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Around Our Town...Ask the Decorator

Not all Frames are Created Equal-Part 3

06/01/2005 - When it comes to custom framing you are purchasing more than just framing. Custom framers are people who have the experience and knowledge to select the proper framing materials for your special piece. This includes all I have discussed in my last two articles. Mat color, frame style, and most importantly the right types of materials to preserve and protect your artwork for years to come. The last step is glass and many may believe that the glass is just that, glass. But as any good custom framer knows, this choice is one that should never be taken lightly.

We have all heard of UV rays. While Ultraviolet light is the very thing that allows us to view the beauty of artwork, the rays themselves are incredibly harmful. The same light that causes sunburns also will ruin your framed art, turning them yellow, making them brittle, and even fading the brilliance of their colors to a mere shadow of what once was. Whether real or artificial, these UV rays can cause a lot damage making your piece worthless.

Any custom framer should be able to help you make your decision quite simple by explaining the 5 basic types; Regular, Non-glare, Conservation Clear, Conservation Non-glare, and Museum Quality or Perfect Vue Glass.

Regular glass is just as it sounds, it's a clear glass that blocks out 47% of UV rays. This type of glass is typically used in anything that will be placed in very low light areas or where there is no worry of fading. Non-glare glass has the same elements as regular glass except that it is a frosted glass designed to help diffuse reflection. Conservation Clear and Conservation Non-glare glasses, are glasses that have a special coating "baked" onto the glass which allows it to block out 97% of UV Rays. The coating cannot be seen in any light and allows filtering of the rays. The main difference between the two is that Conservation Clear is just a clear glass, while Conservation Non-glare has the same frosted appearance of non-glare glass. Museum or Perfect Vue Glass is a nearly invisible glass with almost no reflection. It has the same 97% blocking ability of Conservation Clear Glass, but once in a piece is nearly impossible to detect. Your picture looks as if it has no glass at all!

So you may be asking, which one do I choose? Well this is where the knowledge of your custom framer comes into play. Ask your framer about glass choices and why he/she believes your piece should use one over the other. In the end, hopefully you will have a better understanding of custom framing and know just what to ask when you take your piece in to be framed. Mat color, frame choice, and glass are all key elements to ensuring your piece not only looks beautiful when completed but is preserved for years to come!!

Please feel free to email me at woodyg@coffey.com, with ANY decorating questions you have.

Article written by: Lara Taylor

Woody G's Gallery

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