Picture framing has been used throughout the years as a means for decorating a home or office to add beauty, interest or to give a room a comfortable, lived in look. The time-honored profession of picture framing has been called upon to decorate the walls of many homes, and the enthusiasm of picture framing hobbyists has brought the art of picture framing mainstream in the arts and crafts world. |
The first frames were the decorative borders around ancient frescoes, or wall paintings. The purpose then, as now, was to enhance and focus attention on an image. Photo frames evolved with the more portable art media of wood, canvas and paper and a new profession was created to utilize special tools and materials to protect and enhance artwork.
Framed art is a personal choice. It can provide a finished look to any room décor and can also be hung in stairways and hallways. Whether you prefer traditional, formal, casual or whimsical, there are many different types and styles of picture frames suitable for home decorating.
Understanding Parts of a Frame
What is considered the "frame" is the outside border. This is the decorative element that can be wide or thin, ornate or unadorned and made of wood, metal or other appropriate material. Besides providing style and beauty to artwork, the frame's purpose is to hold the entire framing package together.
Glazing refers to a piece of glass or acrylic that fits within the frame to protect the artwork or photograph.
Matting serves several purposes. It surrounds and supports the art and adds a decorative touch to the framed artwork. The mat opening, or window, can be cut into many shapes, such as a rectangle, circle, oval or square. Matting is where creativity and artistry come into play when framing artwork. When using a double mat, decorative designs can be cut into the top mat allowing the contrasting color of the lower mat to come through. An important function of a mat is to keep the artwork from touching the glass.
Backing board provides the support for the picture frame. It stabilizes the art piece and is added support for the mat. I can also be used as filler board to eliminate excess space in the frame.
A dust cover serves as protection for the entire contents of the frame and adds a finished look.
Hanging hardware and bumper pads are the finishing touches to a picture framing project. Hanging hardware does just that - it is installed so that your artwork can hang on your wall. Bumper pads are added to the back to protect your wall from being scratched by the frame and to keep the frame in place.
The purpose or goals of picture framing are to protect, preserve and present your artwork. Whether you are framing artwork to fit your home decor or are giving the artwork as a gift, the goals of picture framing are the same. Picture framing provides protection for your artwork and helps to preserve valuable pieces artwork. At the same time a frame enhances and showcases your artwork with attractive design, color and style.
Keep these goals in mind when choosing the picture frame materials and methods for framing your artwork. The goal of your photo frame will vary from project to project, but whether one goal is more important to you than another, you can incorporate each goal for a protected and pleasing visual result that fits your decor and your style.
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