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  • Writer's pictureKeith Tribe

I ask a lot of questions!

Part of what makes my job so interesting is that no two frames are ever going to be the same. I meet people at trade shows and through social media, and one of the questions that I am always asked after they have decided they want me to frame something is, "So what do you need from me now?". And my answer is always this: I'm going to ask a bunch of questions now to get you the right frame built for the right project!

The majority of what I am asked to frame is prints which sit well under glass, with or without a matting around them (depending on the type of print). Usually I will need to know what type of glass you would like, whether standard glass, archival quality glass (to reduce degradation of the print over time), or glare free glass is needed. For most people this is where my questions usually stop regarding how we will frame the print. After that I'll ask about preference as to colour tones of wood, how much or little character you'd like, and where you plan to display the frame. I will usually suggest contrasting colours for people looking to put a frame into a space with a lot of wood already since a grey barn board frame may get lost in a sea of grey wood all around it!

Below you can see a standard glass frame with a watercolour original art piece and no matting, as well as a map mounted on a wood back with glare free glass.

The next category of frame choice to talk about is canvas wrapped and wood canvas mounted art! Since work that is on a canvas is often dynamic, or hand painted with different textures I don't generally recommend trying to put it under glass. What I typically will do is mount the canvas or wood canvas to a painted black backer board. The client and I discuss how thick the black "boarder" should be and in the end it creates a stunning shadow box effect! Between the frame and the canvas I use my signature inserts, or trim as some people will call them. The inserts are where the subtle differences are found. I use very thin strips of barn board (with the live edge) and will try different combinations of inserts until I find the right balance of character to highlight the canvas. Below you can see examples of the black backer as well as inserts!

The next category, or type of frame is more on the creative and dynamic side. I've been asked to frame everything from stained glass, quilts, tapestries and glass sandwiched birch bark to name a few different unique situations. Each of these presents it own set of unique questions, but in the end, I want my client to be confident that I'll create something beautiful for them!

I could fill this blog with unique things that I've framed, but the best way to see what can be done is to send me an email or call me to discuss your project plans! As I always say, in the end if you don't love it, I'll make it again until you do!

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