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LPradetto
03-17-2010, 03:18 PM
I've just started back into painting and have been doing some pastels on velour board. I leave at least 1.5" of blank board all around the painting. I've had a couple of commissions and one of the people I painted for just contacted me and said the framer, at the local Michael's refused to frame the painting because it hadn't been fixed. They suggested that she buy some fixative there and spray it herself before they would frame it. I've been telling people that the painting would be fine if double matted and framed behind glass. This is what I've been picking up from all the reading I've done. I'm I wrong? or did they just not want to handle it? They told her that the pastel would eventually stick to the glass from static buildup. Is this a problem and if so, what do you do about it. I know a lot of people don't fix their paintings. How do they handle this?
Do I need to leave more board? attached it to another board even though this is a very sturdy, firm board? Or were they just being overly cautions and didn't want to deal with it?

westcoast_Mike
03-17-2010, 04:19 PM
Tell her to go to a different framer. This is the standard responce from a Michael's or Aaron Brothers. They just don't want to deal with it. The advise you gave her was correct and a good framer will frame this way for her without issue.

Colorix
03-17-2010, 04:57 PM
They didn't want to deal with it.

It depends a bit on paper and pastel used, but if there is glass (not acrylics) in front of the painting, actually very little 'sticks' to the glass from migration. I just cleaned a glass of a two year old painting, re-using the frame for a new painting, and there was barely a speck on the glass. The utside face of the glass was less clean.

I tell my customers to never let a framer spray fixative on a painting (or do it themselves! =:-O ), as they are likely to use fixative for charcoal and graphite, and those will ruin the painting. So what if a few microscopically small grains of dust drift off? Compared to bad fixative, it is a non-existant problem.

Tell them to find another framer, or maybe you can do the work if they get the frame they want?

Charlie

Deborah Secor
03-17-2010, 05:08 PM
Some inexperienced and insecure framers won't handle unfixed pastels. (However, I add to that the fact that when I delivered my painting to the Albuquerque Museum they had me sign a waiver based on the fact that my self-framed painting was unfixed. They spray fixative on EVERY pastel painting in their permanent collection, BTW.)

It isn't a matter of the space around your painting image, but the space left between the surface of the pastel and the back of the glass. I admit, when painting on a surface like velour I would personally use fixative, because in my experience it loses pastel too easily. But a lot depends on your surface, your application and how much or little loose pastel is left. If you haven't done the smack test on your paintings, take one you value less outside and bang the board on the cement to see how much pastel flies off. You shouldn't have a dust cloud, only perhaps a little fall off.

As long as you don't overfill the grain of any kind of paper, you shouldn't need fixative. I framed unfixed paintings for over 15 years and most were fine! But if you need fixative, you might look into SpectraFix.

Deborah

SweetBabyJ
03-17-2010, 05:36 PM
I frame right up against the glass- or plexiglass, even- without a problem.

I use Wallis paper, and never fix. I give the piece a good whack on the back when finished which allows any loose dust to drift down and off, and then use spray adhesive on the back of the piece to float it onto a piece of acid-free foamcoare which is cut to fit the frame. Sometimes, this means I have foamcore showing all around as if it were a mat, and sometimes not- all according to frame size. I then secure the whole thing in the frame- secure is the word- it doesn't move. With no room to wiggle, and the Wallis gripping the pastel, it works wonderfully, is less costly, with plexi it weighs significantly less, and pulls attention to the work rather than the pretty-pretty framing package.

I have un-framed two pieces to put into different frames, and the most I've seen is a slight ghost image on the glass or plexi- a slight ghost image- and no smearing of the work, itself.

Someone else here was framing up against glass- she collected antique frames- blonde-ish hair, did landscapes... Carly? hmmm... does anyone else remember?

Michael's is lazy- take your business elsewhere, and tell them exactly why: They do not put the customer first.

DAK723
03-17-2010, 06:51 PM
Double matting is plenty of room between glass and pastel. And there should be no static problem, although static can be a real issue when using acrylic (although you can buy anti-static acrylic cleaner sprays which may help).

Lots of folks are framing without mats these days and using a spacer is an option in this case. Although some frame right up against the glass, this is not recommended, regardless of whether the work of art is pastel, as there should always be some air space between the glass and the paper or board to prevent the artwork from coming in contact with any condensation that might occur on the glass.

Yes, never let anyone fix your painting. If you fix, you should use a high quality fixative that you have tested and trust.

While I usually use fixative on papers with little tooth, I have never fixed anything done on velour.

Don

PeggyB
03-18-2010, 12:52 AM
I frame right up against the glass- or plexiglass, even- without a problem.


This method may be "ok" in a dry environment such as Arizona, but in most places this is not recommended. Don mentioned one reason, but the other in the instance of pastels is the possible formation of mildew. If you can "guarantee" your work will never leave the desert, then go ahead and continue framing against the glass. However, it your clients move out of the desert they may be in for a big surprise one day - a nasty surprise. In my opinion, it is better to raise the price of ones artwork to cover the expense of proper framing than take a chance on your reputation by framing in an inappropriate manner.

I totally concur with those who've said take the work to another framer who respects the artist's work. Continue to tell your customers that you do not want any fixative used on your pastel paintings, and if you can take some time to form a relationship with a reliable framer that you can then recommend to your clients so much the better.

Peggy

SweetBabyJ
03-18-2010, 03:35 PM
I started doing this in Washington State, the west side, arguably one of the most humid areas of this country. That was also where I re-framed two pieces without any problems. I've only lived in Arizona the past year. I have works in Great Britain, Russia, Australia and all over the US framed this way without any complaints or problems.

Again, I make a very tight package that is inserted into the frame- tight- not going to say "waterproof", but as close as can be done without special machinery. Do a search on "against the glass" and see, but I'm pretty sure it's Carly who is doing the same thing without any problems, and as I recall, she is from the south- again, very humid. It works, but I understand it must be done correctly and that it is sometimes uncomfortable to go against the status quo.

sketchZ1ol
03-18-2010, 04:39 PM
hello.
There is one factor which has not been mentioned - the depth of the frame's rabbet. That's a cut/groove into the thickness of the frame to set glass, mats, backing, and points (flat staples or brads which keep everything else in place).
IMHO, the absolute minimum depth should be 5/8" : a production framer goes by company rules (and accountants, lawyers, etc.), and a custom framer, if on the up-and-up, will tell/discuss with the customer about this issue.
When I do my own framing, I have a minimum of 1/4" between the glass and pastel surface, 3/8" with plexiglass. E

PeggyB
03-18-2010, 10:08 PM
I started doing this in Washington State, the west side, arguably one of the most humid areas of this country. That was also where I re-framed two pieces without any problems. I've only lived in Arizona the past year. I have works in Great Britain, Russia, Australia and all over the US framed this way without any complaints or problems.

Again, I make a very tight package that is inserted into the frame- tight- not going to say "waterproof", but as close as can be done without special machinery. Do a search on "against the glass" and see, but I'm pretty sure it's Carly who is doing the same thing without any problems, and as I recall, she is from the south- again, very humid. It works, but I understand it must be done correctly and that it is sometimes uncomfortable to go against the status quo.

Interesting - I think you've given the reason this works for you as being how very careful you are to make a tight package. That has to be the reason this has worked for you in several areas of the world. I've lived outside of Seattle for 30 years. One time when I worked in a gallery frame shop I had to unframe a pastel that wasn't so tightly "sealed" by the an artist . That artist had framed it herself against the glass because she'd read about it being done in England and figured we have similar climate so she tried it. Unfortunately, within about a year mold did form on her painting. She discovered it when she had a client interested in buying it. Also unfortunately, it wasn't repairable.

I have no problem with going against the status quo when it works, and this obviously works for you. I use acrylic (plexi) when shipping to competitions, and sometimes never bother to replace it when I get it back. So far I don't have trouble with static dusting. However, I think I'll still use channel spacer if not using mats. I know historically leaving "breathing room" has shown over long term to be safest for the artwork. Furthermore, I find it a fast, easy way to frame without involving tape. I tend to be a total clutz where tape is concerned... :o

Each artist must decide for themselves just how they want to present their work. However, it is helpful for those new to the process to understand some of the pit falls that might occur if using unorthodox framing methods.

Peggy

PeggyB
03-18-2010, 10:21 PM
hello.
There is one factor which has not been mentioned - the depth of the frame's rabbet. That's a cut/groove into the thickness of the frame to set glass, mats, backing, and points (flat staples or brads which keep everything else in place).
IMHO, the absolute minimum depth should be 5/8" : a production framer goes by company rules (and accountants, lawyers, etc.), and a custom framer, if on the up-and-up, will tell/discuss with the customer about this issue.
When I do my own framing, I have a minimum of 1/4" between the glass and pastel surface, 3/8" with plexiglass. E

I absolutely concur regarding depth of rabbet! :) Depending upon what type of support the pastel has been painted on, one may or may not need as much as a quarter inch between glazing and artwork. I don't need that much space with the 1/8 inch frame spacers (or channel spacers) because I work on textured papers & frequently use SpectraFix as a final seal. If the support wasn't textured, I would use 1/4" spacing. I also use at least 1/4" when using mats (with a recessed foam core under it). However, more and more I don't use mats. It isn't necessarily less expensive because I buy wider, more expensive frames, but I like the appearance and it is faster to frame this way.

Peggy

sketchZ1ol
03-19-2010, 11:28 AM
hello.
Just to go over the numbers: a double mat is 1/8", plus 1/8" spacer is 1/4". The glass is 3/16", so now it's 7/16". Using a single mat as a backer comes to 1/2", so more realistically, the rabbet should be 7/8" for a 1/4" foam backer.
Large sheets of working surface can sometimes buckle AFTER framing if not first bonded to a rigid backer prior to painting, so the 1/4" space to the glass is usually enough. :) Ed

Kim34
03-19-2010, 01:35 PM
My husband makes my frames from scratch and is planning on framing some pieces I did on 19x25 Canson for an upcoming show on April 1st.

I did NOT bond to a rigid backer beforehand. Any advice on the best way to prevent buckling?

Thanks!

DAK723
03-19-2010, 01:39 PM
When I use paper like canson, I hinge (with tape) the painting to the backer board so that is free to expand and contract. It is hinged only on top, so the paper hangs freely from the hinge, so to speak. You can also use the hinge method by taping the artwork to the mat (if you are using one) with hinge on top, but I prefer to attach it to the backer board, which allows for changing the mat more easily, as it is not attached to the artwork at all.

Here is a website that has some illustrations of how to hinge. It shows both the "T" method (which I prefer) and the folded hinge.

http://www.fountainstudio.com/watercolor%20tips/tip-framing%20made%20simple.htm

Don

Kim34
03-19-2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks Don.

Deborah Secor
03-19-2010, 02:04 PM
I hinge to the back of the single or double mat (and spacer), only because I find it easier to center the image that way. I put some masking tape facing up along the back top edge of the painting, then locate the mat where it belongs over the top and press it in place so the tape sticks. Then I turn the mat and painting package over and use a T-hinge of linen tape in two or three or four places along the top rail only, and remove the masking tape. Voila! The painting hangs free from the mat, behind which I put a nice piece of 1/8" or 3/16" acid free foam core, and continue framing. The key is not to tape anything all the way around, but leave it to hang free, as Don said.

This illustrates both a V-hinge and T-hinge for you:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2010/23609-hinges.jpg

Deborah

Kim34
03-19-2010, 02:19 PM
Awesome, thanks Deborah! I just forwarded this info to my husband.

sketchZ1ol
03-19-2010, 03:22 PM
hello.
The flip-over mat/paper/backing method is what the good framers do for a piece that may be reframed for decor (oy) - reference marks are made to align all the components together.
All respects, but I would not allow masking tape anywhere near anything for a moment except crepe paper, balloons or 'wanted' posters - i.e., it's loaded with acid.
Drafting tape is made to be acid free, and it's available in 1"+ width - a few dollars more, but is a good thing, and peels away easily.
:) Ed

Deborah Secor
03-19-2010, 03:50 PM
Oh for heaven sakes, Ed, that's ridiculous! This practical and efficient way has never done any damage to my work in all the years I've used it. I don't leave the masking tape in place, it's just used to register the location of the painting on the back of the mat before using linen tape to fix it in place. It's there for a whole minute--and if that's going to do untold damage, so be it! I've done it for in excess of 25 years.

If you honestly believe that a minute of masking tape adds so much dangerous acid, then I suggest you take your work to a museum framer and pay top dollar. The rest of us aren't that worried! :p

Deborah

Colorix
03-19-2010, 05:29 PM
Deb, I like that masking tape version, it would make it all easier. I've basically crawled under the table to put archival tape for hinging in the right place, and I am not getting limber with the years. :-)

Often, I cut the paper of the painting so that the lower margin is as wide as the mat, which means the painting is basically 'standing' on the frame just as the mat is. No taping needed, depending on type of pastel paper. My favourite (Fisher) is flat, and stays flat. That margin gets good use while painting, too, as I test colours there.

Charlie

Deborah Secor
03-19-2010, 07:10 PM
Charlie, I know what you mean. :lol:

Once I had a painting done on old Ersta sandpaper framed to send to the PSA show in NY. I took it to a fancy uptown framer and they talked me into constructuing a "box" in which they placed the painting so it was standing up underneath the mat. It was a hefty price tag, trust me. About a year later I got a phone call from the woman who purchased it telling me the whole painting had slumped and was now leaning against the glass. :eek: Yikes! Naturally I reframed it. (And when I went back the fancy schmancy uptown framer had gone out of business! I wasn't surprised.) But I'm sure you know what paper can stand up to that. (Pun intended.)

Deborah

PeggyB
03-19-2010, 10:19 PM
Deb your tried and true, simple but safe (archival) method is one anybody can learn to do themselves. I like your suggestion of using tape - masking or otherwise - to mark the placement of the artwork. Since I tend to be tape challenged (it seems to wrap around my fingers better than anything else), I might try that with less "tacky" blue painter's tape next time I use a mat. (house painters tape that is - we don't even have masking tape!)

I think we all have had or have heard "horror stories" about what so called professional, high end framers have done to a pastel painting. :eek:

sketchZ1ol
03-20-2010, 04:04 AM
hello.
Aha, I see the misunderstanding.
One method hinges the paper to the mat, and the other hinges the mat(s) to the backerboard wjth the paper attached to the backerboard.
I can understand that with sanded paper, the working surface won't accept tape, so that calls for a different approach.
As to frames/reframing. Some owners/collectors see the painting and frame as a package and can envision a place in their home to put it.
Others may like the painting and want to present it in their home with a frame tailored to their decor. So, they change the frame, and possibly the mat (tastefully, of course). The less the paper is handled, the better it is all round.
Deborah, a most unfortunate experience. Luckily for the owner the problem had a solution.

Colorix
03-20-2010, 08:35 AM
Oh, my 'standing' paper can't slump, securely sandwhiched tight between mat and backing. What it can do is buckle, but so far I've seen no evidence of that, the indoor climate here is extremely dry during winter, and only slightly humid if there is a rainy summer.

A question to you framing experts:
When you hinge, do you ever see buckling between the hinges? At least two hinges is needed so the painting doesn't move sideways, but how far apart, or how close together do they need to be?

Charlie

PeggyB
03-20-2010, 12:52 PM
Oh, my 'standing' paper can't slump, securely sandwhiched tight between mat and backing. What it can do is buckle, but so far I've seen no evidence of that, the indoor climate here is extremely dry during winter, and only slightly humid if there is a rainy summer.

A question to you framing experts:
When you hinge, do you ever see buckling between the hinges? At least two hinges is needed so the painting doesn't move sideways, but how far apart, or how close together do they need to be?

Charlie

You'll probably get varying advise on the distance question Charlie, but in my experience I've found on a full sheet of textured (heavy) paper placing the T hinges about every 4 inches works well. A lighter weight paper - such as Canson - can have the hinges spaced further apart. Smaller papers can also be spaced further. I always use at least 3 T hinges taped to the backing board no matter how small, but that's my preference. By taping to the backing board instead of the mat I can easily change mats if that's needed without moving the artwork. (My backing board is usually 1/8 inch acid free foam board, but sometimes 4 ply museum board if the rabbet of the frame is a bit on the narrow side) Again, that's just my preference.

In over 25 years of painting with & framing pastels I've never had any paper buckle. I still own the first pastel I ever entered into a competition (it was the 3rd pastel I'd ever painted too). That painting is on Canson paper and painted entirely with Rembrandt pastels because that's the only brand I could easily purchase back then. It is still just as flat as the day I framed it. I hinge only from the top, and my mat always covers all four edges of the paper. I can't say the Seattle area is ever dry - well maybe last summer when the temps reached a record of over 100 degrees F it was a bit "drier"... :lol: Maybe I'm just lucky............

Peggy

PS - I can't claim to be a framing expert, but I've certainly framed a whole lot of artwork - pastel and otherwise - in my lifetime... :)

sketchZ1ol
03-20-2010, 12:58 PM
hello.
"When you hinge, do you ever see buckling between the hinges"
The question, as stated, has several possibilities: the hinging may be inaccurate, the hinge material may be unstable or failing, the paper is buckling, the mat is buckling, the backing is warping/distorting over time/exposure/type of material, the frame is warping because of type of wood, grain of wood, drying of wood before final cutting/profiling, treatment of wood(finishes, stains, sealants), assembly, exposure, and handling.
This comes from 'expert framers I have known' :lol:
So.
One thing they all say is that the vertical and horizontal centerlines of the item to be displayed/framed are determined, referenced to the material behind it, whether concealed or exposed, and everything works from there.
I respect them for their dedication to craft and diplomacy: they know the material, the methods/history, talk with the customer, will do their best to work within a customer's budget.
The worst problem? - the customer who comes in and wants a frame, flashes the platinum card, doesn't talk, listen, think, picks it up, and then continually comes back with a roll of the eyes/flutter of the hands and says " I don't like it, it wasn't what I wanted " - a horror story.
:) Ed

DAK723
03-20-2010, 06:19 PM
Since most of the sanded papers used are fairly heavy weight, I wouldn't even worry about buckling. The only papers, in my opinion, that would be a potential problem, would be thin papers like Canson Mi-tientes or Strathmore. And, even on those papers, I have never had a buckling problem placing the hinges near the upper corners, sometimes as much as 14-15 inches apart. On the other hand, it might be better to place the hinges closer if you know you are going to subject the painting to extremes of temperature or humidity.

That's my opinion, and I am definitely no framing expert!

Don

Colorix
03-20-2010, 07:04 PM
Experience = expertise, Don. Thanks!

Charlie