Since September of last year, I have been working part time at a Custom Framing Store in Waterloo and I LOVE IT! The position couldn’t have come at a better time and the women I work with are nothing short of amazing!
Here are 5 Things I learned from training as a Custom Framer.
1. You can LITERALLY frame anything
Baseball Glove? Bottle of Beer? Entire set of golf clubs? YES! You can literally frame anything! 3D items can be put in amazing Shadow Boxes (deep frames with lined sides) so that the object “floats” behind glass. One of the most common shadow box items is team jerseys but I have framed horseshoes, t-shirts and medals and watched my more experienced colleagues frame many complex and interesting items.
2. There are MANY ways to frame the SAME thing
Mouldings (frames), mat choices, and proportions can all be varied in countless ways. A custom frame can be tailored to suit the piece of art, the space it will be hanging in, or the client’s unique taste. Every framer has their own favourite frames and methods and as a result, no two projects are alike. This diversity and creativity keeps the job interesting and results in some outstanding completed projects.
3. Custom framing can protect your valuables.
Custom framing can be integral to protecting valuable artworks and artifacts. I have a diploma in heritage resources management and have done a lot of work in museums, so proper artifact conservation is very important to me. I have seen pieces of art absolutely ruined with acidic matting and poor mounting. Proper custom framing using Acid Free Mounting and UV filtered glass can ensure your artwork stays vibrant for years and protects it from bugs, dust and damage.
4. Framers must have an incredible attention to detail and can’t rush their work
Learning custom framing involves many errors and redoing a lot of things. I am still learning and developing my craft every day. I had to evolve to become a much more detail oriented person. Being off by even 1/16th of an inch can ruin an entire project. This is maybe my biggest area of growth and what I’m most proud of. I’ve learned to slow down and do things right the first time.
Further more, the equipment we use can be downright dangerous if not used correctly. We all accidentally slice ourselves on glass or paper and get splinters from time to time, but working slow and steady not only ensures a project ends up looking perfect, but it can ensure our own safety as well.
5. Good framing enhances a piece of Art
As an artist who works on paper, learning how to frame a work has been invaluable. A good frame brings out important elements of the artwork and elevates it, without distracting the viewer. I tend to use simple white mats and white frames for my watercolours, but I love shiny lacquered frames in a variety of colours and even stunning gilded ones, depending on the art work.