Answers to “Spot the avoidable problems with this frame”.

OK, a few days ago I asked if anyone could identify the problems with this frame.  Some are more obvious than others but here they are:

1.   Flies, an obvious one.  They come in from the front of the picture and creep around under the glass and get in between the glass and board and inside any other layers.  Sealing the back of the frame is not enough, the sandwich of glass and boards need to be sealed. We do this and call it Bug Free Framing.

2.  Acid Burn.  See the dark brown stain running along the top of the map?  This is acid burn.  It has been caused by using cheap boards.  The ‘acid burn’ is caused by lignin in the pulp the boards are made from, oxidising over time and leaching out into the surrounding material, including your beloved print.  Using conservation grade boards will prevent this.

3.  Unsightly browning of the mount board.  See above.

4. The map has moved. You can tell this by the location of the ‘acid burn’ line and its slight angle.  It means that the tape holding the print in place has failed, probably due to the glue drying out.  Why has the glue dried out?  I’d put money on the tape being masking tape or selotape, both of which will dry out and leave a nasty residue.  We use conservation grade gummed tape when mounting artwork.

All of the above can be avoided and the value of the art preserved if you ask for ‘conservation’ grade materials, in particular board, and ask for the frame to be sealed. Visit a bespoke framer who is a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild.  More of which in an upcoming post.