When deciding to frame something, there are two main options on where to get the frames: either a ready made (off-the-shelf, standard) frame or a custom-made frame.
Shop and online bought ready made frames have an important role, they are convenient to purchase ( and hang), are ideal for temporary framing and are less expensive.
On the flip side not only are there fewer options in terms of style and design, but they are also cheap. This means that they are often made with poor quality materials, lack durability, and do not protect and preserve the artwork.
I believe that it you treasure your item you should frame it to the highest quality you can. Frame it right, frame it once. The most important aspect of the bespoke framer’s role is to make your artwork sing, keep memories alive and let keepsakes tell their story for future generations. The small increase in price will always be outweighed by the emotional reward you get from a more long lasting superior quality frame.
Why are bespoke picture frames better?
They present, protect and preserve
Appropriate materials, knowledge and techniques are used that ensure the your item is framed in a way to not only present but protect and preserve. I am a Certified Picture Framer working to the Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG) 4 levels of framing. The majority of framing that I do is at a level (Level 1 Ultimate and Level 2 High) that preserves the artwork in a way that causes no damage and that is fully reversible.
A ready made frame does present but may become unusable after a short amount of time due to poorer quality of materials causing it to fall apart, scratch easily etc. It is also likely to damage the artwork. Acidic backboards and mounts will deteriorate over time and cause acid burn to the artwork. Riveted hanging fixtures to backboards can fail resulting in frames falling of walls and glass & frame damage. Thin plastic glazing it scratched easily. The artwork may be incorrectly fitted with inadequate tapes, another source of damage. In many cases ready made frames may not even make it into the lowest level of the guilds standards, level 4/low.
The brown area of artwork is damage caused from being under a acidic mount (now removed).
Artwork help in place with masking tape. This fails with time and causes damage by leaving adhesive residue behind.
They are made to fit the artwork
The artwork is carefully measured and then the frame is made to fit it. It allows for the right proportions of space and provides the best optical experience.
The reverse is opposite for shop bought frames. The artwork has to fit into it. This may mean having to cut the artwork to fit in the frame or having a good few cms of it have to be hidden under a mount. Both may result in losing vital details of the image.
Its Individual to You
In the design consultation process you can choose what colour mount, frame and glass type you would for your item. This greater creative control allows your customised frame to beautifully match the artwork, your individual tastes and home décor. If you want a frame hand painted or finished to a specific colour consider it done. You are dealing with a person, in person, so you can fully explain what you need, and I can fulfil your expectations.
Shop bought frames do come in many styles and sizes, but you don’t have the same wide choice as with bespoke framing, especially with the glazing options. At the end of the day they are standardised, not customised. What you may get if you ordered online may be quite different from what you were expecting to get!
If you would like to find about more about glazing click please see the blog for Feb 2022.
If you have decided you want to explore more the bespoke framing option please do get in touch.