Big art is the trend

I recently spoke with a local artists group about framing solutions for exhibitions. During the visit, I also demonstrated some simple framing techniques. One of the topics I covered was size. Artists are creating oversize pieces and buyers are interested in buying them because houses and businesses keep getting larger with huge wall space and tall ceilings. There are some things to consider from a framing standpoint.

Mat boards

mattboards_s
DRTC Custom Framing has a selection of 1,500+ mat boards
  • Mat board regular size is 32” x 40” with hundreds of colors and textures
  • Anything larger than 32” x 40” is referred to as oversize
  • Mats are available in limited colors in 40” x 60”

I have recently encountered art much larger that the customer wanted a mat or the look of a mat. A linen liner or stacked frames can give the impression of a mat that gives a resting place for the eye between the frame and the art. 40” x 60” is the maximum for standard glass. I usually recommend plexiglass for larger pieces. It is a little lighter and the best advantage is less chance of breakage.

Weight

Framed piece of art showing several bare trees at sunset.Another thing to consider about framing oversize pieces is the weight.

  • Frame must be stable enough to hold the weight of the art, glazing and backing
  • Framing material should be appropriate for the size; polystyrene or a light pine might not have the structure needed for the larger pieces
  • Size can be very limiting for each aspect of the framing package

Many times the art is brought to us rolled and can be quite a surprise at how large it can be once it is framed. If you do not have a large vehicle you may need to arrange for another delivery option. Hanging a large piece takes some special care. It is usually a two-person job involving measuring and special hanging hardware designed to hold a weighty frame.

Carla Folks works at Dale Rogers Training Center Custom Framing. Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1989 and has framed for DRTC since 2013 where she trains/supervises people with disabilities on various projects.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

Framing needlework

The possibilities in framing are endless. You never really know what treasured item a customer will bring in to have transformed into a masterpiece—from a wedding dress to a collection of items to board games and beyond.

One piece of artwork that came in recently caught our attention: a portrait of a young woman. At first glance it looked like a painting, but upon taking another look, we discovered it was completely done in needlework. Those of you who have worked in this medium know it can take many hours to complete a piece. This particular design took our customer 14 months to finish. She used a tent stitch on needlepoint canvas with 81 colors of thread; overall, she made 196,000 stitches on this beautiful piece.

The process

The customer brought in the needlework rolled up and we found it was a little misshapen. We laid it out and picked mat and frame colors. Before we could start framing, we needed to straighten the canvas.

The first step was cutting a thick board for stretching and lacing the needlework. We used pushpins to pin the canvas in place.

Then we used a process called lacing to sew the edges on the back. This keeps the work stretched and in place without doing any damage to it.

Backside of needlework art showing lacing that is helping stretch out the canvas.

Heirloom artwork

Once we re-shaped the canvas, we removed the pins and resumed the typical framing process. The crew at Wyman Frame cut the mat and glass, assembled it and added backing.

The finished product was a beautiful frame that complimented the beloved work that will be an heirloom for our customer and her family. We have high respect for the amount of work that is put into each piece of needlework and will take great care in helping to make it a beautiful piece of art to be admired for many years.

Completed framed needlework.

Bring your family heirlooms, artwork and photographs to Wyman Frame for quality framing that meets your budget, and help provide jobs for people with disabilities at the same time.

Carla Folks works at Wyman Frame, a division of Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC). Carla has been a Certified Picture Framer since 1989 and has framed for DRTC for four years.

DRTC is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.