Framing can really alter the look of a piece of art - in fact, it can completely transform a piece of art into something very special. There are all sorts of options, such as whether to use mount card to surround your artwork - a process called 'matting' - and there are all sorts of frames or 'mouldings' available, so you can choose something which suits your particular piece of art. Below, you can see some of the different options I use when framing my handmade prints. With the flamingo print, I chose to frame it without a mount, instead taking the frame right up to the printed edge of the paper, as I felt it suited a tight frame. I chose a white frame with a pink hint to reflect the pink of the flamingos. The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is framed with brown mouldings, with a dark brown mount, as I felt this was a good contrast to parchment colour of paper and suited the vintage look of the prints. The kingfisher print is surrounded by a white mount, to give this vividly coloured print space to 'breathe', and framed in light blue moulding to mirror the blues of the birds.
However, framing does not just make your art work look better by being able to display it in a frame which is cut to the exact size required and in a colourway to suit - framing also fulfils an important role in terms of preserving your piece of art. It helps to keep your piece of art flat, and protects it from moisture and dust. I often print onto handmade paper, so it is essential that these are correctly framed, so the print can be enjoyed for years to come. If you are going to invest in a beautiful print or other piece of art, then I strongly recommend getting it properly framed.
I get all my framing done by Heather McVean at Frame-It in Abernethy. She generously let me take photos of the process while framing my kingfishers. Firstly, consideration is given to what would suit the print best - and after trying lots of different options we plumped for the blue frame. Heather then has to cut the frame to size and staple it together. Once this has been done, the mount card has to be cut, and a piece of glass cut to size and inserted into the frame. The print is stuck to the mount card with archival tape and placed behind the glass. A card backing is then cut and inserted and everything is held into place with metal tabs driven into the back of the frame. This is covered with gum paper to seal the frame and keep dust out. Finally, the frame is made ready for hanging with metal rings and cord. You can now enjoy your beautifully framed art!