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Author Topic: Framing without the front Plexi/Glass cover  (Read 4999 times)
sunnycal
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« on: April 02, 2013, 04:46:28 PM »
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Hi

I have a bunch of non-standard size frames which I picked up in clearance.

I want to stay on the cheap side and instead of buying/cutting custom glass sizes, I would prefer to mount the pictures without front cover.

I can't recall seeing photographs mounted this way, so I am looking for some suggestions on what would work (or not work) with open mount photographs (I can cut front mats to size).

I am also considering PolyStyrene as an alternate. Any comments on that?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 05:03:31 PM by sunnycal » Logged

petermfiore
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 09:07:50 PM »
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Be careful. Nothing looks worse than a cheap presentation.


Peter
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Justan
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 09:41:54 PM »
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Iíve used polystyrene before. It was a low cost option with an early frame order. Big mistake. While itís transparent, it is not stiff and due to that the reflections it produces have the qualities of mirrors in a house of horrors. Even worse, the material is too fragile to believe. Iíve tried to clean some using a moist lint free paper towel and distilled water and even that left scratches on the surface.

Use at least an acrylic or real glass if you can be obnoxiously careful during transport.
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louoates
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 09:44:49 PM »
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Be careful. Nothing looks worse than a cheap presentation.


Peter


+++ Peter. I see so many crappy frame presentations by photographers at art shows I want to throw up. It demeans the work and insults the customer. I'd rather sell the print loose and include a pushpin.

My other pet peeve is the other-than-glass covering. If there is a plastic that looks as good as plain glass I've yet to see it. Other than destroying the print's contrast, color, and brightness it works fine.

sunnycal: matting and framing without any glass or (gasp) plastic would just make it look odd to buyers. They're used to seeing a finished product. You don't want them thinking "did the glass break"?
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 10:51:29 PM »
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or.. print on canvas and don't use a mat or glass. They don't have to be 'Gallery Wraps', just a regular stretcher. 
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 07:17:51 AM »
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+++ Peter. I see so many crappy frame presentations by photographers at art shows I want to throw up. It demeans the work and insults the customer. I'd rather sell the print loose and include a pushpin.

My other pet peeve is the other-than-glass covering. If there is a plastic that looks as good as plain glass I've yet to see it. Other than destroying the print's contrast, color, and brightness it works fine.

sunnycal: matting and framing without any glass or (gasp) plastic would just make it look odd to buyers. They're used to seeing a finished product. You don't want them thinking "did the glass break"?

I started using the UV gallery Plexiglass sold at FrameDestination for large frames.  The Gallery Glass I had been using is just too heavy and dangerous on very large frames.  The framing-quality Plexiglass is actually more optically pure than most framing glass, except for the highest end, and it's nice and flat.  I can't see a difference in the color or contrast even when compared to the Gallery Glass frames next to it, and it doesn't weigh a ton.  Cleaning will no doubt be more difficult but no problems yet.

Sal
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PeterAit
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 08:09:23 AM »
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I have often mounted photos this way - traditional matte and metal frame, no glazing of any kind. I have lots of complements from people who say that the prints look so much better without the over-glass. You save money and hassle and the framed prints are easier to handle because they are lighter. Also, we photographers tend to forget that it's just a print and if it gets damaged we can knock out another one in no time. For shows, I always make it clear that a glass or lucite cover is available when a print is purchased, because buyers tend to want this.
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framah
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 09:16:44 AM »
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Sorry... it's just a dumb idea, plain and simple. One of the MAIN reasons for putting glass or plexi over anything... ready? ...  TO PROTECT IT!!!!

Leaving the mats and the print bare to the world is asking for trouble. The mats will tend to bow out away from the image due to changes in humidity... the glass or plexi will keep the whole package tight and looking professional. The mats will also get dirty as will the image.

Nothing screams amateur more than having your work half finished.  The other thing that screams it almost as much is polystyrene.  Wait... one more thing that at least murmurs amateur is having frames on your art that do not work with the art because you got a bargain on them.

Nothing turns customers off more than poor presentation of the art.

Stop being so cheap.  You saved a bunch of money on the frames at a clearance sale,  so just go buy the glass and get it over with.
If you plan to sell these, then you will sell more when they are completed. No way I would buy anything in a frame without glass as you suggest as I know that I would have to spend time and money opening the package up to put glass in.

Without glass to protect the package, you will quickly scuff or scratch or outright damage it every time you have to  transport it.


For peterAlt... funny that you say that you get lots of compliments on how it looks, yet you then go on to say that your buyers "tend" to want glass or lucite on the art before they buy it.

You seem to like making more work for yourself. You'd rather make another print (and mats) if it gets damaged instead of protecting it in the first place and you'd rather show your work unglassed and then have to open the frame up and put the glass in because most of your customers prefer it that way rather than putting the glass in to begin with.

 Roll Eyes
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 12:09:24 PM »
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Hi,
Evert since I framed a first piece with non-reflective glass (Groglass) there is no going back to regular glazing. I understand that equally good acrylic glazing is available but at a higher cost -- Michael Reichmann is shown using this in the Camera to Print tutorial. I also live looking at unframed photographs as long as they are in a book.
Jean-Michel
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 12:12:44 PM »
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... and if you're worried about the cost of the glass... you're not charging enough! Wink
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framah
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 02:28:19 PM »
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... and if you're worried about the cost of the glass... you're not charging enough! Wink



Exactamente!!
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bill t.
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 03:05:27 PM »
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Yeah right, "you're not charging enough."  Of course you can charge anything you want, and people will gladly pay.  Sure thing, you bet.  Persons waiting patiently for those sales are advised to pass the time reading "Economics 101 for Dummies."

Would just like to add that in order to avoid working for free, you will need to mark up whatever you spend on framing by at least 4 times (and that's the minimum) as part of the retail price.  "The Framing Problem" is the biggest nemesis an emerging 2D artist has to face, and it eats most of them alive.
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 11:12:17 AM »
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Yeah right, "you're not charging enough."  Of course you can charge anything you want, and people will gladly pay.  Sure thing, you bet.  Persons waiting patiently for those sales are advised to pass the time reading "Economics 101 for Dummies."

Would just like to add that in order to avoid working for free, you will need to mark up whatever you spend on framing by at least 4 times (and that's the minimum) as part of the retail price.  "The Framing Problem" is the biggest nemesis an emerging 2D artist has to face, and it eats most of them alive.

Hi again,
I prefer to sell my work framed, or at least matted. I now give the option of framing with regular or Groglass glazing. I have a print framed in both kinds of glazing in the gallery to show the difference in viewing pleasure. So far most people opt for the more expensive non-reflective glass, the additional value is worth the additional cost to them. Fortunately I have a friendly local framing shop that is willing to supply me with the glass and cut it as needed.
Jean-Michel
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luxborealis
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 12:59:31 PM »
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Glass is the cheapest part of framing unless you pick up the frames for free.

That being said, I have been actively searching for an alternative to glass, but for a different reason: I dislike the effect of reflections on large photographs of the natural world (e.g. landscapes) printed on matte paper (Moab Entrada Natural). I find the glass and the reflections it creates visibly separates the viewer from the experience, not unlike the bars of a cage at the zoo. I want viewers to feel a part of the photograph in way that is not possible with glass. Although it is possible to achieve with canvas, I prefer the quality of the printed image on paper.

I fully understand why glass is necessary - perhaps I need to research the Groglass Jean-Michel writes about. Does anyone know of a supplier in Ontario - TO or Hamilton or K-W area?
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JeanMichel
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 03:39:34 PM »
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I fully understand why glass is necessary - perhaps I need to research the Groglass Jean-Michel writes about. Does anyone know of a supplier in Ontario - TO or Hamilton or K-W area?
[/quote]

Hi,
Check the Groglass website, they will send you a list of distributor, email them at artglass@groglass.com
It is about half the cost of museum glass and has no tint whatsoever. You have to see it to believe it. I'm in Courtice, east of Oshawa and  get my glass in Oshawa.
Jean-Michel
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sunnycal
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 10:06:28 PM »
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Thanks for all the replies. While we are on this topic, what is the plexi/glass thickness that forum members use? Is there an optimum thickness?
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2013, 06:05:08 AM »
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Thanks for all the replies. While we are on this topic, what is the plexi/glass thickness that forum members use? Is there an optimum thickness?
The acrylic glazing I use is 1/10 inch thick.  It's very optically pure and has no green tint.  There is a no-glare version but I haven't tried it.

Sal
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willwilson
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2013, 11:40:00 PM »
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Framing without glass if done well can definitely work. There is absolutely no reason for it to be considered cheap or less than. The key to any framing is attention to detail. Precision and care at every step is key.

If you feel your work could benefit from being displayed without glazing then by all means display it that way. Except for museum glazings, the glare created by glass or plexi is just a distraction. All sizes of prints tend to benefit from a no glazing approach but larger work definitely just has a different feel without all that glare.

When's the last time you saw a painting behind glass (that you could see from a normal viewing angle)?
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bill t.
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2013, 01:39:05 AM »
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So if anybody is planning to show prints without glazing, they should at least do themselves the favor of using a "liner" rather a paper matte.  Paper mattes will warp, get dirty, fray, and just look like somebody's mistake in almost no time at all.  Liners accomplish much the same thing as paper mattes, but are much more resilient, and in specific they hold their shape very nicely without the support of a piece of glass out front, and to some extent you can clean them.  Think liners = mattes on steroids, had to say it.  Here are some examples of how to use liners, but with antique looking frames that only old ladies should use.

Peter Lik does exactly the same thing, except much more macho.  His print is face mounted on plex that is carried by a 4" wide liner, which in turn is carried by a $20/foot, 4" wide Roma moulding.  FWIW the plex in no way protects Peter's prints, because when you face mount a print to plex, the plex becomes the new, permanent surface of the print, rather than a replaceable protective layer.  But some people think it's just too cool, until the maid scratches the plex and one's $45,000 artist's proof suddenly sheds around $40k of value.  It's amazing what you can do with a bottle of Windex and a few gritty rags.

But you know what, all it REALLY takes is some hot glue, Scotch tape, and a discount coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond.  There are a lot of framing secrets revealed in this video, so pay attention.
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framah
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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2013, 08:20:47 AM »
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Scotch tape!! (smacks forehead!!)  If only I had known that 20 years ago, I could have had ALL of my work look like crap! Roll Eyes
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"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."
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