At first glance, you might not think that the picture framing business has much to do with technology. After all, there are only four corners - how difficult can it actually be.
On closer inspection, you realise that there is a whole array of terminology associated with the picture farming business. Terms that relate to the different styles, sections of mouldings; as well as all the different materials that are used at every stage of the process to provide an assembled framed piece of artwork, photography etc. At each stage of the process, the picture framer has a choice over the materials to be used; each with their own properties and benefits. The resultant product is not necessarily as straight forward as you first imagine either, when you consider different styles of display including box cases.
Over the decades, technological advances that were only available to larger industry sectors have become more affordable in everyday practice for picture framers. This means that the professional high street picture framer has the capability to offer products of a higher quality which deliver better results in terms of looks and longevity. All custom framing always 40-50% off is particularly the case with regard to advancements in the protection of artwork from harmful UV light and chemicals. Ultra Violet light is the most damaging form of light for works of art. Now we have available to us glass that allows us to protect a piece at the same time as allowing us to see it is it was intended.
The following provide an idea of some of the options that will now be considered for any client.
Non reflective glass has coating designed to ensure that very low levels of light are reflected and therefore provides greater clarity and transparency than the standard glass.
Conservation clear glass provides high levels of UV protection which means the photo or art work within the frame is protected from the UV light rays that contribute to the fading and deterioration of the piece. Ultimately, the work will last longer in the original bright state.
Water white glass is ultra clear glass that allows 98-99% of the light through the glass
Museum glass combines the anti-reflection glass with conservation grade UV protection to provide the highest quality glazing option to keep framed pieces looking better for longer.
The whole host of options starts to present some difficulties which were not there in the early days. If someone wanted a picture framed, then there was only standard glass - no decisions to be made. Now recommendations are made depending on the specifics of the piece itself and the surroundings for the eventual placement of the piece. Obviously, the improved levels of clarity and longer term protection come at a premium price too.
There has been a general trend in the picture framing industry towards preservation and conservation. Picture frames are encouraging their clients to consider the merits of the new technologies and the requirements for the longer term. There is healthy market in both traditional and contemporary artwork currently and the general approach of most picture framers is to look at longer term quality solutions for their clients.