by EMILYA COLLIVER
Sometimes you can fall into the trap of thinking that once you buy the art all the rest falls into place. Yes, finding something you love can feel like the hard part, but I find it’s often also tricky to decide how you’re going to display it!
To a newbie this could seem like a daunting quest; the oh-so-pretty etching you were so excited to discover could end up gathering dust under the stairs through nervousness. But like anything, you don’t know till you try! Put the artwork in a few places and see how it flows with the rest of your space.
Whether you own a couple of pieces, are already a collector or just want advice on how to get started, here are a few general tips on how to get started on framing your art!
To frame or not to frame?
As any skinny-dipper would tell you, sometimes au-naturel is simply better. By hiding the edges with a clunky frame you might be hindering the dramatic impact of the work. If you’re not sure, I would suggest trying without first.
Remember though, the addition of a frame can be more than just decorative. Framing can help to protect the work from damage and environmental factors like moisture, dust, mould and fading. Mediums such as prints, watercolour and works on paper, are particularly susceptible to fading and damage without proper protection. Even handling certain paper can cause damage.
Glass and reflections
For works that use pigments such as watercolour, it might be essential to have glass, as to not could risk fading damage by sunlight to the work. Another potential problem is dust and dirt that can quickly dim the shine of your work. Make sure its something you can clean easily if you decide to opt without the glass!
This decision also depends on the size of your work. For smaller works, framers will generally use glass, however for larger works, plexiglass is a safer option. Using glass in large sheets for framing can be a risk if they break – to both the artwork and to the owner.
Finding the perfect spot
Firstly, as mentioned above, could light in the placement damage the work? Secondly, what is the heat and humidity like in the area? Therefore, the bathroom might not be the good way to go without a bit of thought.
There are many methods of hanging and displaying art. One of the most common mistakes people make is not hanging artworks correctly. A lot of people assume they can use adhesive plastic hooks to hang works on their wall. Depending on the size and weight of your artwork, these may not be suitable. Adhesive hooks are often safe for small, lightweight works, however for larger, heavier works these can be unsafe for the artwork and can risk damage.
Hardware stores are usually the best place to start if you want to do a DIY hang. Most hardware stores will have a range of hooks and art gallery tracking systems you can purchase and install yourself at home.
You may wish to display small sculptural pieces in protective plexi boxes. You can have these custom made or can purchase them online. There are online marketplaces (such as eBay or Etsy) that sell acetate boxes designed for hobby models.
Emilya Colliver is the Founder and Director of Art Pharmacy, an online gallery that sells artworks by Australian-based, emerging and established artists.
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