“The Frame is the Reward of the Artist” (Edgar Degas)

The Rickie Report enjoys sharing information about artwork and the artists who create it.  In this column, we will look at the elements of framing, to not only showcase the artwork but protect it as well. Framing is truly a craft unto itself.  Evelyn Ortiz Smykla of OSGS|Gallery Studio at 500 Northwood Rd. West Palm Beach answers our questions.

 

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OSGS | Gallery Studio

 

Ortiz Smykla | Gallery Studio offers custom framing services.  We spoke with Evelyn Ortiz Smykla to answer some frequently asked questions and explain more about this aspect of art ownership.

 

Evelyn shares, “Picture frames date back to Roman times but examples of the craft is extremely rare in that period. It’s believed that they were probably rare then as well. Not until the Renaissance period when artists, patrons and craftsmen began working together to produce what exist even today as a tribute to man’s capabilities did frames begin to take the stage. The importance the great masters placed on the integrity of a properly finished work and the value the patrons of those artists had in the image they were portraying influenced in no small way the direction and inspiration of the artisan/craftsman picture framer.  Since then the craft blossomed.”

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She explains, “We at OSGS (Ortiz|Smykla|Gallery|Studio) Works of Art and Custom Framing strive for the same professional approach to all the framing opportunities that come our way.  We have interned and trained with professional framers and attended advanced framing classes.  We pride ourselves in keeping up with the newest techniques, design styles and conservation methods available.”

TRR:  What is the advantage of custom framing?

Evelyn:  

So why custom framing instead of ready-made frames or frames from large franchises or art supply stores?  Attention to detail and the needs of our customer are foremost.  We work directly with the customer; ask their preferences, their décor and color schemes, life and value (price versus emotional connection to…) of the piece or item to be framed.

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TRR:  Most people think of a “frame” and consider how it looks facing us.

Evelyn:

There are 4 major components to a custom frame:  the backing for support, the mat board(s), glass, and the frame itself. There are several methods and materials used to protect special items and memorabilia.  Making sure the materials used are acid free is the first step and keeping those precious items out of drafty or damp locations is the second.  Choice of glass can preserve or destroy a fine piece of art.  Fortunately the cost of these materials has gone down with the increased interest in the ‘greening’ of the globe and our environment.

 

 TRR: The choices of different types of glass can be very confusing.

Evelyn:

Here are examples of the different types of glass available for your framing needs and reasons for their use.

MUSEUM GLASS ® Anti-reflective technology with UV blocking properties

CONSERVATION PERFECT VUE, Proprietary technology improves transmission and clarity;

CONSERVATION REFLECTION CONTROL ® Single-sided etched non-glare

CONSERVATION CLEAR ® Essential for conservation framing.

Perhaps you have a very bright room in which you will display your artwork, or you intend to hang the piece opposite a window or lamp. Anytime you think reflection may become a distraction from the enjoyment of your artwork, you may want to ask for Conservation Reflection Control® Glass. (This “soft focus” actually enhances some images such as portrait photography and impressionist landscapes, where an atmospheric effort is desirable.)  The best way to preserve your art is to protect it from exposure to UV light from the outset.  Museum Glass effectively blocks a minimum of 98% of the dangerous UV light – protecting your artwork without affecting the visible light spectrum so your colors show truly as nice in a year as they do the first day you frame them.

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If you are concerned about keeping costs down,  glass is one way to do this.  Keep in mind if you do not care to preserve your items or worry about glare then regular glass may be the route you prefer to take.  We strongly urge anyone interested in preserving any item to consider conservation glass.   You will  want to take into account the size of your piece, where it is to be hung, amount of light and humidity in the room, and with whom you may want to share it generations to come.

TRR:  What about using plexiglass?

Evelyn:

Plexiglas, a light transparent weather resistant thermoplastic is an alternative to glass.  It is best to use plexiglas when the item to be framed is oversized to reduce the weight, therefore making it easier to hang and move from one location to another.  It is also used many times over posters or prints of  that size.  The only drawback to this material may be the need to take special care in using only ‘plexiglas’ specific cleaning agents so not to discolor or create a film over the surface.  Plexiglas is not necessarily a less costly alternative to using regular or conservation glass so we recommend the customer always inquire and ask for price comparisons.

 

TRR:  We’ve seen some family heirlooms framed in dramatic ways.

Evelyn:

Three dimensional items can be framed in what is referred to as shadow boxes; they are referred to as such due to the depth of the box not because it necessarily allows for shadows or shadowing. Objects such as vintage clothing, eye-glasses, guitars, etc., are all candidates for framing.  Using the correct materials, these frames will help to preserve the item and keep it free from dust mites, mold spores, and fading depending on the glass chosen.

TRR: Tell us more about staying on a budget.

Evelyn:

There are many ways one can keep costs down.  The first step to defray cost is to communicate with the framer by letting us know what kind of budget you’re working with.  Do you want to keep an old frame, does it matter to you whether museum quality glass versus regular or anti-glare glass matters to you?  Where is the piece going to hang?  If your piece is going to be the focal point of your living space then you might want to spend more on your frame but perhaps choose less expensive options for your mat.  Perhaps one strong mat rather than two or three will do the trick.  If in a dark room, then no need for non-glare glass. 

 

Floating objects, pictures, etc., in a frame is also another less expensive approach to framing multiple items in a frame without the use of cut outs.  There are so many ways we can work with the customer and still give them a beautifully finished piece. 

 

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TRR: Do you recommend that the frames in one room all match?

Evelyn:

Not all frames in a room or mat colors need to match, but through consulting efforts of a professional custom framer a collection of different frames and mat color choices can be made to work well within any room or décor.

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TRR: How does someone become a trained framer?

Evelyn:

The only special training required to become a custom framer is the desire to create and please others. Of course it helps to have some knowledge of color, texture, and design.  And, most important, custom framing also requires math skills; just 1/8 of an inch can make a difference on the ability to bring all components of an entire job together.

 

Fortunately today there are several framing schools available throughout the country whereby one can go for training and/or certification.   Framing4Yourself, ABCFrames, The Frame Shop, PPFA (27 Chapters throughout the US) are just a few locations that offer training.  Like many others these schools offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced training techniques from introduction of materials and equipment, hands on training from measuring and cutting mat boards, glass, and frames (chops) to professionally finishing a frame request.  Some schools also offer business training and advice as well as marketing tools to assist with promoting one’s business.  The desire to learn is your best advocate and determination to excel is your best teaching tool.

 

The Rickie Report knows that the proper framing not only serves to preserve artwork, photos, or three dimensional objects. From our experience, the right mat and frame can help enhance that art piece.  We hope our readers will take the time to consider all of the elements Evelyn shared with us.  Buying a piece of artwork is only the first step to enjoying it.

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For more information about OSGS|Studio Gallery or custom framing call  561-833-2223 or email  OSGSart@hotmail.com and visit www.OSGSart.com.   Or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OSGSart

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

How the Right Frame and Matting Enhance Artwork

The Rickie Report is a big fan of making sure each piece of artwork is framed and matted in a way that enhances the artwork we fell in love with in the first place.  In fact, before moving to FL, there were times that you would find me in a local frame shop behind the counter, changing out mats and frame corners as if I were in my own little world.  Maggie Milstead, in Delray Beach is a master framer who takes the same care as I would.  Check out her selection and her SALE!!

 

Now is a good time to check the pieces of artwork you have already had framed.  Make sure the matting has not yellowed or dropped within the frame itself.  Use acid free matting to protect the longevity of your favorite picture or curio. Remember that three dimensional items can be framed to make an exquisite statement and be protected from the elements at the same time.  And if you have been meaning to change the frame that you never really liked, this is a good time to do it!

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Maggie has worked in the Boca Raton area since 1980. ” I had a frame shop / gallery in downtown Boca from 1980-1992, then converted my garage & moved shop home while raising twin girls. I worked with So. Florida Art Services through the 90’s who did all the framing for The Gallery Center, The Boca Museum of Art, and Flagler Museum in Palm Beach,” Maggie tells us. “Since 2001 I’ve been the framer for Cacace Fine Art. Sometimes people like to meet there to choose framing, which is fine, however my shop in Boca is even better since I keep all materials there”.

She comes highly recommended from artists themselves.  While Maggie has been framing primarily for artists Vincent Cacace, James Kerr, Valerie Vescovi, Jean Hutchinson, Genia Howard, Pati Maguire, Melissa Pope-Scott, Jerry Glickman and Pat Boldizar. And just as we would want to be cared for by a diploma certified physician, all consumers should be aware that the Professional Picture Framers Association certifies qualifications in that field.  Maggie is a CPF (certified picture framer).

Dramatically framed painting in Cacace Gallery

 

 

The Rickie Report would like to note that too often, artists are thrifty when it comes to investing in framing their pieces.  If a client likes their artwork but not the frame, issues can arise.  While it is easier to leave the frame choice to the client after the piece has been sold, art looks finished and is given a more polished presentation when it is framed.

 

 

 

We love to have choices, don’t we?  For us it is a matter of not only seeing a frame corner or a mat sample. We urge you to try several combinations of different mats and frames before choosing.  In the accompanying photo, you can see that Maggie does the same thing. What does a double mat vs. a single mat do for the picture?  Does the mat color draw your eye into the picture or do you only notice the frame? While you may have thought this particular piece might hang well in a hallway, if you change your mind ( and we hope you move your art pieces around much like any museum or gallery does), you no longer want to have matting that “matches” that wallpaper.  Because there are so many little decisions , it is reassuring to have a professional to rely on for suggestions.

 

Notice the number of choices Maggie is testing as she measures for the matting

 

 

 

 

Maggie’s standard discount to artists of 25% of 1-3 pieces; 30% off 4-6 pieces; 35% off 7-9 pieces and 40% off 10 or more pieces framed with the same materials.  She even allows you to combine with friends so you can get the best deal!  Maggie also picks up and delivers and offers hanging and consultation services.  You can call or email her with questions and she will gladly give you an estimate for your framing needs.  Maggie Walker Milstead, CPF can be reached at:  561-716-7709 or magframer@aol.com

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291