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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Frame Game

I'm experimenting with different presentation options for my art.  The next show & sale is less than 2 weeks away!  Lately, more and more artists and jurors have encouraged me to 'get it out from under the glass'.  With certain work like hooked rugs or quilts, of course I don't put those under glass.  With my fine thread embroideries though, I have put them under glass.  I use a gallery matting or double matting to keep the glass off the work.  Typically, other traditional embroiderers and nearly all buyers of my art want the glass.  "OMG HOW do you keep it clean!?" I get that a lot when I suggest removing the glass.  Maybe it's a matter of not knowing how to clean fibre art?  On the other hand, people from down south cringe and say, "do you know we have spiders and other insects that would eat that or make a nest in it?"  lol  I'd never considered that!  Still, after much thought, I think I will continue to put my thread paintings under glass for the next show.  It can be removed at the point of sale by me, or later by the new owner.  It does protect the fine work from the many, many hands that rub across those tiny little french knots.

And no - grown ups at art shows tend not to know better than to keep their hands off the work.  ; )

So, here is what I've been doing the last couple of days - working on presentation.  So far, I love the results.  First, I machine stitched some linen onto a fitted piece of tough watercolor paper by zigzagging around the edges.  The little Prairie Rugs had the excess canvass hot-steam pressed to the back.  I like it like this with no visible border.

preparing a linen backing

Then I stitched the rug right onto this new backing I created. 

mounting the fibre art

Check this out.  I love this tool.  I can pick any frame I want, remove or add glass, double the matting, change from a tabletop frame to a wall frame... and this inexpensive tool from Lee Valley allows me to make everything fit every time.  See?  I added new tabs because the ones that were made with the frame didn't work once I changed how much I was putting into the frame itself.

best present ever : )

I removed the glass and inserted the linen & matted art, put on the backing board, and held it all in place by inserting the new tabs.

neat as a pin

Tada!  I love this.  No glass.  All fabric.  My small art pieces are just too small to stick on the wall as is.   

Here it is, ready to go.  My label is on the back for identification.

Prairie Rug #11


Linda Lohse-Lange said...

Go to www.frametek.com/ from Eugene, Oregon. I bought Frame Space from them years ago to elevate mats and glass from my 3-D embroidery. They are clear plastic spacers.

I like your float concept to elevate the stitchery like you showed.

Iowa State Fair's huge needle arts division wanted entries without glass. The judges would literally pick at the stitchery for loose stitches and such. I always entered under glass and did win 1st & 2nd despite the glass.

As a calligrapher, I framed under glass, too, due to the ephemeral nature of paper.

Oil paintings are the exception, but I have seen them under glass with special ventilation for air flow in some of the largest art museums who one figures would know proper procedures.

When I was director of our local museum, the framing of a certain Mauricio Lasansky print bothered me to the point that I removed the back and was horfified to find brown stripes from corrugated cardboard transferred to the back of the paper next to it. Luckily, it was not the print itself that suffered the damage, and I had it properly reframed.

--- Linda Sue in Iowa

Becky said...

Neat! That crisp white linen is a great background! I just watched all sorts of adults touch quilts at our recent quilt show, despite signs on each one not to :-P. Luckily I don't care with most of my quilts, but my med tech one now has a ball point pen ink mark on it. Booo... I have a friend who does a lot of work with special paper, and was surprised to hear that where I come from in Louisiana that this kind of art molds, even under glass. I guess we can't get too attached to it, but it is prudent to try to protect it if you can...

Ellie said...

I don't blame you one wee bit wanting to keep your work under glass. So many hours and work go into it you definately don't want it getting grubby.

Verna G said...

I really appreciate having your artwork under glass. I can't imagine trying to keept it dust free!

HollyM said...

I like that you frame your work under glass. I'm sure it will age better.
I like how you've done the little rugs, too, very professional looking especially with the linen behind.

greelyrita said...

Wow! Your presentation is great! My youngest daughter went to school for graphic arts. They taught that presentation was as important as the art itself. At first that might seem wrong but I think I agree.

Poppyprint said...

That looks fantastic! I bought a memory keeper frame yesterday, I may or may not keep the glass. I'll try it both ways and see. I do love the look of the linen and will do the same for a background mounting surface for my lovely prairie rug!

Margaret said...

Monika, I need to know how to do this myself. My work is small and I've not been happy with 'under glass'...though as you say, people seem to like it. But I quilt (3 layers) and hand embellish, and one framer suggested the glass would keep people from picking off my beads and French knots! No one picks at oil or acrylic paintings, do they? Why should they pick at beads or knots? But...there you are. And I have yet to make my own frames or matting. What do I need? Will it be expensive? Can you do a tutorial?

(signed) Anxious in Alberta! ;-)

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