Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

Welcome to our weblog about picture framers, picture frames and picture framing. It is published and maintained with the goal to share information, knowledge, tips, ideas and opinions about this industry. All posts are grouped in the sections listed below. For help with orders, please visit our Store Help and FAQS page, or use our Contact page.

7 Reasons Why Custom Picture Frames Are better Than Ready-Made Picture Frames


First, a succinct explanation of what those two frames are.  A  custom picture frame is a relatively expensive, single,picture-framing-customer-having-great-realizations tailor-made frame, or a bespoke frame, or one made-to-order especially for the Customer by a trained craftsman, to his or her requirements and specifications.  A Ready-Made picture frame is much cheaper, one of many thousands, industrially mass-produced with unskilled labour for a common or standard size, regardless of a Customer’s requirements  or specifications.  That said, let’s discover the very real differences between the two and why in some circumstances the former is preferable to the latter.  Custom frames are generally made to acid-free standards, which means that the materials backing, touching or overlapping the art will not “burn” the art.   What acid burn is explained in more detail in this post On Cleaning Paper Art Prior to Picture Framing. Custom ...

 
On Cleaning Paper Art Prior to Picture Framing

We think that we can all relate to, and understand, the desirability, if not the necessity, of thorough personal ablution priorsigned-etching-with-window-mat-acid-burn to attending important, social events. Let us , for instance, for a moment imagine a garbologist ( in the context of the Australian idiom ) going to a wedding,  after a long, hard, hot days’ work. We would also further imagine that , he (or she),  would doubtlessly want to bathe, or shower away any, lingering, residual, occupational and personal odours before attending.  Much the same norm or social convention is followed  when undergoing a physical examination or going out to a date. The underlying motive for these behaviours is our innate desire for both social bonding,  and our expectations of rewarding and positive outcomes for our actions, efforts and interactions.  With these examples in mind, let us turn our attention towards often old, dusty, soiled, dirty and often grimy  art, works and documents on paper.  Such works are occasionally brought in to picture framers for ...

 
Artists’ Regrets, Mistakes and Failures of Times Past

It should come as no surprise to our readers that many of our picture framers are, were or have been artists and fine arts female artist looking back at past career mistakespractitioners.  Artists create, and once art is created, it would be anathema to secret it out of sight.  Indeed, it must be shown, displayed and exhibited. Throughout history much art has been and still produced on canvas and paper.  And art on paper is largely pencil, crayon, watercolour, gouache, charcoal or  other mixed media on paper.  As such is expedient to put this art in picture frames, in fact, what could be, more natural?  But just “ to frame” art, is that enough?  Nay, we say, if art is to be framed it must be done well, or not at all. Alas we are fallible human beings and we do not always do what we should do. On recounting their times and years past, our former artists picture framers recalled many things they wish they had done better. Their reminiscences educed a litany of common and recurrent failings, the most egregious being herewith and hereunder catalogued ... 

 
The Great and Enduring Picture Framing Controversy: Landscape or Portrait Orientation?

Ever since the first picture frame was , probably around 2.500 years ago the image's artist and owner must have wrestled portrait-and-landscape-orientations-in-picture-framing with this compositional conundrum,  should it be framed portrait or landscape? Which would look better?  And of course, we are not referring to art photography where ‘portrait’ main mean  portraiture by photography and ‘landscape” may mean nature or outdoor photography. In picture framing, portrait means when someone frames and hangs the picture vertically, or longways, whereas landscape means when someone one frames  and hangs a picture horizontally, or sideways. To put it in another way, the portrait format means that an image is taller and that it is wide and landscape means that it is wider than it is tall.  Naturally, before and image is picture framed, one has to create and capture it, and in many case this is done via photography.  But wait, before even the very first photographers, there were painters, master painters who painted canvases, such as ... 

 
The Free Shipping Confidence Trick

Not quite once upon a time, but some moons past, in a faraway land of opportunity, lived a crafty lady callethe free shipping confidence trick by big e-Commerce trickstersd Annie.  She cleverly crafted fairy and feathery, wondrous earrings which nobody else made.  Then one fine day she thought she should venture on the internet and thus duly signed up with Etsy.  Folks from near and yonder places found her online and happily purchased her hand-crafted wares.  She enjoyed what she was doing, and after some time, even started to earn a modest living.  Alas, one dark day, Etsy abruptly began promoting and prioritizing only the sellers who gave free shipping.  Annie wasn’t one of them, because she just couldn’t afford it,  and didn’t want to raise her prices.  Her sales soon fell, by nearly half, and she began complaining often and bitterly to Etsy. But we have to do this, they replied, buyers now expect and want free shipping, just look at Amazon.  The Company told her to do look at what everyone else was doing, raising their prices to absorb ...

 
MDF Wood Frames Instead of PVC Plastic Frames Help Reduce Global Warming

Many of our Staff,  Customers and people we know,  grew  up in the 1970’s, 1980s’ or even earlier.  MDF-wood-picture-frameBack then plastic was fantastic, it was so cheap and convenient, we couldn’t make, buy or use enough of  the staff.  It was literally and still largely is, ubiquitous, and the picture framing industry was no different from the others.  While the custom picture framers never bought much, if any, of the plastic stuff,  just about everyone else did.   PVC ( plastic ) mouldings were, and still are,  a major part  of the mass-produced photo frames and picture frames.  Just about every picture frames wholesaler, discount chain, department store, chemist chain and discount shop sold and still sells,  plastic picture frames.  Whether solid or extruded, it was all the same stuff,  cheap PVC.  This type of plastic was the cheapest material with which make frames,  and the mass market never much sought after the best, it always hungered for the cheapest.  But, as  Bob Dylan sung back in 1964 ...

 
Made in Australia? Are you kidding?

Some weeks ago a senior Customer came to our factory wanting us to make some custom size glass clip frames.  The picture frames no longer made in australiadesired, odd-size clip frames were to match other existing ones on her family wall.  There had been new additions to her clan, she said, and she wanted the wall photos decor to match. She volunteered that she was a pensioner and could not afford to pay much.  Also, she helpfully added, she knew what the prices of the clip frames should be.  Since the special size clip frames that she wanted were smaller than the A3 clip frames she saw on our display for $6.65, hers should be cheaper, maybe around $5 each.  We then pointed to her that none of our clip frames are made here in Australia but are all imported  from Asia, and that’s why they are so cheap.  “What, don’t you people make them?  Aren’t these made here in Australia?”  she gasped in disbelief, amost shocked by the revelation. No, we replied ...

 
The Artists, Their Art, Their Studios & The Environment

So, you’re an artist. You draw, sketch or paint, mostly on paper.  You’re starting to sell your work and gettindisorganized-artist-studio-with-picture-framesg a name for yourself.  Your sales are increasing, but you still don’t sell most of your art, so you store it. Often you need to travel, so you leave your work, in your studio, unattended, or course, because, well , it’s not like a pet that can wander off at night, right?  But to safely store your work require some forethought and planning and chances are that you’ve been so busy that you haven’t given this topic much thought. This is where this post  “The Artists, Their Art , Their Studios & The Environment” comes in, giving you a reminder list with some of the hidden, unseen, but very real and possible  dangers of careless storage.   To begin with,  are you a smoking artist?   If so, not only is smoking bad for your own health and the art you create, but can you completely sure that you fully extinguished the last cigarette you were smoking while working in your studio ? ...

 
A Brief Guide of Window Mats and Their Openings

A Brief Tour of Window Mats and Their Openings. In this blog we will try to shed some light on Window Mats and Their Openings, with a particular focus to their external and internal sizing. A window mat ( Customers often call them edges, cardboards, surrounds, masks, etc ) or a window mount, as our English brethren would call one is that white or coloured cardboard that framers often put around images and inside picture frames. Broadly speaking, window mats are placed over and around images for several important reasons. The two main ones would be: a) the thickness of the mat ( around 1.2 or more millimetres) helps to keep the glass away from touching or rubbing the art and, b) the sides of the window mat distance the image, or art, from  the frame, this facilitates a better perception and appreciation of the art away from the visual distraction of the adjacent wood frame ... 

 
Stretcher Frames Versus Strainer Frames, What’s The Difference?

Stretcher frames and strainer frames are often used by artists, painters and embroiders.  These frames are the wooden framework which hold and support the canvases artists paint or create.  Embroiders sometimes also use these frames for their embroideries since these  can provide the durable tensions needed for sewing and pinning.  That said,  the greatest difference in Strainer Frames versus Stretcher Frames is the cost.  You can buy online a 50x75 cms (20”x30”)  stretched, primed,  ready-to-paint canvas, stapled to a strainer frame for as little as $11.49  The same size, equivalent, stretched, primed, ready-to-paint, canvas stapled to a stretcher frame, priced online,  averages around $146.  You say, wow!   Why the enormous price disparity?  They both look much the same, right?  Well, not quite, there’s more that meets the eye, especially with these type of frames. So what’s different ... 

 
In Praise of White Picture Frames

It wasn’t really that long ago that white frames were thought of, insipid, bland and without character.  Older picture framers clearly remember the times when white picture frames were only for special  occasions, special persons or special places. Only the occasional Customer would only come in asking for frames in this colour. We would be told that the frames were for a  wedding, and of course the bride would be wearing white. Or for baby or little girl’s room, since white invariably brings innocence and purity to mind. Or that there would be a special event with that white as the dominating theme. Or that a hospital, rest home or similar care or welfare institution needed them.  Other than for those reasons, Customers just didn’t want them or asked for them. Perhaps it ...

 
Of Spam, Junk, Ham, Phishing and Unsafe Websites

We think we can all agree on this:  while spam or junk emails are bad,  phishing emails are far worse.  What’s the difference between the two you might ask?  Succinctly,  the former just fills up your inbox with spam, unwanted, or junk mail. The latter can empty your bank account, compromise your financial status, credit rating  and even steal your identity, in extreme cases. Our website  www.pictureframe.com.au  is safe, trusted, reputable and with a long-established online presence.  As it features an Online Store, interactive forms, dynamic content, a Payments Processor and Customer Accounts, we have received more than our fair share of both. We draw hundreds of visitor to our site each month.  By far the greatest majority of these are genuine visitors ,they browse for ...