lace handkerchief

Laced Handkerchief

We are thrilled to be a part of our client’s creative journey. She stopped by with a beautifully detailed handkerchief. To mount the piece, we laced it to a blue silk mat. To the left is a detail photo of our distressed maple wood frame with an inside bevel. This frame is one of a kind, crafted by our factory especially for this project!

conservation framing

What is conservation framing?

Paris Frameworks is proud to offer custom conservation framing.  Conservation framers use materials and methods that protect the framed piece from harmful environmental factors while not affecting its condition.  Thus a piece can be shown to its advantage, rather than being stored in a dark, climate-neutral space to ensure its safety.  Conservation framing allows the artwork to be displayed without the risk of deterioration that can be caused by exposure to the environment.

Harmful environmental factors include light, heat, humidity, moisture, dirt, and dust.  Over time, even a small amount of light is damaging to artwork; UV rays from natural and fluorescent light sources cause colors to fade and paper to become brittle.  Other environmental fluctuations can cause paper to buckle with moisture or be infiltrated by mold, and air pollution can combine with moisture to form acids that damage the paper.  We use coated glass and acrylic with a glaze that filters out 99 percent of harmful UV rays.  We also take special care to seal the frames to prevent dust and moisture from affecting the work within.  Conservation framing will allow your work to be shown for decades, as vibrant as the day you framed it with us.

What Framing can do for your piece: 1940 to 2013

Sometimes a piece of art just needs a makeover. Recently, we framed a lithograph that was was funded by the Works Progress Administration, which was part of FDR’s New Deal program.  This particular piece was originally framed in a set and purchased sometime in the late forties.  For decades, the pieces resided at different households in twin frame designs until one of them made it’s way over to us for repair. This “before” photo shows the sister piece, which remains in its original frame.

Not only was this litho in need of an aesthetic update, but the non-archival material encasing it for so many years had caused the paper to turn yellow. Yellowing is caused by an acid called lignin (which naturally occurs in wood) as it reacts to air and sunlight. As the process of discoloration progresses, the paper becomes brittle and eventually crumbles. That’s why using acid-free mats and UV-protected glass is so important. No matter how far the deterioration process has progressed, these materials will stop it in its tracks!

We chose a unique commercial moulding with a silvery-black finish and a scalloped shape. The variation in the black finish brings out the subtleties in the lithograph’s tones, while the organic shapes in the moulding itself highlight the swirling patterns in the image’s moody sky. The mat we chose was a slightly brownish clay tone—a few shades lighter than the paper—but not so white as to call attention to the yellowness. These choices meshed well but there was still something missing, some detail needed to pull all the elements together. This situation called for a fillet! A fillet is a thin lip of moulding that sits inside the opening of the frame. A fillet is a handy way to add detail to a frame that needs just a little something extra. The touch of gold added a warm glow to the whole piece, and gave it a more vintage and regal look, placing it in the time period in which it was made, without making it looked “dated”.

Framing can have a dramatic effect on a work of art—both in how it will be perceived by a viewer, and how well it will hold up over the years. Each detail counts towards the overall finished product, and sometimes the smallest element—a fillet for example—can make all the difference.