Saturday, January 06, 2007


Someone asked about how I framed the commission piece I did. Scroll down for the picture and info. Well... since you asked.

When I begin a piece, if I anticipate it being framed, I try to plan for it to fit a standard frame size. I have a little print out of all the standard frame sizes stuck on my bulletin board in my studio. The prices you pay for custom framing (even with the Michael's 50% coupon) are outrageous. So I try to avoid that. That piece went in an 11 x 14 inch frame. (I think.)

After the piece was done, I purchased a coordinating piece of matte board -- from the framing gal at Michaels. I had to buy the whole sheet, which was fine. I'll use it again in the future. (Foam core also works.) I trimmed it with my exacto knife to the frame size. I'm not good at that task. The edges are messy, but they are hidden in the frame. A sharper blade, more patience and experience would probably help. Then I tacked the piece to the matte using strong, clear thread at each corner. It's tough to poke the needle through the matte. I think I used a pliers to yank it through. I took a stitch at each corner and then pulled the thread taut to the next corner. I learned this technique from Sonji. I could also just glue the art to the matte... but then it could not be reframed in the future if the owner had a change of taste. (This also opens up a whole 'nother discussion about glue and fiber which we will not get into at this time.)

I prefer fiber art framed without glass. One of the many things I love about fiber art is it's tactile nature. If it's under glass, you can't touch it. But that's just my opinion. Melody recently wrote a detailed post about framing options... including under glass. And her's are brilliant, of course. Since I always remove the glass, I have a stack of pieces of glass next to my book shelf. I keep thinking I'll have some use for them someday. (Suggestions?)

Then I just put all the pieces together. Sometimes you need an extra piece of matte board or cardboard so everything fits snuggly. I think it turned out nicely. I liked the rustic wood and the sagey color of the frame. But, framing can be a very personal choice. In general, for work that I would hope to sell, I wouldn't frame it. Not only is it an extra cost, but it limits the imagination a bit.

Blah blah blah... that all seems kind of boring. Making the art is so much more interesting that framing it. But it's necessary step in the process, I suppose.


Karoda said...

Deb, I have 3 or 4 pieces of glass from frames also...I'm saving them for use as printing plates (one of these days).

And I agree about no glass, although I've seen a few pieces I've liked under still seems suffocating to the textiles to me.

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Uses for glass:

paint palettes...they clean easily. Use a plastic scraper (found in kitchen sections) or an old credit card to scrape extra gunk off.

Printing plates (see previous comment!)

using a heat tool to "cut and sear" synthetic fabrics... I actually have an old storm window, about 3 feet long and 16 inches wide, so I can cut looonngggg strips. I used a heat tool like the kind for cutting quilting stencil plastic (wear a mask or do outside ... even open a window in Maine in winter ... it is stinky to cut that plastic ... fabric isn't so bad). Practice a little with the heat tool. If you go too slowly you get black beads / blobs, if you go too quickly it doesn't "cut" through the sheer (or whatever) synthetic fabric you have.

As a "page protector" for a photo or artwork you don't want to gunk up while using something messy on your worktable. Of course, we all know your messy is everyone else's super-tidy, but we won't go there LOL!

It's good to see you back... don't know why blogroller isn't putting the "new" any more... maybe it has to do with going to Blogger beta? I surfed in and found THREE posts! Yeowza girl!

Hugs, Sarah

Anonymous said...

The glass can be used for monoprints, but since my class with Charlotte Yde, I prefer to use plastic sheets because you can easily press the print onto fabric by just rubbing the plastic with your hand. I don't know what else you could use it for except to smash it when you feel like venting. However, you seem so calm and collected and serene, I'm sure that would not be necessary!!

Anonymous said...

Pictures?? Sounds good but would like to see the finished piece (because I loved the piece and want to see it again....).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I agree with you about framing fabric art, but my son wants one of my pieces framed and I had been pondering how to go about it. What I was stuck on was how to attach it to the backing, since I didn't want to use glue. Great idea, and thanks again.

Katina said...

Hi Deborah-
I like your framing idea. As for the glass, you can use the pieces of for faux stained glass. You can outline shapes with liquid lead and then paint it with glass paints or you can glue flat glass stones to the glass and then cover the background with black grout like a mosaic. Both would be pretty, and different.

Shelina said...

My mother has glass all over her house - the former occupant must have had easy access to lots of glass. She has a glass mailbox which is nice because you can always tell when you have mail. All of her built-in shelves have sliding glass doors, so things don't get dusty. I have a thick glass on my endtables to protect them. My brother used my old windows for a playhouse outside for the kids.