Sunday, February 25, 2007

So you want to know all about framing artwork?

Still Life with Onions (Private collection, USA)
coloured pencil. Prints available from website
copyright Wendy Prior

You always wanted to know more about mounting/matting and framing artwork didn't you? I know I did. This week Fellow Fine Line Artist Wendy Prior has been featuring her six part tutorial on framing artwork on her blog (see links below).

Wendy lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and is a dedicated kiwi as well as being the only antipodean member of Fine Line Artists. She explains how she came to develop her knowledge about framing below.
"My interest in coloured pencils came about after discovering some coloured pencils in my local art store. I'd only just picked up a regular pencil after a long break and the idea of adding colour to those early sketches was irresistible. Once I started completing coloured pencil drawings, the next step was to find out how to frame my work and like any good kiwi, I'm a "do-it-yourselfer". Soon my husband, aka "The Kent", and I had professional framing gear and were picture framing professionally. These days we both do more art and frame just for ourselves. I've had to learn to share my art supplies with my devilishly creative husband...and attempt to be graceful about it. "
Wendy Prior developed a tutorial for her fellow Fine Line Artists a little while ago when we all started to do much more exhibiting. As a result, we've all been able to do much more for ourselves - albeit with varying degrees of success. I for one am still yearning for a nice Logan mat cutter and have spent hours trying to source one in the UK.

This week Wendy has transferred her tutorial to her blog. It assumes that you start with a frame that has been purchased or made up as we haven't asked for a 'make a frame' tutorial yet! The different stages come with helpful photos and much more information than a lot of other sources provide. Do take a look at the links below:
  1. Measuring and cutting the mount/mat - including a double mat
  2. Positioning and hinging the artwork to the back board
  3. (a) Archival materials and practices (b) working with drafting film
  4. Assembling the framed work
  5. Taping the back
  6. Attaching D rings and final finishing. (I'd just comment re. this last post that galleries I've used in the UK won't allow any back projections at all as they use mirror plates to hang. I'd suggest that yu are always careful to find out what a galleries specific requirements are.)
If you've got any questions I know Wendy will be more than happy to answer them. Just use the comments function to state your question - either here or on Wendy's blog and she'll provide an answer really quickly.
"When it comes to my creative life, my greatest joy next to my art (my passion), is sharing what I've learned with others (being noble) and wisecracking (being annoying). Those three things come together in my blog." Wendy Prior


  1. Stunning image--truly spectacular! And wonderfully helpful info. I thought I knew a lot about doing my own matting and framing but got several new and important pieces of information. Thanks!

  2. Thankyou so much for taking the time to write this article Katherine, you make me sound good! :)

    And Thankyou Jana for such a lovely compliment, I'm really pleased you got something out of the framing demo's, it's quite the finicky business when it comes down to it, especially for certain exhibitions.


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