Thursday, November 10, 2011

Image of framing for photographers - part 1

Imagine being able to frame all your own photographs just as well as a professional. You can save enough money to easily pay for all the necessary tools, and the convenience of being able to do it yourself frees you from having to get someone else do it. If you're an amateur a mount cutter, a frame clamp and a hand-operated frame joining tool is all the equipment you need to make professional looking frames. These days the tools are easy and safe to operate, inexpensive, and give you a good result. Picture framing can be divided into four areas. Cutting the bevel mount, cutting and joining the frame, mounting the photograph, and fitting and finishing the job. The tools required to perform each one of these functions are as follows.

1 Mount Cutting: A hand-operated bevel mount cutter is essential for all photographic work. The most important feature of modern mount cutters is to have one that runs on its own ruler or straight edge.

2 Frame cutting and Joining: The professional framer uses a guillotine to cut wooden frames, and an automatic v-nail joiner. But the cost is prohibitive for the small volumes of frames required by our industry. However, there are tools that give you a professional result at a fraction of the cost.

3 Mounting Artwork: Dry mounting and laminating presses machines are not the only way to safely and effectively mount down all your artwork ready for framing. We will look at vacuum press mounting, hinging methods and other less expensive options.

4 Fitting and Finishing: There are a number of hand-operated tools on the market to make this quick and easy job. These can be used safely by any person to give a professional finish to all framing jobs.

Our series of articles over the next four issues will examine each one of these processes.

Mount Cutting And Decoration

Mount cutting is the creative face to picture framing. What distinguishes one framed photograph from another is the creative use of mounts. There is a wide choice of mount board brands and colours, possibly too many! Supplies are easy to come by, and the cost of the boards is not prohibitive. The best thing about cutting your own mounts is that once you cut it you get to keep the fallout from the middle, which can then become a mount for a smaller photograph. This saves money and helps qualify the investment in the mount cutting machine.

Most hand-operated mount cutters available in art shops come with the cutting head only and not with a guide rule. For successful bevel cutting and good clean corners a guide rule that the cutting head runs it is essential for good results. The FrameCo systems are ideal for the DIY framer or small workshop.

Mount cutters also come attached to a base board or just with the straight edge rule. The baseboard makes the system steadier, easier to use and more reproducible, however to cut a few mounts per year for you're own photographic works, the head/ruler systems are quite sufficient.

Another consideration is the sizing or cutting down of fullsize sheets. The broad professional mount cutters are wide enough to take the full size sheet. But a sharp Stanley knife and straight edge can be used to cut down full-size sheets into the blank sizes ready for bevel cutting. A straight 90 cutter is available from FrameCo, which will also attach to the rule. This can be used for cutting the mount board to size, and is safe and easy to use. The advantage of this optional cutting head is that it can also be used for cutting foam-core board up to MMS thick. It uses the same blade as the bevel cutter.

Cutting a Single Bevel Mount

The technical for cutting bevel mounts is quick and easy. After cutting the mount board down to the right size to fit the frame, rule lines on the back of the mount board to the border size that you require. The bevel cutter head then attachment to the rule, so it's steady when cutting. Another feature of the head is that it has a start/stop indicator line. Following the ruled lines on the back of the mount makes it easy to get good straight bevels, but to get clean crisp corners you need to know where to start and stop the cut. The indicator mark guarantees no. overcuts on the corners, giving you a professional cut mount every time.

Cutting has Double-Bevel Mount

Rule lines on the back of the mount. Start and stop line guarantees perfect corners.

Cutting has Double Bevel Mount

Double mounts enhance most pictures. A narrow show of colour can pick out the dark spots in the subject, which will increase the contrast between light and dark, and thus sharpen the image. So a double mount is not only decorative, but also functional. The "secret" to cutting a double mount, so that the edges of the inner mount are exactly parallel to the edges of the outer mount, is NOT to cut two separate mounts and then stick them together. The best way is to cut the top mount first, then stick the two together with double-sided tape (ie: the top and the bottom mounts, then cut the bottom mount). The reason for doing it this way is that you use the same edge as a reference point to measure from. The mount will then be in line with one another and will look OK.

It can sound confusing, but it's not once you get the hang of it! The most important aspect of mount cutting is that with the right tools you can get a professional result relatively easily.

Once you've mastered cutting single and double mounts you can also add decorative finishes to the mounts, which will enhance the image and add value to all your mount work.

The Decorative V-Groove

One of the most important technical in decorative mount cutting is the "V" groove. This is a small v-shaped cut set into the front surface of the mount. The v-groove adds a stylish look to all your framing. It is that creative touch that gives any picture a professional finish.

The professional framing industry uses existing broad mount cutters to cut v-grooves. It is a twostage process because it involves cutting two separate bevel cuts to make the "V" cut. This is difficult to do and there are no guarantees for a perfect accurate v-groove. FrameCo has introduced the GrooveMaster. This is a hand-held v-groover, which cuts the "v" directly into the top surface of the mount. The GrooveMaster also attachment to the rule that you use for bevel mount cutting, which means it is accurate and easy to use.

Now v-grooving is within reach of any DIY picture framer. And the technique is easy to master. You can purchase pre - cut mounts and decorate them with a v-groove, adding value to the mount, and making it much more versatile.

Doing your own framing is ideal for the amateur, portrait or weekend photographer. You can save on framing costs to more than offset the investment in tools and accessories. You control the mounting and matting stage, and there is a great satisfaction in doing it yourself. However if you have a retail outlet handy then I wouldn't can't suggest you try and compete with the mass market of ready made frames. These frames are cheap and well made. But there is a significant market for the one off odd-size frame that is not available in the ready running. Either cut an odd size mount to fit a standard frame or make up the frame to follows. With your own framing, however, you can produce your own work and save money doing it over the longer term.

An experienced picture framer, Gary Leete is the owner of Melbourne-based FrameCo, a company that specializes in DIY frame construction kits. For further details ph: (03) 9872 3600 or visit the website:

Technique of Watercolor Painting: WC09 FRAMING

Framing watercolor pictures is now a huge widespread industry.

As education has been made available to children of all ages drawing and painting have been found to be useful tools to engage their attention. These children grow up with a first hand acquaintance of the joys and satisfactions to be founding in the graphic arts. An industry has developed supplying painting materials for this huge market for specialist painting products.

Picture framing is part of this wider industry and serves painters of all types and all levels of ability with high quality mass-produced framing services and products.

Framing watercolors is necessary to their preservation. How this is done is a personal thing but adopting the following suggestions will be more than helpful to set off your work in the best possible way to avoid later disappointment especially in the medium and long term.

The object of framing a watercolor is to present the painting at its best and to protect it from damage by dust organisms dampness and toxins in the air. The effect of framing therefore is to preserve the work and retain its value for its owner in the many years to come.

During the life of the painting reframing will probably be necessary to stave off deterioration from attack - let the frame system absorb the attack instead of the painting ground.

Framing is also necessary for selling work at exhibitions and framing also helps your own personal selling.

Framing too has undergone its own development and there are a number of dos and don'ts best adhered to until you know better.

The framing system consists of the following parts put together in a sort of sandwich with the painting as its central filling. These parts are:

The surround Frame.

The picture Glass.

The Mount.

The Picture.

The Backing.

The Taping

These are put together to form a single object - a framed watercolor painting.

There is a very important additional reason for framing the watercolor painting under glass. This relates to the very nature of watercolors. It is not generally appreciated a watercolor when complete before drying the colors are much brighter than when dry. In drying the color loses impact. This is because the water acts like a brightener. As the still wet picture is the effect the painter wanted to achieve if this is degraded in any way then the way to recover the color strength is to display it under glass.

There is a way to mitigate this loss of brightness and that is to paint as near dry as the medium will allow. Low tones though will not retain transparency if they are laid too dry

The work therefore must be given frequent checks under glass during actual painting to confirm how the impact of the color is progressing.

Frame sizes should be consistent to save paper and time lost when mix-ups occur if different dimensions are frequently used for each painting. Also exhibitions can look very untidy if there are too many sizes. If this is the case the pictures themselves have to be displayed in a kind of abstract layout to achieve unity of presentation.

Consistency in sizes will also convey some consistency in your work.

Sizes are defined by halving a full-sized sheet of paper into two standard half-sized sheets. Halve one half full-size sheet to obtain two quarter-full sized sheets.

Half full-sized standard sheets [555 x 375mm] are Normal painting sized sheets. Use this Normal Standard size for most of your work.

Only cut this size down if you need a smaller painting. Keep uncut full Size Sheets in a special portfolio.

A painting is often framed as if seen through a window. This to me is wrong - the frame with its mount and the picture should read as a single object. The following mount sizes below are approximately balanced to achieve this unity but are rounded for convenience and perhaps memory.

These sizes have been used for many years and have not been selected for the purposes of this text.

FULL SIZE PAINTING [In International mm]

Paper 760 x 555 mm

Window 720 x 520

Mount [overall] 900 x 700

Glass [overall] 900 x 700

Mount width ninety mm


Paper 555 x 375

Window 520 x 360

Mount [overall] 680 x 520

Glass [overall] 680 x 520

Mount width eighty mm


Paper 375 x 275

Window 360 x 260

Mount [overall] 500 x 400

Glass [overall] 500 x 400

Mount width seventy mm

For watercolor paintings the frames are best when small section medium or blonde tone natural wood matt finish hardwood timber is used. Please do not use colored frames. Black frames cause too much contrast and therefore glare between the frame edge and the glass or the wall behind. Simple small section classical molded wood frames are good.

Bulky wood frames should not be used.

Glass should be picture grade [not window glass] glass. Never use photographic non-reflective glass - ever!

Mounts should be warm white for warm toned paintings. Use cold white mounts for cool toned pictures. Mount should be of purpose made mount quality with the window cut on the bevel. It is unnecessary to use multi-frames and double mounts or built-up frames. If you feel this then probably the picture is not finished or too small for the size of picture frame you wish to use.

Backing should be hardboard - but not oil-bound hardboard. Sealing tape used should only be special framers' tape. Defer to framer. Never use self adhesive tape unless it is purpose made for the job. The ground will slip in very hot weather.

There are two grades of professional framers. The first is the professional high street framer or framing workshop owner whose aim is to give you the best framing service he can within the competition environment in the locality.

The second is the framing artist who designs purpose tailor-made or bespoke frames to exactly suit a picture's unique individual character. Such a framer demands high prices but to see each painting complete in its own unique way is a great joy. This approach to framing was at one time the only way pictures were framed. It was the norm. The framing costs then must have been high

Only museums and auction houses will now meet the expenses expected by the framing artist.

Please do not frame your own pictures. Even if you are a handy with tools it is better for you just to paint.

My very best wishes.

John Blenkin is a retired architect and is now a watercolor painter and article writer. His interests are wide covering both technical and philosophical subjects. He also writes online articles on the technique of watercolor painting.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Framing Fine Art photographs - advice on the choice of frames appropriate

There are different ways to approach the other art and photography gallery of frame and matte how. For the purists of the art, the image will be usually dictate how it is formulated. When the priority is decorative, consider the room where art framed will be suspended and then mat and frame art to complete the decor.

When your artwork of framing, decide if you want a contemporary or traditional moulding. With art photography, you can never go wrong with a classic black frame, frames Gallery of high quality, and especially made of solid wood.

He y several other beautiful frames to choose, it is bringing the image in a frame shop and playing with casting corner samples. Maple and black oak frames, natural or white and high-end aluminum frames should be looking for photographs. Even decorated with gold leaf and the frame period sheet money tend to be used with other types of art can work beautifully with photographs. Only, make sure that the framework and photography complete.

When we look frames and mouldings, experiment with the depths and frames different widths. Small superb photos with big thick frames while the large photographs may appear often better with thinner, more simple images.

And always remember as much attention to pick the appropriate carpet. Matting and framing work together.

In addition to frame shops, markets in the bullets and the auction houses are good sources for the one-of-a-kind frameworks. You can match topic with framework - a photograph of a country barn, for example, could look like Belle in a rustic, old peeling framework. Yet again, just take care that the picture does not control the image and that they work together as a unit.

Andrea Sperling is the founder of the online photo gallery fine art for the home called Will it Look Good on the couch. To see the site, visit = >

Making Picture Frames With DIY Framing Tools

Imagine being able to frame your own photographs, prints, tapestries, and artwork as well as a professional. Picture framing is actually quite fun and easy to DIY. There are 5 easy steps to framing.

Step 1 - How to Cut Mats

Adding a colour border (the mat) around your artwork enhances the picture and provides a restful area between the image and the picture frame. The colour and size of the mat board must be decided first, as this will determine the overall dimensions of your picture frame. You start by calculating the external size of the mat.

To cut the mat use a good quality bevel mat cutter and ruler. There are several cutting systems to suit various budgets and skill levels, including the Mat Master Model 660 for the hobbyists, to the Mat Master 860B or 1060B for the keen home picture framer.

Mark the borders to be cut on the back of the mat board.

Make sure the mat will cover the edges of the artwork, by subtracting approx. 3mm or 1/8" from the image size (length & width). Cut the mat following the instructions for your mat cutter. Attach the picture to the mat using 2 small pieces of acid free tape on the top edge only.

Step 2 - How to Cut the Picture Frame

How much picture frame moulding material will I need? Carefully measure the picture and mat you wish to frame. Add an extra (3mm) for "play" to ensure the picture fits easily into the finished picture frame.

Add the length (L) and width (W) together, then multiply the total by 2 to give you the overall length. You also have to allow for the mitre cuts, so multiply the width (W2) of the moulding by 10 and add this to your total.

(L + W) x 2 + (W2 x 10) = TOTAL

Making the 45 degree mitre cut in your framing material is most important - your joining will only be as good as your cutting. Always use a good quality manual Mitre Saw... we recommend the Proman hand saw which is made in Sweden as the best on the market. Electric powered Drop Saws are not ideal for cutting small delicate picture frames.

Good Measure System helps to make measuring easy and eliminates many mistakes. Once you have cut the first mitre, slide the picture frame material along to the required length on the measuring scale, and set the stop. You are now ready to cut the first 2 pieces of your picture frame. Change the settings to cut the other 2 sides of the frame.

Cutting one side for a frame is easy.

Cutting the second side to be be the same as the first, is the hard part. With the FrameCo Ezy-Measure System you can cut accurately everytime.

Step 3 - How to Clamp Frames

How do you Clamp the Frame? Clamping the frame tightly is essential for good joining. You can use the a Cord Clamp, or the Steel Strap Clamp to secure the picture frame ready for joining.

The advantage of the Strap Clamp is that you can see all the four corners of the picture frame clamped together before joining. So alignment of the corners is easy.

All corners should match up evenly. Apply a little wood glue to all corners of the frame for added strength. Carefully tension the clamp making sure that the corners are aligned then secure the clamp tightly.

You are now ready for joining.

Step 4 - How to Join Frames

Most picture frames are joined with a V-Nail. This is the easiest method and it is what the professional picture framer uses. The FrameCo PushMaster joining tool, inserts V-Nails into the corner of the frame. Two V-Nails in each corner is usually all that is necessary.

The PushMaster can be used by hand alone on most picture frames, or you can tap the PushMaster with a mallet if the frame is hardwood. The PushMaster can be upgraded to the BenchMaster® which will insert V-Nails into the harderst of timbers.

V-nails: How do they work?

Upon entry, the sides of the V-Nail are deflected outwards. As it pulls back into its original shape, the join is pulled together. The little curl on the edge of the V-Nail locks the nail into the grain of the timber. Glue alone is not sufficient for strong stable joints, by adding a V-Nail you achieve a strong, tight joint. Which V-Nail size . . . You use a V-Nail about 1/2 the frame height.

Sizes are: 7mm - 1/4", 10mm - 3/8", 12mm - 1/2", 15mm - 5/8"

Step 5 - How to Finish Frames

Take the empty picture frame to a glass merchant and have them cut a piece of glass for you. If you wish to cut glass yourself use a good quality oil filled cutter, or the Glass Cutter. Use only 2mm plain or non-reflective glass.

Fome Core is the ideal backing board as it is light weight, acid free and easy to cut. You can also use 3mm MDF or cardboard. Place the empty frame face down and insert the glass, then the matted picture and lastly the backing board.

Use the PushMaster to insert brads or flexipoints into the rear of your picture frame to hold everything in place.

Use Backing Nails for large frames or heavy items. Flexipoints are flexible and ideal for needlework or when you want to re move the picture, eg. photo frames.

To seal the artwork in the frame, tape over the brads/flexipoints using a good quality backing tape. This will prevent dust or insects getting into the picture.

To hang your picture, again use your PushMaster tool. Measure one third down the side of the picture frame from the top and mark that spot. Place a screw eye into the slot provided in the end of the Pushmaster tool, then screw the eye into the frame. Repeat on the other side and then attach wire from one side to the other.

You have now completed your picture framing project. More information about how to make picture frames can be viewed at

FrameCo Framing Supplies designs and manufactures diy picture framing tools and export to many countries. We also supply picture frames conduct framing classes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Fit a New Door Frame Plumb and Square

There will come a time when you want o fit a new door frame in your home. This may be because your existing door frame is rotted or damaged (particularly external timber frames), or simply because you just want to update what you already have.

Internal door frames will nearly always be of timber construction but exterior frames may be either timber or UPVC. It is more common nowadays for exterior frames to be UPVC but there are still many homes that get fitted with timber.

After ripping the old frame out, the process is fairly straight forward when it comes to fitting the new frame and keeping the new frame nice and square prior to fitting will make for a much better job.

If you purchase a timber door frame it will more than likely be supplied braced with timber to you in order to keep it square and not distort. Bracing is simply a procedure or fixing timber members to the frame to keep it rigid. UPVC frames do not normally come with bracing as the strong steel framework inside the plastic is usually enough to keep square.

Fitting The New Frame

Now that you have the opening you will need to offer the frame up and check the fit. We will assume that you have all the prior measurements in order to get the frame in place. These measurements will normally cater for a 10mm gap to be left around the perimeter of the frame.

Have some packers or wedges on hand to 'jam' the frame in place when plumbing up before fixing. Don't try to plumb the whole frame right away. Instead, plumb up one side of the frame, fix it in place with your fixings and then plumb up the opposite side of the frame. Check for plumb on both the front and side planes of the new frame you are fixing in and ensure the head and sill are also level before final fixings. Use packers wherever required.

The whole process is actually straight forward providing you follow these guidelines. Once the frame is in place and plumbed and levelled up, assemble the door and locks ready for use.

5KC Limited are professional
Liverpool Builders Please also visit for further reading and more about the Merseyside Builders.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What Framing and Matting Supplies Do I Need to Frame My Picture?

It is a simple matter to frame a piece of artwork, but it can be a little intimidating to the novice. Nevertheless, you can go online and learn how easy and fun it is to master this skill, and learn about all of the different framing and matting supplies as well as framing kits that are available, with the benefit of showing off your fabulous fine art in style.

A couple of preliminaries are in order before you begin looking for framing and matting supplies. You will want to take a ruler or measuring tape and measure the exact size of your artwork. These measurements will be necessary for selecting the correctly sized frame, mount and mat board, as well as glazing. You will also need to determine the value of the piece and whether you will wish to frame it to archival standards in order to preserve the artwork.

With this done, you can now move on to the actual nuts and bolts of framing and matting supplies that you will need. You will need some type of frame, which may or may not come with glazing, which is the glass or acrylic that is used to protect the art. A mount board is needed to provide a sturdy flat surface on which the artwork will rest. Mat board is used to help secure the art within the frame. If you wish to hang your artwork, you will need some type of hanging kit as well.

Framing supplies revolve around the frame itself and the glazing. Frames come in wood and metal styles, and which you use is up to your personal preference. Typically, photographs are framed in metal frames while paintings and other types of artwork are framed in wood frames.

In addition to the frame, other framing supplies you will want include some kind of glazing. Glazing comes in glass and acrylic, and both have their benefits. Glass is very sturdy and scratch resistant, but it often has a greenish or blueish tint to it that may not be appropriate with your specific artwork. Acrylic glazing is very lightweight, glare free and is also available infused with materials to protect your fine art from damage due to exposure to ultraviolet light and pollutants.

Matting supplies are also important in the process. Matting supplies include the mat board, mount board, as well as some means to attach the art to the mount. This usually involves framing supplies such as picture corners and hinging tape.

The final framing supplies that you might need are a wire and hanger. However, these framing and matting supplies are optional.

If this still seems like a lot to remember, make it easy on yourself and order framing kits instead. Framing kits are available for wood or metal frames, and come with all the parts you will need to ensure success when you frame your artwork.

Anne Harvester is an avid fan of arts and crafts such as framing and matting supplies or matting supplies. Anne believes framing supplies are just as important as the picture itself since it's a safeguard for something you value.

Use frames of the stretcher to tighten your Fine Art canvas

Images of stretcher, such as regular artwork frameworks, are made of wood. But where to terminate their similarities. Stretcher frames are used as a structure on which a canvas of artwork is posed and attached. The reinforcement of the stretcher is used to obtain the tight and nice art canvas. After this stage, it is ready to be mounted in your choice, or illustration can simply be dropped is.

The stretcher frames are usually formed in a rectangular shape as a picture frame and consist of four stretcher bars. Canvas stretcher frame angles are not fixed to each other. The reason is that the wood used to make the stretcher of framing will expand and contract with exposure to moisture, and therefore if there is not a permanent membership in the corners of the frame of the stretcher, it allows for this needed movement in the structure of the framed artwork support. Corners on canvas stretcher frames could consist of miter joints, which are angled to fit flush with each other. Butt joints can also be used, as can the complex joints nested to achieve a strong but flexible dock with no permanent mechanism holding the whole corner.

The stretcher frames allow the tightening of the canvas once it is in place and attached to the image of the stretcher. Usually, the canvas is attached to the stretchers of frame with a pistol, or bugs, attached a little on each side, until the whole canvas is secure to achieve carefully a surface smooth with no warping. Once the canvas is attached, it can then give a final tightening with a special tool called a tightening key. This key is part of openings few who were left in the stretcher frame. Tightening key is usually made of wood or plastic, and is triangular in shape. When the key is inserted and trapped in the small opening, it extends slightly, canvas stretcher frame bars tightening the canvas on the still earlier. Because canvas artwork will relax with time spent on stretchers, it is possible to go to a later date and further tightening keys into the cracks still deeply to tighten up the canvas a little more.

Frame stretchers are available in several different sizes very small enormous size used in the art galleries, great works of art.

In this article Susan speaks of the stretcher frames and frame chassis.