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Author Topic: Glass For Framing  (Read 7340 times)
Eli Burakian
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« on: April 03, 2006, 01:18:01 PM »
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What do people here recommend for glass when framing their photos?  I have a show coming up and I'm having a hard time deciding.

Acrylite (plastic) or glass
UV resistant or not
Glare or non-glare

I know the non-glare reduces the sharpness of the image.  But isn't there a difference between coated and the etched/matte side methods of doing this?

thanks,
Eli
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 04:44:10 PM »
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It's a sad commentary on human intelligence and the state of materials science that after 10,000 years there is still no acceptable protection for flat art. In my own home I hang my pix sprayed but without glass, thereby avoiding the glare and dimming inherent in all forms of glazing. But for sales that's of course impractical.

If money is no object there is a class of glass that comes fairly close to eliminating glare while providing UV protection: Tru Vue and Den Glass are the names I know. Otherwise, I use regular-finish UV-coated glass. Plastics, such as Acrylic and Polyurethane(?), scratch very easily and are heavy like glass but at least do not shatter in transit.

Another option is lamination. There is a matte finish laminate that does a pretty good job of avoiding glare, but at the cost of a bit of Dmax. Not sure lamination carries the requisite Artsy Fartsy cachet for gallery sales, but one of my private customers swears by it.
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jdemott
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 06:06:06 PM »
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Some exhibitors insist on plastic (acrylic or plexiglas) so they do not need to be concerned with breakage if a piece is moved or bumped.  I think plastic tends to be a bit lighter than glass in comparable thicknesses, which can be an advantage with a large piece.  However, plastic does not provide any rigidity to the framed piece, so I have seen pieces in a Nielsen-type metal frame buckle when there was a big change in humidity.  As noted above, plastic scratches easily.

I don't care for the appearance of glare resistant glass so I don't use it.  But of course standard finish glass is subject to (you guessed it) glare.  Take your pick.

UV resistant glass adds cost and increases the life expectancy of the print.  Whether to use it depends on the type of piece and where it will be displayed.  In general I would use UV resistant glass if the piece is valuable enough (either in monetary terms or sentimental value) to have serious concerns about maximizing the life expectancy, or if you know the piece is particularly prone to fading (not pigment based) or will be exposed to a lot of UV.  If you use UV resistant glass, make sure you note which side is out (there should be a label printed at the edge of the glass).   If you are serious about maximizing print life, then you have to approach archival framing as part of a whole process that begins with how you handle the print, etc.  My sense is that high-end (expensive) prints tend to be sold with archival framing materials, including UV resistant glass and acid free mat board and backing.   But most inexpensive pieces tend to be framed with non-archival materials since most buyers don't have an expectation that the piece will last forever anyway.
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John DeMott
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2006, 06:39:19 PM »
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I am using True Vue non glare, which is etched on one side.  I really like the appearance and non glare effect.  Probably the best is their Museum glass which is both non glare and UV resistant but it costs a lot.

Joe Holmes has an exhaustive article on framing including glass:

http://www.josephholmes.com/framing.html
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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2006, 09:51:28 PM »
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For up to 30 x 40 (Frame Size), I will generally use Single thickness, either convervation True Vue or just UV.  It's very dependent on the buyer.  

Average buyer for me, won't want to pay the extra for the True Vue Convervation Glass, however it makes a big difference especially on the large prints.

I have never used Plexi, mainly due to the static issue on large sheets and getting it totally clean.  Plexi, which won't break, will scratch easily.  At least the brands I have seen, and once scratched, it will need to be replaced.

On the larger prints, I do, you can easily wire the Frame to handle the weight of the glass.  I move around these sized prints alot and have never had any glass break, but you do have to watch the frame as it can also scratch.

Paul C.
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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
Photography > http://photosofarkansas.com
Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
thompsonkirk
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 09:53:58 PM »
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I find plexi/acrylic a great deal easier to handle & transport.  It doesn't scratch unless you attack it, & there's no static problem if you wipe it with one of those orange Ilford anti-static cloths.  

The problem is that the plexi tends to bow in a light frame, & so use 3/16", not 1/8", &  get frames with a deeper rabbet, making room for thicker & stiffer backing material.  (For example, if you'd been using Nielsen #58 with glass, use #15 or 25 with plexi.)  The finished frame is still lots lighter than glass.
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