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You are here:Hampton Photo Arts arrow Photo and Art Information arrow Framing Information arrow Glass vs. Acrylic (Plexiglas)
Art Care and Framing

If you own art in any of its many forms or if you are the care taker of those replaceable family treasures there are things you need to know. Not all artwork is alike and none of it comes with a maintenance manual. So how do you k [ ... ]

Archival Framing

The Process of Archival Matting and Framing Framing for archival preservation means that we are framing with the objective of getting the artwork out of the frame at some future date and having it be, at that time, in exactly the  [ ... ]

Creating a Picture Wall

A picture wall displays a group of framed items in a coordinated design. The frames may all be
the same style or the same color, but most often a picture wall includes a variety of different
frames. The artwork may be united by a  [ ... ]

Glass vs. Acrylic (Plexiglas)
Neither material is perfect. Both have advantages and disadvantages for picture framing. When deciding which to use for a framing application you will need to review the following list of pro's and con's and consider the following issues:
•  Where will the picture frame be displayed
•  How large will the frame be
•  How much will it be moved
•  Who will clean it
•  Is the artwork replaceable
•  Will the picture frame be shipped

Acrylic Pro's

Very lightweight – Easy to transport and often used on large picture frames since the weight of glass can become an issue for the moulding, hanging hardware, and wall.

Shatter resistant – Ideal for shipping, especially larger picture frames. Very safe for picture frames in high activity areas such as children's rooms or recreational areas. Many galleries insist on Acrylic for liability reasons. Many museums use Acrylic because broken glass can permanently destroy rare artwork.

Optically pure – Acrylic is more optically pure than glass unless you get the more expensive reduced iron glass such as Tru Vue Museum glass. Regular glass, especially less expensive non-framing grade glass, has a green tint. UV filter Acrylic and UV filter glass both have a yellow tint (including the Museum glass). The yellow tint has a warming effect and is due to the UV filter. In the case of Acrylic it is built into the material. In the case of glass, it is coating that may deteriorate and lose effectiveness depending on the quality of the brand.

Acrylic Con's

Expensive – There are many different quality levels of glass and acrylic. In general standard Acrylic typically cost considerably more than standard glass. Glass with reduced iron, UV-filtration and anti-reflective technology will cost more and perform better optically than Acrylic with UV-filtration and non-glare technology. Acrylic with UV-filtration, anti-reflection, and abrasion resistance will cost even more than that glass.

Lack of scratch resistance – Except for more expensive abrasion resistant versions of acrylic, it is more sensitive to scratching and requires special care. Only soft cloths should be used to clean it. Paper towels are essentially ground up wood pulp and can damage acrylic. Microfiber cleaning cloths work well. This can be a disadvantage if you are reselling framed artwork since you will need to remind your customer to use be careful when cleaning it.

Susceptible to bowing – Acrylic is not as stiff as glass and larger sheets can bend or bow depending on the thickness. Thicker acrylic is more expensive than thinner acrylic. In general it is not an issue unless the piece is very large.

Static Charge – Acrylic is more susceptible to higher levels of static charge than glass. For this reason it should generally not be used to frame chalk pastels. The static charge can be a nuisance during frame assembly since it will attract dust into the frame. Products such as Brillianize and other static removal tools are very effective at removing this nuisance.

Protective paper/film hassle – Due to Acrylic's lack of scratch resistance, it is sold with a protective film or paper coating. This must be removed during the final frame assembly. The film is easy to remove but provides little protection resulting in increased scratching during processing and handing. Paper provides very good protection but is much more difficult to remove. Read here for tip that makes it easier.

Glass Pro's

Less Expensive – There are many different quality levels of glass and acrylic, but overall glass is typically much less expensive than acrylic.

Scratch Resistance – Glass is very scratch resistant so it requires no special care. If you are reselling framed artwork, you do not have to educate your customer about proper care.

Less Static Charge – Glass will generally not build up static charges like acrylic which can attract dust into the framing package and slow the process down.

Does not bow – Glass is very stiff and will not bow like acrylic can.

No protective film – Glass does not require a special protective coating. Final frame assembly only requires cleaning of the glass.

Glass Con's

Heavy – Glass weighs considerably more than acrylic. This will increase shipping costs, may require stronger and larger frame moulding or braces, and may require heavier duty picture frame hanging hardware.

Easily broken – Glass requires special care during transport and is very easily damaged in shipping. In general is better to buy glass locally for this reason along with the added weight.

Not Optically Pure – The iron content of glass creates a green tint which reduces the light level and creates a green tint. Some glass is available with reduced iron content and is much more optically pure. This type of glass will often have a UV-filter causing it to have a slight yellow cast and wi ll cost be much more expensive than most types of acrylic.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art of Photography

Art of PhotographyPhotography is an amazing art form. A photograph album is a catalogue of life's history as seen through the camera. People, animals, nature, holidays, celebrations and even disasters are captured instantly and recorded as part of history. It is through the powerful presentations of photography that we better understand the progression of time and life. Hampton Photo Arts has over twenty years of experience working with photographers as they seek to capture and preserve the history of families and communities.

When families get together, both children and adults love to look through photograph albums. They enjoy seeing the childhood photos of older family members and compare themselves to ancestors who lived a hundred or more years ago. Photos are among the most important treasures of every family. They should not be faded and dull. They contain the smiles, tears and emotions of generations. The staff members at Hampton Photo Arts display excellence in the art of photography reproduction. They work with the highest quality materials. They know how to create family memories that will be just as beautiful one hundred years from now as they are today.

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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