In addition to Bespoke Framing and framed products, we offer frame cleaning and refurbishment.
Over time, some of the elements in older frames can start to deteriorate. The mount will turn brown on the bevel due to acids within the board, the backing board can also suffer, again due to acid. The tapes used to seal the frame become brittle and cease to form a barrier against insects. Pins holding the backing board can rust and sometimes break or just fall out, the elements of the frame can then open up allowing the ingress of dust and even bigger insects!
Methods and materials have changed greatly over the last 25 years, with more emphasis being put on protecting items being framed. Innovative glass products, conservation and museum mountboards and protective backing boards, all help with the longevity of the framed piece.
Acid within mounts and backing boards, is activated by light and causes degradation of the boards making them brittle. The acid in the mountboard bevel edge, can leach into the edges of the artwork and produce a brown line which fades the further it is from the bevel. Further damage can be prevented by using UV glass, but if the budget allows, a conservation mountboard would be a worthwhile addition.
Some clients will only want the frame cleaning and re-sealing, whilst others will replace several elements. The value whether sentimental or financial, will often be the defining factor. Where possible with very old frames, we try to retain the authentic look. When the frame has is backed with timber slats which are in good condition and sound, I will add a protective barrier paper and seal it on the edges before replacing the slats, rather than replace them with a new board.
When undertaking such work, we discuss with the customer any changes they wish to make, such as replacement mounts, glass type and backing boards, Many old frames will not include a barrier paper to protect prints from acid attack, whilst the frame is dismantled this is a simple fix which will increase the longevity of the picture.
This frame was infested with 'Thripps' or thunderflies. These suicidal insects make their way through the minutest of gaps and then die! Sometimes they can be removed without trace, but on occasions they can leave a small stain on the mountboard. Amazingly the back of this frame looked sound, but obviously wasn't!
We opened up the frame and removed all the elements. The old sealing tape was removed from the frame and once all the elements have been thoroughly cleaned, the sealed sandwich of glass, mount and barrier paper was returned to the frame for fixing and sealing.
As above, when undertaking such work, we discuss with the customer any changes they wish to make, such as replacement mounts, glass type and backing boards,
This frame was one of a matching pair of limited edition prints. The frame contained a fillet to distance the mount and artwork from the glass, this unfortunately resulted in the mount separating from the picture causing large gaps around the edge and the picture had then 'cockled'. The mount was also a standard board, the bevel had turned brown due to acid degradation. The hangers were also attached to the backing board causing the board to bow and move away from the artwork, adding to the problems with the mount.
The customer originally contacted us in respect of changing the glass to non-reflective. After duscussing the issues with the frame, we decided to also remove the fillet and replace the mount and backing board.
More to come on this......