Monday, December 5, 2011

Creating Spacers for Hinged Work

Cathy Savage, Tesla and Fleur-de-lis, 10 x 10
I sold this the other week from my little show at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. I reframed it before the sale--not because the buyer requested it, but because it was the right thing to do for the longevity of my print. (Viva la Tesla, right?)

Let me explain. Often when I'm in a hurry to frame something, or I don't want to go to the expense of having the work hung professionally for a little show, I will grab a frame and sandwich the print between the mat and the glass--which is a giant no-no. As a consumer you should be aware that the glass should not directly touch the work of art since condensation, dust, and tiny bits of funk can build up and stick to the glass in the frame and could damage the work of art. I really like the look of floating prints and I often have prints going all the way to the edge of the paper, so this is a concern when I frame work.

What a spacer does is put a little space between the work of art and the glass. Ordinarily this is a mat, but if you want a floating piece of work, there are solutions. You can buy little strips of plexi with adhesive on the back from frame shops (I know Austin's Jerry's Artarama sells them but you need to ask the guy behind the frame counter), and so you'd cut them down to size and adhere them to your glass to add a buffer. I wanted a little more depth for Tesla so I used black foam core strips and essentially did the same thing.

Here's another pic up close and personal. I used the tape mentioned below.

Getting your print to hinge beautifully from it's mat board backer is another ball of wax. If you've found some awesome way to do this, please share. I've used several tapes over the years but my current favorite is Scotch Scrapbooking Tape, which is double sided and removable. It's photo safe and acid-free (be aware that doesn't mean archival.)

So, after my print was nicely reframed, I packaged up the piece with the invoice and tossed in some complimentary Tesla cards I had printed of my work, and now the buyer of Tesla Fleur-de-lis has commissioned me to make an assemblage similar to what was on one of the cards! The marketing worked, even though they really were intended as a free gift. I hope you have cards printed of your work and you give them out like mad. You never know...

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