A frame is a decorative edging for a picture, such as a painting, photograph or print. The frame on a picture compliments the artwork’s content by enhancing its features, composition and colourations. Frames come in any number of different styles, sizes, colours and finishes - from simple painted wood to hand-finished gold leaf and everything in between.
Frames have traditionally been made out of wood, but can include aluminium, bronze, silver and gold. Nowadays you can also get many frames made out of a plastic composite, which mimics the look and finish of a traditional wooden frame but is lighter and more resilient to ageing than organic materials such as wood. This option also offers a more cost effective and often practical solution for many applications and budgets.
A picture frame can also contain glass - a pane of glass or acrylic glass, used to protect the picture. In some instances, based on the durability of the picture, an artwork wouldn’t need the protection of a frame. Glass is commonly used to protect artworks using mediums such as watercolour, pastel or charcoal. If glass is used it is important to use spacers or a mount inside the frame to allow the pane of glass to be raised off the surface of the artwork to prevent condensation, mildew or any other kind of harmful damage to the picture. In contrast, paintings in oil or acrylics aren’t normally framed behind glass - acrylics are normally varnished to offer protection and oils take decades to dry out and therefore need to be able to breathe.
Looking to update a tired looking or outdated picture in your home or office? Often it’s only the frame, not the picture that needs updating. Take your picture, re-frame it and breathe new life into the artwork. You’ll be amazed at what a transformation a new frame will provide - by changing the colour, style or finish it’ll almost appear that you’ve got a brand new picture to admire.
It is important to note that framing is an art in itself. You should only take your artworks to a well-known and trusted framer for your framing needs. Without a professional understanding of exactly how your artwork should be framed and protected, you risk having your picture damaged by unfortunate instances like finger marking, staining, folding, bending, tearing or simply incorrect installation.