Monday, March 12, 2007

Framing Without Glass

If anyone followed my (old) blog from about this time last year, you would know that I started working my colored pencil pieces on board, varnishing them and framing without glass. I was sick of the cost of framing with glass, matting and a larger frame to hold that matting added so much. Plus I had enough broken glass or scratched plexi... have you ever had to replace a piece of plexi for a piece... ouch that hurts! Then there is glare... I want to be able to see a piece from any angle - thank you very much!
As soon as I started this my work sold faster. Really. I don't know what it is, but artwork under glass sells for less and is harder to sell.

So I experimented with gessoboards that I primed with pastel marble dust primer... until I realized that Ampersand made a prefinished board for pastel artists - pastelbord. I'm hooked! I just love the stuff.

Now why am I writing about this again?! Well in this months Artists Magazine they have a column called "Artist's Toolbox" and there is an instructional video by Birgit O'Connor about framing watercolors without glass & guess what she is using?! Yep Ampersand products!

If anyone has viewed this video please let me know! I would love to learn how she does it and see how similar it is to what I'm doing. I've had loads of people ask me my process for sealing and protecting the colored pencil on the board so it would be nice to see if she does similar things. hmmm maybe I should just fork out the cash and buy it myself.


Unknown said...

Hi Nicole!
That is so interesting! Now you've got me wanting to see the video too, lol! Do you think her process would work with any paper because I still personally prefer stonehenge? The ad for the video says "Six demonstrations mount blank paper, a print, original artwork, problem solving and creating a triptych." Hmmmm. Gonna have to research this more.
: ) Kasie

Unknown said...

Kasie - I'm sure stonehenge would work. I know people mount Wallis paper which I would think would be even harder than stonehenge. I don't know anything about methods for mounting though.

Actually... I think Alyona Nickelson already does this. She works exclusively on stonehenge and in an interview I just read she said sometimes she mounts them and varnishes them to frame without glass.

I wish that video was cheaper - $39.99! Geesh! I might get it though and then you could get a used copy from me! ;)

su said...

This is from the Ambersand Website..
How to Present Large Scale Watercolors Without Glass…
A New and Innovative Technique

I am a true believer in watercolor and I wanted to give my watercolors the size and presentation that would allow them to compete with works on canvas. However, when I considered the glass and framing costs for my large size paintings it was truly daunting. Ampersand Art Supply has helped me solve this dilemma by offering an acid-free cradled panel that I use as a support and frame for my watercolor paintings. Golden has a range of acrylic gel mediums and varnishes that allow me to finish the watercolors without the need for glass. The results have elevated my traditional watercolor paintings to a new level of intensity and accessibility.
Here are the steps I follow:
(1) I use Ampersand’s Claybord Smooth because the surface is acid-free and will not affect my paper when mounted. This rigid smooth surface has a beautiful birch frame glued flush to the back edge of the panel. It gives my watercolors a whole new look!
(2) I cut my watercolor paper a bit larger than the panel size.
(3) I soak the paper just enough to give it a cloth like flexibility.(4) Next, I layer Golden soft gel medium on the Claybord panel as evenly as possible.
(5) I then lay the wet watercolor paper on the gel coated Ampersand Cradled Smooth Claybord panel, working bubbles out gently.
(6) As the paper begins to dry, I begin painting into it using wet into wet watercolor techniques.
(7) I let my piece dry completely (I usually wait a couple of days) before carefully laying Golden’s soft gel medium over the painting. I concentrate on lighter areas first and darker areas last, paying close attention to avoid smearing. I let it dry and repeat this step a couple of times.
(8) I then trim the edges of the paper and decide whether I wish to paint or stain the edges of the cradle frame or leave them in their natural birch color.(9) As a finishing step, I varnish the piece with Golden’s UV resistant medium.

Dustan Knight has an MFA from Pratt Institute and an MA from Boston University in Art History. She is a working artist, winning awards and exhibiting throughout New England. She also offers workshops, writes regional reviews for Art New England and teaches as an adjunct professor at several local art colleges. Please visit her web site to see a monthly updated selection of her current artwork.

Unknown said...

Ah wonderful Su! I'm getting together some more information to post in a new post soon.

That is extremely helpful!


Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog on this subject and doing a little research and I found this website I thought was good and I am going to try this procedure.


Unknown said...

Sherry you're the best! Thank you! I'm going to make a main post using your link!