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Artwork for Treasured Christmas Gifts

The best way to display and protect your gift of a picture or piece of artwork is to get it framed by a Certified Picture Framer. The techniques that Certified Picture Framers use include a traditional frame with museum glass and a mat board, a deep shadowbox frame used for collectibles, a floating frame that allows a view of the back of the picture and a gallery floater for canvas.The goal, ultimately, is show and protect the art.

Traditional frames hold a picture in place with acid-free tape on a beveled mat board that hangs behind a UV-blocking glass in a strong wood frame. This style became popular in the 19th century and was adopted by galleries. It is preserved in a nearly airtight package, which allows for minimal stretching of the picture as humidity changes. The back is sealed and wire is added for hanging.

A shadow box is typically used by framers to showcase collectibles, trinkets, family heirlooms and memorabilia. This technique is used by framers to frame bulky or loose items. The sides are strong and supported by a rigid back.  In many cases, a shadow box is more decorative than a traditional frame in an eclectic and quirky way.

One of the coolest ways to frame a picture is to suspend the image. A picture that has important information on its reverse side, such as a date or signature, can be hard to see in a traditional frame. In the suspended  technique, the picture is taped from the reverse with transparent acid-free tape onto museum-quality glass. Glass is placed on the front of the picture. There is no mat board but a spacer is used to protect the artwork from the glass. Then the two panes of glass are sandwiched into a frame. The art is unhindered with the edges visible.

Canvas are often framed simply in a floater gallery frame which is done by a frame surrounding the outside of the painting around the stretcher. It is usually a narrow wood frame but has enough depth to completely cover  the stretcher and allow the painting to speak for its self.

Frame-less techniques that a framer can use to show off your posters, cards and puzzlespicture do not use a frame at all. There are multiple ways to go about this, including photo-mounting the picture to a board that is heat-sealed with a special glue. Another technique is lamination, or a plastic-sealed mat board. The photo-mount technique is used a lot for posters, cards and puzzles.

Christmas is an excellent time to share important artworks and family heirlooms . It is a gift that will be appreciated for a lifetime if framed properly by a Certified Picture Framer. Consider the options and seek the advice of a professional. Your generous gift will not be forgotton!

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