Properly framing artwork is one of those things that can only be done correctly when you’ve got access to the the right equipment and workspace. When framing Danny Allen’s drawing The Egyptian, I wanted to accentuate his strong use of line. I also wanted to “float” the drawing within a mat contrasting it against a backing board rather than using a mat that was laid on top of the edges of the drawing. Some of Dan’s line work comes almost to the edge of the paper. Also some of the edges of the paper are torn–and curiously enough I kind of liked allowing all those edges to show. The technique for floating a piece like this is tricky. The conservator applied tabs to the back of the drawing–but since the mat wasn’t going to cover the edges of the drawing, slits had to be accurately cut into the backing board and the tabs fed through the board and taped in place on the reverse side.
I chose a black acid-free backing for the drawing, and a mat that was close in color to the paper Dan used–but that mat also has a black core which makes for a seamless contrast. The principles of framing are relatively simple with the proper tools. I took the drawing to a studio/gallery in Philadelphia called Frameworks. FrameWorks Gallery – 2103 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 – 215.567.6800 http://fwsgallery.com. I’ve worked with the owners and staff at Frameworks for years, and trust their judgement, craftsmanship and advise. I’ve done many of these same framing techniques myself, but without those aforementioned proper tools you’re much better off taking your art to a professional framer. To illustrate just how confusing framing can be, I’ve made a little video I’ve titled “Picture Framing Made Confusing.”
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