers use an mdf backing and then use an archival matboard as a buffer between the artwork and mdf back. Think about what you are framing, does it need conservation framing or is it something purely decorative or functional.


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