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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 [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]

Art Care and Framing

Picture Framing by Hampton Photo, Art and FramingIf 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 know when and how to care for it. This question has been a matter for debate in professional art care circles sense the beginning of time, you may even have heard about the controversy over the cleaning of the Sistine Chapel or how Rembrants Night Watch changed when cleaned. Art care is a complex problem. dependent upon several sets of circumstances and conditions. How the artwork created. where it has been and under what conditions, what kind of care or treatment has it had. The more you know about your artwork, the better care you can take of it. This care should start with your decision to frame and display it.

When you decide to have framing done it is most often because you have something you wish to display. You may even have a idea of how you want it to look. You may even have been told to use only acid free materials, UV glazing and hinges on the artwork. All important items but not always necessary. What colors, size, shape, and style your framing takes determines how it looks in its surroundings and how well it shows off the item or artwork it contains. The other elements such as materials selection and techniques used in the framing have a relationship to lasting qualities and future condition of the art or item.

With this in mind lets take a look at your framing options and what they mean to the art or item you are having framed. When framing there three basic options or guides to be considered.:

The decorative qualities, color, style, design, and size are your most important considerations then you and your framer may choose any framing material and techniques based solely on meeting your decorating needs.

When the preservation of your art is also an important concerns , the selection of framing materials and the techniques used must all be directed toward the preservation of your art or item.

When both the preservation of your artwork or keepsake and the decorative value of the framing are equally important, you may have to make some compromises to either your decorating expectations or to the best preservation your artwork or item. An experienced and knowledgeable framer will be able to explain the differences between materials and their compatibility with your art. Just as no two works of art are the same, no two materials are the same either. Materials may differ in composition, resistance to environmental conditions, pH levels, and more and they need to be selected individually for each item based upon what it is and under what conditions will it be displayed.

To better understand the reasons for all these choices lets take a look at some of the most obvious options. Paper is not a flat medium, it reacts to changes in temperature and humidity, swelling when the humidity is Hampton Photo, Art and Framinghigh and shrinking when its low. This constant change is illustrated by the wavy condition of paper from time to time. To eliminate these changes in paper and to keep paper flat it always flat it is most often mounted. Mounting means adhering the paper to a ridged support most often cardboard, a number of sheets of paper already adhered together. There are several methods and materials used for mounting the greatest objection to fully mounting your art is that it makes it harder to conserve at a later date and mat introduce additional materials into the original paper that may not be removable. The alternative to this full mounting is hinging the artwork. This type of attachment only effects a small area of you art as light paper strips are attached to small area at the top of the art and the art is allowed to hang free. This also allows it to change with temperature and humidity.

The materials used to surround you art will also have a direct effect on it. This is where we hear words like acidic condition, acid burn, acid-free all used in connection with mat boards and backboards. The condition of acid in these materials is in the changing composition of the material its self and is excellerated by light. Most of these material have an additive or buffering agent to reduce any acidic condition which may occur this makes the materials alkaline the opposite of acid. Some items such as old photos and many organic materials have a reaction to high alkaline conditions so the materials need to be of a more natural condition. pH or the potential for hydrogen is the scale used to measure the percentage of acid or alkaline balance in any material. The scale is logarithmic and ranges from 1 to 14 with pH neutral at pH 7, the dividing point between 1 to 6 on the acidic side and 8 to 14 on the alkaline side. There are many consideration when preservation of the art or item is the most important consideration. It is not only how it is to be framed, but where it will be displayed that must be considered, for regardless of the framing materials or methods for you art to maintain condition it will also need care.

Protecting the surface

Surface protection is important to all artwork, it keep foreign substances off the surface providing a degree of protection from the surface. Glazing, glass or acrylic is the surface protection for art on paper, generally all artwork and graphics done on paper as well as many other items and photos. Surface protection is important as many of these items have soft or porous surfaces and air born dust will damage them. The glazing in both glass and acrylic choices are many and include important considerations such as  UV protection, glare, static electricity, weight and breakage.  Painting are protected by picture varnish. This is a special material just for the varnishing of pictures in most cases it should be applied after the art has been cleaned so as not to trap the always there layer of dust or surface dirt. This is best left to a professional who is experienced with the cleaning and varnishing of art.

Conditions of display

How and where your art is displayed will have a direct effect on your future enjoyment as well as the condition and longevity. This consideration should be a part of you discussion at the time you are selecting the framing. All environmental elements, light temperature, humidity and pollution all can and do effect condition and longevity. Discuss where you intend to hang your art with your framer when you are designing how it will look and how it will be preserved. Display condition can greatly effect the way your artwork will look and last

Every day care & maintenance

Art like everything else needs care, sometimes this care and maintenance should be performed by a trained specialist, when in doubt ask Hampton Photo Arts. And remember in the arts no one person regardless how well trained or experienced has all the answers or can perform all treatments. Making informed decisions about your framing will add to your enjoyment and improve your arts condition and longevity

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 Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

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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