Friday, February 17, 2012

More on Framing

12x24 pastel framed with museum glass, mat and spacer

A reader writes:

My area of confusion is regarding the framing. This influences the amount of the artist's share more than anything else. Some galleries decide what frames should be used, some want better or higher quality frames, some probably contribute to this expense depending on the value of the work. Particularly, in the case of larger works, the buyer will probably change the frame. Styles vary widely when it comes to frames among what artists want to use and what buyers want. It is a big investment to put a good frame on a work, it ups the price, and then occasionally it is replaced adding so much more money on the buyer's end. Such a conundrum.

I can't figure out how to make this work out in a more favorable way for the artist. Can you speak to us, the 99%?

Framing for the 99% is a tough call.  As I mentioned in my earlier post on framing, I have a few basic concepts, which I adhere to.  These seem to satisfy the galleries, as well.  (In fact, the way I frame is the way my galleries want me to frame my work.)   The framing is expensive, but if you have a resale tax certificate, you avoid paying sales tax.  And, because the certificate also signifies you as a professional, framers will often sell to you close to wholesale.

9x12 pastels framed with simple, homemade wooden frames, mat and picture glass, no spacer

Otherwise, there aren't many options to get around the issues you mention.  You might tell the gallery manager that if a buyer doesn't like the frame you can swap it out for one of similar price.  Of course, this makes things more complicated in that the re-framing will have to be dealt with in some way.  Either you need to live close enough to do it yourself, or the gallery will need to do it.  If the buyer wants a more expensive frame, then the buyer pays the difference.  Or, and this is probably easiest, they can buy it without the frame, and the gallery deducts your frame cost from the price.   (The gallery's commission, by the way, should then be calculated on the unframed price.)  In my studio gallery, if I don't have a frame handy, this is what I do.  It's usually always a satisfactory solution for both me and the buyer, especially if I can recommend a good frame shop.

Scattered through this blog are some ways I've framed pastels in the past.

I'd be interested to hear if any of my readers have other solutions regarding Framing for the 99%.

5x7 pastels framed with readymade frames, mat, picture glass and no spacer

12x9 pastel framed with readymade frame, museum glass, no mat, plus spacer


M Traum said...

Wonderful article, thanks. Is museum glass the same as non-glare? I used non-glare for a while, but realized it dulled my pastel paintings.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Non-glare is a generic term for anti-reflective glass that includes some older products that were etched to reduce glare; it's this older type that can dull or give a fuzzy look to the paintings. This is genuine Tru Vue Museum Glass. It doesn't dull - but it is expensive!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Here's a link to Tru Vue products:

Katherine Reyes said...

Museum glass makes a hugh difference and is well worth the price, they make viewing the art so much more attractive. Especially when in a gallery and never knowing how the lighting is going to hit. Ready made frames look better when used with the museum glass and mats for the pastels and watercolors.