Every now and then we get Customers either bringing framed art similar to the one shown here or ringing in about this predicament. The problem is, in most cases this: the document, photo, print or art has been simply shoved or crammed, unmounted, in a tight picture frame. With the passing of the time and seasons, heat, humidity and other factors, the framed art has ... expanded, or grown larger, in both height and width. In doing so, the art has hit the hard sides of the frame and, not having room to move or anywhere else to go, it has begun to crumple and buckle. Imagine, if you will, a moving car hitting a brick wall. The most immediate and obvious effect is that the car's bumper, hood and bodywork will begin to crumple and crush after impact. And so it is with expanding art inside a ... tight frame. This "look" or effect is often seen at flea markets or trash-and-treasure venues selling old, used or second-hand picture frames. The next couple of questions that may come to mind are: a) who's to blame for his and b) can it be fixed? Starting with the former question, we believe that in most cases, the Customers maybe at fault. Too many Customers seek to save money and cut corners by buying a 'near-enough' size ready-made picture frame from untrained staff at large department stores or similar discount outlets. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to save money by buying off-the-shelf frames instead of custom picture frames you should buy these from trained staff from frames shops or stores. For example, if you come to our factory to buy a ready-made picture frame we would ask what you want to do and proffer qualified and free advice. We'd inquire if what you want to frame had any personal, financial, historical or sentimental value in which case we'd suggest custom, conservation picture framing. We'd converse about your artwork, where did it come from, how much is it worth, how long you'd want to keep it, what does it mean to you, etc. In other words we wouldn't just sell you a frame, we would first try to ascertain how your artwork should best be framed. The reason we'd ask questions about your project is precisely to avoid improper picture framing techniques such as the one discussed herein. Precious or unique items such as personal photographs, testamurs, antique documents, to name just a few classes of artwork, should never be simply and cheaply be framed in ready-made picture frames. These types of documents, and many other, should be, at the very least, be archivally mounted matted and framed. Another was of looking at this is how these types of documents should not be framed. That said, this does not mean that nothing should be put in read-made picture frames. On the contrary, cheap holiday posters, mass-produced reproductions, photocopied documents and other mass-produced, disposable media can quite easily and inexpensively put into cheap, off-the-shelf frames. In fact, these types of artwork are a major part of many picture framing businesses and need not be conservation framed. Lastly, to avoid the cockled, buckled, rippled look in artwork which is the subject of this post, all you need to do is to ask us or your picture framer to 'vacuum press' or 'wet-mount' your print. Vacuum pressing is a relatively, inexpensive, additional service which most picture framers should be able to provide for their customers. In fact, ever if you don't ask for this service we will mention this to you. But if you don't want to take us up on it because of the extra (albeit small) cost, then don't blame us if your print or poster does start to bubble up and crease with the passing of time, so be warned. Now, if you do decide to have your print or poster vacuum-pressed, know that this mounting method is irreversible. However it is suitable for most disposable, inexpensive art, while it is not suitable for valuable work. This involves wetting or rolling the backing board of a picture frame with PVA or similar glue, placing a print on poster on top of it, and pressing the whole thing under a cold or hot vacuum press machine for a few minutes until it sets. Cold or wet mounting under a vacuum press your your print or poster will ensure that it swill stay perfectly smooth and flat under the glass for many years to come.