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  • Writer's picture Nicole Karin Art

Artwork Care & Framing

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

I am always grateful every time one of my artworks goes to a new home. Sometimes it is a framed piece, which often means it gets hung up straight away and is instantly enjoyed. Sometimes I sell original works unframed, which means care needs to go into framing and looking after the delicate nature of the artwork.

I will always recommend using a professional framer. You can choose the perfect frame to suit your decor, and the results will be worth the extra dollars. After all, you are investing into a piece that should give you joy for as long as you own it. However, this is your choice and there are options.

Original Colour Pencil Artworks:

After purchasing one of my originals, it is important that you take care with the framing process to ensure the best results possible for the long term.

Colour pencil artworks are delicate and should be framed behind glass to protect them from moisture, dust and touch. The artwork needs an acid-free mat board to keep it from touching the glass and should be attached to the mat board at the top of the paper with acid-free tape to allow it to hang freely. An acid-free foam core backing should also be used, which will prevent yellowing of the paper over time. Basically, anything that touches the artwork should be acid-free, as the acid in cheaper products will damage the paper and make it look yellow. We've all seen this before and it's not pleasant.

If the cost of framing is an issue, you can ask your framer if they stock frames that have been made from left over materials from other projects. These can still look great and are normally bit cheaper then a full custom frame. All you need is the mat board custom cut to fit.

Example of one of my original artworks framed with a custom cut, acid-free mat board.

Note that if you choose to frame the piece yourself, you should always have clean hands and clean work area when touching artwork. I use cotton gloves when framing or handling art.

These artworks should also be hung out of direct sunlight. While I have used the highest quality pencils available, there is always a risk that artwork will fade or become brittle over time if exposed to sunlight. One option to help maintain the artworks integrity is to use anti-glare glass with UV filter within the frame, which can help the art look good and protect it from UV damage.

Fine Art Giclee Prints:

Giclee Prints of my work have been printed on Hahnemule German Etching cotton rag, using museum quality inks. The beauty of these prints is that they can be put into any frame of the appropriate size, but also can be professionally framed for a finer look.

Cuddles Koala A5 Giclee Print: This print has been framed using a shop bought standard size A5 frame which can be quite effective. The mat boards that came with this frame were removed.

If choosing a ready-made frame, it is best to choose a frame which is designed to hold the standard, A5, A4 or A3 size (see Koala Image). Even so, sometimes frame sizes vary slightly, so if possible, take the art with you when choosing a frame. Or hold on to your receipt in case you need to exchange,

Some frames come with a mat board to fit the A5, A4 & A3 sizing, but the mat board supplied in cheaper frames is not acid free, and will yellow over a period of time. The colour may also not be the best fit for the artwork. You can buy a cheaper frame and take it to a framer to get a mat board cut to fit perfectly.

There is a chance that you may need to trim the image to fit into your frame. The easiest thing to do is take out the paper insert from the frame and use it as a guide against the print to figure out how much might need removing and from where. Most prints have white space around the subject that can be removed in this case. Getting a larger frame and mat board removes the need to.

However, you choose to frame your piece, remember you can always change the frame down the track. Tastes change, and the final look of your art can too.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


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