A picture frame is an object that features ornamental edging. This type of product is used in order to display pictures, such as paintings or photographs, to their best advantage. A picture frame is designed to enhance a piece of art; however, it’s also used to make it easier to display and protect it the painting or picture.
Picture Frame Styles and Materials
A picture frame may be constructed from a range of materials, such as wood, plastic or metal. In fact, almost any sturdy material may be used to create this type of product. Art work that is correctly and adequately framed will remain in pristine condition for a much longer period of time. However, some pieces of art, such as paintings that feature “gallery-wrap” styles (whereby the edges of the canvases are extended in order to wrap around the canvases) are not good choices for framing.
Picture frames typically come with mounts. While wooden picture frames are the most popular, examples of alternative materials for these designs include silver, bronze, aluminum and plastic (polystyrene). Picture frames may be mass-produced or made it order for a bespoke effect.
These products come in a range of styles and colors. Any texture, shade or design aesthetic, from sleek and sophisticated to vintage-inspired and funky, may be found in stores or made at home (or by a professional framer). Vintage-style picture frames often feature ornate moldings which enhance the subject matter that is portrayed in the painting or photograph. Older picture frames are generally crafted from molded plaster that is treated with gilding (golden paint). The underlying construction of older frames is wooden. Plaster is added on top and then decorated in order to give the right effect.
Profiles for picture frames will vary. Typically, moldings will have “lips” and “rabbets”, which exist in order to ensure a proper amount of space in which to hold the picture or painting within the frame. These lips will generally extend one-quarter of an inch past the edge of the rabbet (in order to guarantee proper clearance). These features make certain that paintings or photographs will not be damaged when they are framed.
Some picture frames come with panes of glass. A special type of glass, which is referred to as picture framing glass or acrylic glass, is used to protect a piece of art while it is in the frame. Types of acrylic used in picture framing include acrylate and Plexiglas. Sometimes, art is not valuable or prized enough to warrant a glass or acrylic frame. In these cases, no glass or acrylic facing will be used, and the picture or photograph will be displayed without such a feature.
Certain types of paintings necessitate the usage of glass or acrylic panes. One example is watercolors. Oil paintings are generally not displayed with glass or acrylic panes. Glass used in picture framing may feature a special, anti-glare finish (also known as an anti-reflective finish) in order to make the glass virtually unnoticeable no matter what lighting is like. Paintings or photos which will be displayed in bright sunlight may feature glass or acrylic panes with UV filtering.
The backsides of picture frames have different features. Oil painting frames may have no backs at all, whereas other types of art may necessitate the usage of backsides that feature foam-core boards and other sorts of backing boards. The backs of picture frames may occasionally be decorated. Paper, which is sometimes used to back picture frames, is typically of an art & craft variety.
Shapes of Picture Frames
There is a wide array of picture frame shapes to choose from. Frames may be square, rectangular, circular or oval. Specialty frames, such as shadowboxes or heart-shaped frames, may be used in order to give pleasing aesthetic effects. In particular, shadowboxes will add depth and dimension for a unique look.
History of Picture Frames
Ancient Egyptians used pictures frames. The earliest known example of a picture frame was excavated from an Egyptian tomb at Hawara. It is believed that mummy portraits were the first pieces of art to be framed in ancient Egypt.
Picture Framing Jargon
Those who frame pictures professionally or as a hobby will often use certain jargon in order to identify picture framing processes. Examples of common terms that are used in the picture framing industry include figuring, measuring, ordering and cutting chops.