Framing

I have received many inquiries about framing, especially for bigger prints. Please note, the following are my preferences, and yours may differ! As to frame colors, I only use neutral colors like black and grey or pewter. Upon the client's request, I will use natural finished woods like maple. There are several presentation configurations to consider:

a. Modern DiBond "Glassless"
b. Conventional wooden frame
c. Metal frame

d. Canvas wrap
e. Modern "Glassless and Frameless" for cost sensitive app lications
f. Modern "Glassless" with protective frame
g. Modern "Glassless" with protective and decorative wood frame

Please see Decorating with Fine Art Photographs for in-room examples. 

 

a. Modern DiBond "Glassless": The print is first laminated below a clear satin laminate. Then the laminated print is mounted to 3mm DiBond. A wooden stretcher frame is glued to the back of the DiBond print for stiffness and mounting. The finished unit stands off the wall; the look is stylish, high-tech, and modern. The DiBond is very stiff and flat. This is Mike Chambers of Picture Element, who mounted this large 40x57 DiBond image.

  b. Conventional wooden "museum" frame: I use Studio Moulding matte black frames such as 26101 or 22101. The larger image here is 33x43 inches in a 40x50 frame and the smaller images are 20x24 in 26x32 frames.
 

c. Metal frame: I use Nielson 15-14 German Silver frames. The image is 20x30 and the frame is 28x38.


 

  d. Canvas wrapI use canvas wraps built with canvas fine art printing paper and custom stretching boards prepared by Picture Element. These handsome 30x38 inch images are sprayed for archival performance. The images are mirrored on the edges for a continuous look.

 

e. Modern "Glassless and Frameless" for cost sensitive applicationsI mount prints on 3/16" or 1/2" black Gatorboard, with a simple rectangular wooden backing frame (attached to the Gatorboard using adhesive) for strengthening/flattening and hanging. A transparent film is laid over the image for UV protection.  Here is a 33x43 inch image mounted in this manner on 3/16" gatorboard. This mounting method is lower in cost and lighter than wraps or conventional frames. The disadvantage of this method is that the image is susceptible to damage by dinging the sides or the front.

 
Edge view showing backing frame
UV film has been applied to image
Hanging wire between backing frame elements 
 
f. Modern "Glassless" with protective frame. Prints are mounted on either 3/16" or 1/2" black Gatorboard with a transparent UV film applied to the image.  The image on the right shows the difference in thickness.  1/2" is used for large images. To eliminate the possibility of dinging the edge of the gatorboard, the mounted print is then inserted into an aluminum frame.  The resulting assembly is much lighter than a frame using glass or plexiglass/acrylic for protection. This method is a little more costly than d. but has the benefit that no dinging of the image's edges can occur.  The image is still susceptible to damage by dinging the front with a sharp object.  
 
Here are a number of mounted images ready for framing.  The large image is 32x43" and the smaller ones are 22x30" (both 1/2" Gatorboard) and 18x24" (3/16" Gatorboard). The images will go into a doctor's office.
 
Here are the images after framing.  The smaller frame is Nielson 12-21 (matte black) and the larger is Nielson 22-21.  The assemblies are very light yet robust. 

 

Finished Piece   Corner Detail showing Maple

g. Modern "Glassless" with protective and decorative wood frame.  In this instance the client wished to comply with an existing wood lookin the home or office.  This frame was built to portray a modern look and preserve the existing maple theme.
 
A large 53 x 33 inch print is mounted on 3/16" black Gatorboard with a transparent UV film applied to the image.  A simple internal frame is built using framing material normally used for constructing canvas "stretchers"; this frame is first secured to the back of the gatorboard with adhesive. Then the external decorative frame - in this case Studio 340-129 in Maple- is built to the exact required size. 
Assembly   Hanging Wire Attached

Finally, the internal frame is secured to the external frame using L brackets and screws, and the hanging wire is added.  The final assembly fits the client's requirements while remaining robust to external dinging.

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