When exhibiting your work, presentation and preservation are important concerns. We're here to help you have the most successful exhibition possible. The Framer's Workshop has the largest in-stock selection of wood and metal moldings and archival matting and backings of any framing store in the East Bay. We offer competitive prices on:
- Archival quality matting and acid free backings cut to the size you need.
- Specially priced overstock matting in select colors, including some fabric mats.
- Ready made frames in standard precut sizessome in patterns you won't find anywhere else because we make them here!
- Discount Framing Packages.
- Clip framesfor the "frameless" look
- Michael Faye ready-made frames available in-stock in standard sizes and in custom sizes by specail order in lots of six .(Allow three weeks..) We stock a full variety of sizes in stock for your exhibition needs.
- Cut to size metal and wood frame molding. We stock over 300 patterns including basic blacks, natural maple and whitewashed ramen.We have special order samples for over 2000 more.
- We stock regular and UV filtering glass and Plexiglas. Museum glass and Plexiglas are also available.
At The Framer's Workshop we offer professional design help and guidance. First, artwork must be ready-to-frame. Oil paintings must be dry enough to handle. Pastel and other fragile surface work require special handling.
- We cut all the materials for you and help you fit your artwork into the frame using our table space and tools.
- We can cut frames and mats to fit your art often while you wait (see side bar).
- We can show you how to hinge your artwork into the mat and backing.
- We can cut an in-stock metal frame to fit in a half hour or less
- We can cut and join most in-stock wood frames within an hour or two.
- All of these items can be assembled do-it-yourself using our tools and our help in our space.
- Or we can do it all for you for an extra custom labor charge.
For most exhibitions we recommend a neutral frame in black or maple, with white or neutral rag mat. For oil paintings, we recommend stretching the canvas and framing it with a simple frame. We carry simple black and solid maple mouldings that can be cut-to-fit as well as standard sized ready-made frames in both black and maple.
We recommend UV protective glass or Plexiglas so that when an art lover buys your masterpiece, it will not fade over time.
For upscale galleries, we often recommend that artists add value to the art they are selling by using more elegant frame designs. We are glad to help you determine which type of framing best suits your situation.
Make sure your agreement and commision structure is clear and in writing. Determine when the gallery wants your art hung, who will install it and when it must be taken down.
You will need to provide the gallery with a price list and itemized consignment sheet. (It is especially helpful to create one using small, thumbnail images of the work along with the title, size, medium and price.)
Questions to consider and ask your gallery:
- What type of surface will the art be exhibited on? Installing on sheetrock is relatively easy, brick or concrete, not so much!
- Does the gallery require a particular type of hanging hardware?
- Are their size limitations for the work? If the gallery is not on the ground floor, is their a frate elevator?
- Is acrylic glazing required for safety?
- Do you need to provide your own title cards?
- Is their any other special requirement for installation?
What to bring with you when hanging an art exhibition:
- A map to the gallery (if you don't know where it is!)
- Contact information for the gallery
- Business cards, and brochures for on the spot promotion
- Stepladder (if needed)
- Post-its or masking tape (very useful for marking spots on the wall without actually marking ON the wall)
- Graph paper and clipboard if you need to map-out complex arangements
- Sharp pencil
- Straight edge
- Tape measure
- Level (a small 6" one is often very handy)
- Hanging tools: Small Hammer (plus awl, power drill and special bits and attachments for hard surfaces)
- Glass or acrylic cleaner and soft towling
- Extra wire
- Extra picture hooks
- Wire cutters
- Push-pins with extra long points (handy for fixing location points on a wall)
- A spool of nylon chord
- Quake Putty to keep picture level once hung
- Touch up putty and ink in case a frame gets scratched
- Paint for touchup of art and samll brush
- Small dust pan and broom or portable vacuum cleaner for clean-up
- Plastic bag for removal of wrapping debris
- Digital camera to photograph your installation
- Tool bag or box to hold these materials
What to do with all this stuff:
Each instalation situation is different but we'll give you an example:
First, unrwap the work and begin sitting framed works on the floor, deciding which pieces will hang where. This can be a time consuming process but needs to be given careful consideration. The most powerful work should often be seen as soon as a visitor enters the gallery. (This is usually done in consultation with a gallery representative.) If your frame sizes are all the same you may want to create groupings by theme. Make sure to leave some extra space on the sides to define the group. We usually recommend locating the center of the group area with your measuring tape along the floor board, and then measuring up that to the center on the group from that spot. Masking tape or post-its can be used to temporarily mark locations on the wall or you can set a point to be measured around using a push-pin. If your frames differ in size you have to decide whether to align the tops, bottoms or centers. Sometimes the most appropriate arangement for diverse sized work is a free-form display.
If you are aligning all the work at the top of the frames it is fairly easy to string a guide line using push pins and nylon cord. Laser levelers can make the job even easier but are costly. Calculate the distance from the floor to the top of the frame and create a line using pushpins along the length of the wall. Level the line with a leveler. (Measuring down from the ceiling or up from the floor can be deceiving depending upon how square the architecture of the room actually is.) Calculate the distances between each piece (usually the same for each piece) and then mark the centers of each frame area on the wall.
Measure the distance from the center of your wire (pulled taught) to the top of the frame. That's how far down you put the hook on the wall. Always use at least two hooks about three or four inches apart. This helps keep the work hanging level. Sometimes large works are hung using strap hangers or Z-bar instead of wire. We can help you decide which is best for your work.
When lifting the work into place be sure to always hold the frame by both sides (or have two people lifting the frame into place). It is not safe to lift a frame from the top like a suitcase. Once the piece is in place, be sure to level it and use some putty on the bottom corners behind the frame to keep it properly aligned.. We sell Quake Putty for this purpose.
As a courtesy, be sure to clean up when you've finished installing. You may want to save your pakaging materials for repackaging when the installation comes down. Be sure to vacuum up any wall dust or small debris.