Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use a mat?
A mat has a major purpose and that is first to provide a separation between the artwork and the glass. If your artwork touches glass then it will adhere itself to the glass, which will ultimately lead to irreversible damage done to your art. All of our mats are acid free. We also carry mats that are Conservation Certified which actually slow down the acidic erosion process in paper (that yellowing condition that is inevitable in paper art). You can use an alternative to a mat called ‘spacers’. Spacers are wedges that are taped onto the glass and lift the artwork off the glass. A main reason people don’t use spacers is that sometimes you can see them, and they don’t offer any conservation protection like a mat.
The second purpose of a mat is decorative. The color of the mat draws the eye into the picture. A mat adds so much to artwork. Just by changing the color of a mat you can change the entire mood of a piece.
And third, the mat hides the mechanics of mounting such as hinge or corner mounting. Without a mat you would see all the materials we use in keeping your artwork in place.
Do I need glass?
This is a questions we always get asked. If your artwork is on paper, which most art is, then yes. If your artwork is made of any kind of fabric like a shirt, a jersey, needlepoint or an embroidered piece, then yes. If your artwork has sentimental value or is breakable then yes.
The main reason you put glass over artwork is to protect it from damage. Without glass someone could spill a liquid on the art and ruin it. Any change in temperature will affect the condition of the artwork; if it’s humid then your unprotected art will start to warp and will be completely damaged. Unprotected art will fade from ultraviolet light exposure.
It doesn’t matter if the artwork is not going to be in direct sunlight- any amount of sunlight and florescent light will fade your artwork. Trust us when we tell you that you need glass. In addition, your glass selection is extremely important to the overall preservation and future condition of your art.
What kind of glass should I use?
One of our main goals is to ensure that your art is preserved. We don’t want your artwork to fade and it will if you don’t select a type of glass that has UV protection. When we try to get you to upgrade to UV protected glass we aren’t trying to scam you into spending more; we love framing and we want your artwork to look the same now as it will in the years to come. We carry five kinds of glass with varying UV levels of protection:
Anti-Reflective Glass (AR Glass) – This is our most popular glass. It is crystal clear with no reflection and it has 78% UV protection. You can’t even see that there’s glass on the artwork because it’s that clear!
Museum Glass – This glass has 99% UV protection with crystal clear clarity. This is the best glass out there with the most about of UV protection. This glass is a must when framing old memorabilia, family heirlooms, original artwork and anything that’s extremely valuable.
Conservation Clear – This glass is a nice alternative to AR and Museum glass with 99% UV protection, but it has no anti-reflective qualities. Your artwork will be protected but with that unwanted glare.
Reflection Control – This glass has an etched matte-like finish that scatters light to minimize unwanted glare.
Premium Clear – Your standard glass with little UV protection and no anti-reflective qualities.
What are the differences between printed art forms?
There are many ways in which an image can be placed onto paper. The most common types are:
• Poster - An inexpensive printed reproduction of a piece of artwork, generally containing some form of promotion in the margins (artist's name, gallery or museum name, some type of event.)
• Print - A generic term used to describe an impression made on paper from a variety of sources such as a block, plate or film negative. It generally contains no promotional information.
• Giclee – Prints that are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. They use higher concentrations of ink and better quality inks than poster prints
• Lithograph - To create a lithograph the artist uses a set of greasy crayons or pencils to draw a mirrored image of the original artwork onto a smooth stone. The lithographic process hinges on the principle that oil and water cannot mix. An oil-based variety of ink is applied directly to the plate and immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines. Water is then wiped onto the remaining unpainted areas to discourage the ink from smearing. A sheet of paper is then placed over the entire plate.
• Serigraph – A print made using a stencil process in which an image or design is superimposed on a very fine mesh screen and printing ink is forced onto the printing surface through the area of the screen that is not covered by the stencil.
• Etching - A printing process where an image is scratched into a plate through an acid resistant ground. The plate is dipped into acid, causing the scratched areas to be eaten away. The plate is then inked and pressed into the paper to transfer the image.
• Engraving - A printing process where lines are cut into a plate using a tool. No acid is used in this process. The plate is then inked and pressed into the paper to transfer the image.
• Mezzotint - A printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a "rocker." In printing, the tiny pits in the plate hold the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean.
• Intaglio - A process which includes all-metal plate engraving and etching processes in which the printed areas are recessed. It would include etchings, engravings and mezzotints to name a few.
• Monoprint - A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a sheet or slab and transferring the wet painting to a sheet of paper. The process can be done by hand or by machine.
we understand. fine art.
Our highly trained staff boasts art degrees and two decades of framing experience. When you leave your treasures with us, you can be assured they will be handled with great care and sensitivity.