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HanginG your artwork
Hang your artwork so the center of the piece is at the eye-level of the "average" person in the room. If you are hanging the art in a room where more time is spent seated than standing, "eye-level" should be lower. Care should be taken to hang your art piece in an area where it will not become damaged by heat, ultraviolet (UV) light rays or humidity. Try not to hang your framed artwork or photographs in direct sunlight. Choose subdued lighting effects that will not reflect into the glass, especially when you are not using non-reflective glass.

 

 

Tips on Framing and Hanging Your Artwork

The frame to chooseFrame design encompasses so much more than simply putting a frame around your picture. The size, color, texture, and style all work together to enhance your artwork, while simultaneously complementing your unique personality and style. But the quality of the materials used will work to ensure that you will be enjoying your art for many years to come. When thinking about how to frame something, keep in mind, your art piece will always look its best if it is framed for the art and not for the room it will be going in. The decor of the room may change over time or you may decide to move the piece of art one day.

With the right matting and frame, the framing package can become a work of art in and of itself. However, care should be taken that the design does not overpower the art by drawing too much attention to itself. Some may mistakenly take this to mean that the frame should always be small, or simple, or that the mat should only be a small border in some neutral tone. Not true. By taking into consideration the color, size, style, and visual texture of your artwork, the frame design will become part of the art, enhancing the piece as a whole. Detailed or busy art pieces are best displayed in simple frames. Simple or not so busy art pieces are enhanced through more ornate frames. Mirrors can handle very detailed and extravagant frames.

The Frame
As with matting, the frame serves multiple purposes, both aesthetically and functionally. The frame lends strength to the frame package, adding structure that allows the art to be protected from the environment. A multitude of styles, colors, textures, and sizes are available in frame choices today, so your art can be framed to match virtually any décor. Bamboo-style mouldings can be used to great effect on Asian-inspired art, while olive wood veneers can be used to compliment that painting purchased in Italy. To complement today’s furniture finishes, mouldings are available in a wide variety of natural woods, from oak to walnut to natural cherry. Frame styles can even be combined, stacking one style with another, to create fresh, new looks that would be virtually impossible to find in a mass-produced frame. The sky’s the limit!

The Glass
Glass, or glazing, is a very important element to the frame package, as it is the barrier that protects the visible parts of your artwork. All glass is not created equal, however, and for maximum protection, care must be taken to choose the correct glazing.

UV-filtering glass has an invisible coating on the inside of the glass which blocks about 98% of harmful ultraviolet rays, as compared to the 50% blocked by regular picture glass.  Most people, when they hear the term “UV rays,” automatically think of sunlight; however, there are still UV rays present in our indoor lighting as well. As we become more energy conscious, and begin switching over to more fluorescent lighting, this becomes more of a concern, as there is a higher concentration of these harmful rays than in incandescent lighting. UV-filtering glass, however, is not an absolute. Just as you can still get sunburn at the beach, even with sunscreen, art protected by UV-filtering glazing can still fade if hung in direct sunlight or harsh lighting. Care should be taken when hanging the art that its exposure to harsh lighting is minimized.

Non-glare, or anti-reflective, glazing can be an excellent choice when reflections are a concern. Non-glare glass has either a special coating, or has been chemically treated, so that the outer side of the glass softens the reflected light in a room. Depending on the intensity of the light in the room, this softening effect may be more distracting, as the effect can make your art look hazy. In cases such as this, anti-reflective glazing would rectify the issue. A special coating on the outside of the glass reduces the amount of reflected light, which will make the artwork appear brighter and sharper. Of course, UV-filtering should still be considered when using anti-reflective type glazing.

Acrylic glazing, or Plexi-glass, is available for larger works of art, where using glass could be dangerous or overly heavy, or for items that need to be shipped. UV-filtering and anti-reflective acrylics are available as well.

As a rule of thumb, art on paper should always be under glass. Changes in humidity can cause exposed paper to buckle and warp, and airborne grease and dust can cause staining over time. Due to a continuous “out-gassing” by oil paints, paintings on canvas are generally not glazed. Over time, this out-gassing causes a greasy film to appear on the inside of the glass, which would have to be cleaned by a professional framer. Needle art, such as cross-stitch and crewel work, often are not glazed. However, this is usually a personal preference. Most framers will advise the use of glass, which will protect these often very labor-intensive works of art from staining and other damage. Any artwork that receives matting should always be glazed. Just as changes in humidity can cause buckling and damage to art on paper, the same damage can be caused to that carefully chosen mat design if not protected with glazing.