Why would I invest in a custom picture frame, you ask, when I can buy a ready-made frame at the local discount store? This is a good question, and indeed, there are many times when a mass produced picture frame is appropriate. However, when you are ready to prepare your fine art or treasured heirlooms for display, custom framing is the best answer. A properly finished custom frame is the union of artwork, mats, molding, and other elements to create a presentation that is unique, that complements your personality, and enhances your home or office. It is a one-of-a-kind creation that you will never find in a department, discount, or furniture store. Your beautiful fine art, needlework, special personal object, wedding invitation, or hard-earned certificates should be framed in a manner that does them justice, and prevents their deterioration over time. Your custom framed artwork is a permanent investment in the decor of your home, which will outlast many of your other accessories. It is more personalized than most of your other furnishings. Our certified picture framer® and designers will recommend the best design techniques, and color coordination to make the framing itself a work of art. There are many design methods we can use to make your artwork uniquely yours. We will discuss some of these now:

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Matting Combinations

Aesthetic decision and functional purpose! It provides a spacer to protect paper art or photographs from direct contact with the glass. This is necessary, particularly in humid climates, to prevent the art from coming in contact with condensation or sticking to the glass and permanently damaging it. For example, if a photograph is framed in direct contact with the glass, in a few years, the silver oxi4e emulsion will adhere to the glass, causing unrecoverable damage to the photo. The spacing provided by the mat will prevent this while it also provides structural support for the artwork.

Multiple Openings

There are many occasions where it is appropriate to mount more than one picture in a frame. Some examples are: collage of family photographs, graduation articles (diploma, tassel, pin, etc.), Wedding items (photos, announcement, etc.), or photos from a recent vacation. Collages of photographs can tell a story or cite a family history. Do you know someone building a new home or business? Collect or take photos in various stages of completion, then have them framed in sequence in a multiple opening frame, add appropriate remarks in calligraphy or on engraved plates, then present it as a house warming gift. It's guaranteed to be the most personalized gift they will receive. Multiple openings allow you to display many small pictures in one frame instead of many small frames, thus saving you space and money.

Selecting a frame

The frame provides structural strength to enable you to cover your art with glass or acrylic and to hang it. But the color, style and texture of the moulding add its own ingredient to the recipe of your custom-framed art. We have a huge variety of mouldings available(over 3000), but your choice should coordinate with the art, the mats, and the particular effect you desire to achieve. For example, a bamboo-like moulding is great for oriental work, or a “Navajo” inlay works well for southwestern art. Mouldings made from natural woods and finishes are often used to coordinate with similar wood furnishings and to provide a “simple elegance” to the art. Mouldings can be used in combination to build a truly unique frame that will add additional width and color to your custom-framed art. A fillet, a narrow moulding inlaid inside the mat, coordinated with the frame moulding can be used to provide an inspired multi-dimensional look to your art. The possibilities are nearly endless, but we can help you choose the best combination for your very own presentation.The frame must be cut and assembled carefully to ensure tight corners and structural strength. Frames with bold, deeply embossed designs cannot always be cut so that the patterns match together at the corners. This is so because there is no industry-wide mathematical correlation between design spacing and even standard frame dimensions, much less the infinite sizes available in custom framing. In these cases, it is sometimes necessary to fill the patterns at the corner seams and blend the colors so the mismatch is not noticeable.

What is conservation glass and when do I need it?

First, let’s discuss the need. All sunlight and some artificial light contain an invisible electromagnetic component called ultraviolet (UV) light. These light waves are much shorter than visible light and contain more energy (the same energy that causes you to sunburn). This higher energy creates a greater degree of heat and causes more rapid deterioration of the molecular structure of the pigments used in printing. Conservation glass should be used whenever you are framing sentimental, valuable, limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. Conservation glass is clear glass (preferably float glass) to which an ultraviolet (UV) inhibiting film has been applied. Conservation glass blocks about 97 percent of the UV rays, compared to 46 to 50 percent blocked by regular clear and non-glare glass.

Mirror Framing

We can build a mirror frame to fit in perfectly with your decor. A mirror can be cut and framed to fit any place, to within a quarter inch. Department stores or furniture stores may be limited to only certain sizes or styles of mirrors, whereas, we have a whole arsenal of sizes from which you can select. We carry over 3000 mouldings so you'll be sure to find the perfect combination.

Shadow Boxes/Display Cases

Three dimensional objects present no problem to our experienced framers. There is a way to encase everything from WWII military medals for your grandfather, sport jerseys, baby shoes, vacation souvenirs, or a china doll for your daughter. A shadow box can be very simple or it can incorporate rich fabrics and woods for a superbly elegant effect. Heirloom plates, spoon collections, coin collections, medals, and antique pistols are some examples of items that can be displayed in shadow boxes. Larger items, such as dolls, or an autographed football require display cases. Your design consultant can determine the best way to display and protect just about any object in a shadowbox.

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