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Our Process

Here's the part of the site where we brag about our expertise in Conservation Framing!!!  We're as committed to our craft as Pete Rose was to baseball...wait a minute here, wasn't he banished from the league and denied entry to the Hall of Fame???  Sadly...we've used this terrible analogy and we want to take it back.  Really...we'll do better the next time. Back to the conservation framing talk, here are a few things you should know!!!  Firstly, exposure to ultraviolet light is the quickest way to ruin your artwork.  Shown above is a family heirloom that we re-framed for a customer.  This great watercolor was framed up years ago with standard glass...and as a result, the piece had lost much of it's vivid color. We tried to pull out the colors with our new design and it turned out very nicely...but the UV damage is permanent.  You may think that a little fading is not so bad...but check out the two Van Gogh prints shown below!!!  These prints were once identical...but the one on the right has had a major color shift.  Again, this UV damage is permanent.  Fortunately, it's also preventable...which is why we use only professional glazing with UV protection!!! Another way to damage your art is to mount it using mats that are not acid-free!!!  The pH level in such mats causes discoloration known as “mat-burn”...you guessed it, this is irreversible damage!!!  All of our mats are either naturally acid-free cotton rag mats, or pH-buffered alpha cellulose mats.  We could ramble on about how zeolites help neutralize outgassing from the art itself...but, you get the idea!!!

Speaking of mats...we never glue down a mat!!!  Pictured below is a Nancy Noel print that a customer brought in.  She had us re-frame the piece and was shocked to find out that she was the victim of some bad framing.  The original framer had glued the mat directly onto the artwork...you can see the damaged edges where the old mat was glued down.  She was also unhappy to find out that the artwork had been dry-mounted, as this was a signed and numbered print.  Valuable or irreplaceable art should not be permanently dry-mounted.  Not only does it devalue the art...it can also make re-framing or repairing difficult or even impossible.  We use the most appropriate method available to mount each piece of art.  We offer acid-free mounting options and completely reversible dry-mounting as well. Check out the portrait photo on the right.  The damage you see is from the picture getting stuck onto the glass...more bad framing.  Every item we frame has either a mat or a glass spacer to keep the glazing from contacting the art.  Fortunately, we were able to digitally scan and re-create this old photo for our customer (check out our special Photo Restoration section).  In short, you can avoid this problem altogether with proper framing techniques.

Shown below are some very distressed items that people have brought in to us!!!  When a piece comes in damaged, we do any repair work possible.  We also want to ensure that the item looks good in a state of arrested decay...so our new frame design needs to protect and enhance the item.  Sometimes it's a simple fix and other times it's an extensive process. We had a customer bring us this lining from a WWII jacket that he wore as a pilot flying on bomber missions.  The information is in many languages so that if he were shot down, his captors would know that he was a US pilot.  It had been folded for many years, but we were able to press out the heavy creases and fold marks prior to framing up the item. Pictured here is a 1917 Purdue diploma on actual sheepskin...not something that you see every day!!!  Our customer told us this was his grandfather's diploma and it had been left in a closet for many years.  Over time, it had become extremely wrinkled.  It took several days to slowly work out the wrinkles without doing damage to the document itself. This last item is an antique print of President Woodrow Wilson.  The artwork had extensive damage, but our new design turned out great.  We put the print in a deep shadowbox with a bright blue lining to really set off the item.  The distressed character of the frame worked perfectly with the time worn artwork.  This one was definitely a nice save...we're all about preserving the art around here!!!

We have more than a decade of experience in conservation framing and we stay on top of new developments in the field...to make sure that we are always using the state of the art materials and techniques.  Our primary goal is to do no harm to the art...and to protect it against damage over time.  Fortunately, we can also make it look great!!!


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