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Thread: Framing a Chalk Drawing

  1. #1
    MGF Master Grumble Framer DLB's Avatar
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    Default Framing a Chalk Drawing

    I have a customer with a Chalk Drawing from Prague. She took it to Aaron Brothers, and they refused to do it, because they didn't want the liability. This customer has now decided to have me do all her framing from this point forward, and I have already done several pieces for her. I don't want to screw up the chalk drawing and risk losing her. What is the proper way to do this? I don't want the chalk falling off the paper over time, or any of that disastrous stuff.

    Any tips?

    dave.
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    PFG Picture Framing God j Paul's Avatar
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    Default

    Here are a few threads you might look at. You also can go to the search feature and type in pastel or chalk as your keyword and you will find many more. Best thing seems to be using a deep spacer to allow trough for particles to fall into and to keep pastel away from glass/plexi.

    http://www.thegrumble.com/showthread...hlight=pastels

    http://www.thegrumble.com/showthread...hlight=pastels

    http://www.thegrumble.com/showthread...hlight=pastels

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    Grumble Moderator Team wpfay's Avatar
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    Default Unless you can suspend the Law of Gravity...

    this piece needs to be treated like any unfixed pastel (perhaps what you mean by chalk).
    1. You are not going to eliminate the dusting off of some of the pigment regardless of technique.
    2. Resist the urge to use any spray fixatives to hold the pigment in place...recipe for disaster.
    3. Use reverse bevels on the matting and shim the piece as far back from the mat as possible in the chosen frame. This will provide a pocket for the dust off to settle in without ending up on the surface of the mat.
    4. Environmental factors will come in to play...besides the usual light/heat/humidity, you have to be concerned with vibration. Where it hangs is crucial to longevity. If it hangs next to the heavy front door, dust off will occur every time the door is closed.

    Your client needs to be educated to the shortcomings of this medium before proceeding. Anyone that promises to preserve this piece forever probably doesn't full understand what they are up against.
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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer CAframer's Avatar
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    When assembling, insert points by hand to avoid jarring the loose pastel.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    Default

    ...and to add to Wally's comments ...

    - Use brads when fitting instead of point gun to minimize jarring loose particles.

    - While in your possession do not lay face down any more than necessary and inform customer of consequences of storing this way to avoid drop off of pigment.



    Dave Makielski
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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer preservator's Avatar
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    Please follow all of the suggestions in this thread. If the client can not afford
    the static-dispersive properties of Opitium, advise them that the glass you use should be cleaned with a damp chamois, only, and if it is taped for transport, the tape should be dampened, before it is removed, to avoid raising static during the tape removal process.

    Hugh
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    Dave's suggestion about fitting is important. I usually use turnbuttons and have all of the impact work completed before the fall-off-the-paper artwork is placed into the frame.

    For anyone who might have missed Hugh's point, Optium Acrylic and Museum Optium Acrylic have a lower static charge than ordinary glass. That is due to the optical coatings on both sides.

    Don't forget to allow plenty of air space between glazing and art. The more the better.

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    MGF Master Grumble Framer realhotglass's Avatar
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    Dave,
    Further to Hugh, Jims, and other poster's points.

    You might like to call CYRO over there and see if they have Anti-Static acrylic sheet.
    Perfect for pastels, charcoals, and I would imagine chalk.

    I have this in now from Plexiglas (Germany) and I'm fairly sure that CYRO manufacture some of Plexis' products (like AR - abrasive resist) under license in the US.
    Cheers,
    Les
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    PFG Picture Framing God Jerry Ervin's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to start an argument here, really I'm not.

    Optium Acrylic is simply out of most consumers price range.
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    Dunno if this is in any of those links - just quicker to post ....

    When I get a 'loose' thing like this, I replace the matted thing with the same thickness of mats with no artwork. Fire flexitabs in - remove no-artwork mats, (you can do it with offcut strips moved around with the gun) replace with matted loose thing and bend flexitabs back in place - you can even do that face up and seal it all standing vertical, leaning against something.
    Stir frying ideas in the strategy wok

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    I assemble these loosiegoosies upright.
    I lean a piece of fome core (or whatever) against the backs of two chairs up against my work counter. I drape a nice cushy piece of batting over the board and lean the framed piece on that.
    Then I finish off the back that way.

    No layin' face down on the job for this one!!

    edie the friablefriday goddess

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Ervin View Post
    I'm not trying to start an argument here, really I'm not.

    Optium Acrylic is simply out of most consumers price range.
    Thanks for not trying to start an argument, Jerry. That was really good of you.

    Still...
    I beg to differ. Most consumers will spend whatever it takes to get the things they want. Joe Sixpack can spend $6,000 for a surround sound plasma TV set up, and he can spend $600 for picture frame. It's only a matter of helping the consumer establish the right priorities.

    Above all, if we framers are to sell premium products such as Optium, we must be willing to offer those alternatives to our customers. Unfortunately, a lot of framers fail to talk about "The Best Choice" because they assume their customers will not buy it.

    For typical sized framing, Optium Museum Acrylic might add a few hundred dollars to the total for the project. But even for some large jobs, it can be well worth the price.

    Case in point: An established (once or twice a year) customer brought in a mounted photo, which she and hubby bought on vacation and had shipped home. With matting, the rabbet dimensions measure 48"x58", and it will hang as the centerpiece in the lobby of her husband's law office, across the room from a large window. Let us review...

    Big frame.
    $5,000 photo.
    Lots of natural light all day.
    Busy lobby location; safety would be an issue for glass.

    She was delighted to learn that there is a product suitable for this project, which reduces the concerns of light, weight, safety. She bought Optium Museum Acrylic, which added almost $5,000 to the price of the framing. Would you believe me if I told you this job is profitable? The 6 mm thick Optium Museum Acrylic, cut to size from a 72" x 120" sheet, arrived in its crate Wednesday. I am working on it now, and will hang it next week.

    Admittedly, this is not a typical job or a typical customer, but you get the point, right? She would never have known about it if I had not offered it.

    Perception of value matters more than price.

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    "Optium Museum Acrylic might add a few hundred dollars to the total for the project."

    See Jerry and you thought NC was the framing capitol of the world. I should really learn how to sell in such a manor where a few hundred here and a few hundred there aren’t even a consideration.

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    Default A few hundred here and a few hundred there should be a consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
    ...I should really learn how to sell in such a manor where a few hundred here and a few hundred there arenít even a consideration.
    Fortunately, it isn't all that difficult to sell premium products. All you need to do is show them and speak positively about their attributes. The rest is up to the customers. Sometimes they say no, sometimes yes.

    In my shop, we do not decide what our customers want. We give them all the options we think might be appropriate for their purposes, and let them decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
    Fortunately, it isn't all that difficult to sell premium products. All you need to do is show them and speak positively about their attributes. The rest is up to the customers. Sometimes they say no, sometimes yes.

    In my shop, we do not decide what our customers want. We give them all the options we think might be appropriate for their purposes, and let them decide.
    Oh, but my customers will never buy that. My market and customers are extra-special, unique and unlike any customers anywhere else.

    Get over it.

    Look at it this way: If you pitch Museum Glass and other premium products to 0% of your customers, guess how many will buy it? Yes, that's right.

    If you present them to 100% of your customers and only 10% buy, you're already ahead of the game. Is a hundred her and a hundred there worth the few extra minutes during the design process?

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    I haven't sold any Optium yet, but I can certainly see the logic in trying my darndest. Yeah, we get a lot of cheap folks that come in here, including the guy that wanted to spend only $50 to get a digital inkjet photo (signed by photographer) framed. But they drive up in their BMW's, Benz's, and Lexus's. And I was at Costco last week, and witnessed a veritable feeding frenzy of spending. People carting out humongous LCD and plasma TVs (I soooo want me one of those).

    People have the money. They spend the money. We just have to give them a reason to spend it with us. I need to do a better job of that.
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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    I address the glazing issue toward the end of the design process and if the customer is receptive to hearing my presentation then I know they are good candidates for upgrading to museum glass or acrylic. If they don't seem too interested I hold back and stay with my standard glazing which is UV Clear instead of pushing the issue.

    When I make a conscienses effort to present museum glazing and the work isn't overly large (say 20X24 or smaller) and the customer listens ...they upgrade over 50% of the time. If it is larger the success rate of using the best glazing goes down because cost becomes considerably higher.

    With larger pieces I always point out that they have already invested a significant amount in the artwork and framing and to use the best glazing is not that much more considering the improvement in both presentation and preservation. Often I'm successful but not as often as I'd like. If they balk then I say ..."Well I'll just figure it up both ways and you can decide then...". They often will go ahead and use museum glazing at that point.

    Sometimes subtle suggestions make or break the decision to upgrade and there are several times during the design process you can suggest it and suggest it again in a manner which is effective and received well.

    Of course you can't sell it if you don't have works on your walls utilizing it ...especially a shadow box or Tru Vue's tassel display, Nor can you sell it if you don't present it.

    I have customers who use museum glass on $ 10.00 posters if it is for their own use and not as a gift.

    Does anyone have any other recommendations in how to best present museum glazing so that the customer understands and ultimately decides to use the best?

    Dave Makielski
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    From what anecdotal info I can piece together (because they will never tell you) Museum glass represents about 2% of the glass sold

    We sell some here, some there and actually do have a few clients that really do ask for it. Not many, but there are some.

    We ought to show it, offer and sell it.

    But, let's be realistic. It is a rarified air market and good salesmanship needs to be used to ensure that you aren't just "selling up" an order. Good salesmanship is one of the many things that our good friend Jim excels at

    It's no wonder he sells more than most

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    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II Natalya Murphy's Avatar
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    Default Give free museum glass upgrades on small jobs

    One technique that has worked for us is to selectively provide free museum glass upgrades on smaller pieces (typically around 8x10 or smaller). If this is a customer that's likely to come in for future work and if we have a large enough scrap piece available, we will sometimes upgrade the glazing for them, and inform them about it when they come in to pick up the piece.

    We recently framed a 5" x 5" needlepoint with glazing between the liner and frame. The customer wanted it framed as inexpensively as possible so elected to just go with Conservation Clear glass. We know this lady and know that she has had custom framing done before. Finished size was a little over 6" x 6". We put in a scrap piece of museum glass for her and let her know we upgraded it at no charge when she picked it up.

    Two weeks later she came back to have another of her framed pieces reglazed with museum glass, and to get a needlepoint sampler framed -- also with museum glass. Her exact words, "You sold me on that glass -- it's amazing!"

    Our LJ rep also recommended offering free fitting when customers bring in frames to be reglazed with museum glass.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    I've also had success doing this and started because I was accumulating so many smaller size "scraps" and decided to upgrade customers to introduce them to the better glazing.

    Nice bene for the customers ...or so I thought. About a year ago I posted here that I was doing it and that I thought it was a good sales technique and had several fellow Grumblers say I should never do that without informing the customer ahead of time because it is NOT what they ordered and it's unfair to the customers I don't do that for ...
    ?

    .................. ................................... .................................

    Oh well, I figured ...it works for me, the customer gets a free upgrade and they're happy. It's no loss to me if someone else doesn't want to do it.

    If for some unknown reason a customer was ever not happy with the upgrade I'd take it out and replace it with an inferior glazing at no charge.

    I think it's a win-win all around and it's helped me to sell more museum glass than ever before.




    Dave Makielski
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    It is funny how everyone is trying to drive a point across using Museum Glass as an example.

    I sell quite a bit of Museum Glass. More than I ever thought I would.

    However, there is a huge difference in the cost of TruVue Museum Glass and Cyro Optium Acrylic.

    The Intel I get from three different suppliers is that "it is available but they don't stock it". Now why is that? If frame shops all over is selling this stuff, even if it is just small amounts, I would think that the suppliers would be tripping over each other to get you to buy it from them. The cost per sheet is slightly over $500 each.
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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    Jerry ...I'm not quite sure what you are saying with your post...are you saying we should be pushing Optima Acrylic instead of museum glass because it is even higher end???

    I don't get your point...



    Dave Makielski
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  • #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Ervin View Post
    ...The Intel I get from three different suppliers is that "it is available but they don't stock it". Now why is that? ...
    Good question, Jerry. Here are some possible answers...

    1. Optium products are still relatively new, and most typical framers still may not know about their attributes. I think "frame shops all over" are not yet selling Optium products regularly.

    2. Distributors are in the business of delivering whatever we want to buy. Framing distributors are generally not interested in doing the manufacturers' marketing and advertising for them. They hesitate to stock items without a history of sales, for fear of getting stuck with non-selling inventory. That is, a distributor generally will not put it in stock and then try to sell it. Rather, the distributor will wait until customers demand it, and then serve the demand specifically.

    3. When a distributor says "I don't stock it but I can get it", that usually means he is willing to stock it if you and others will buy it, and that simply has not happened yet. Keep asking for it, and they will stock it eventually, when potential sales patterns develop.

    5. Two distributors deliver glazing products to my store, and they both stock Optium. Indeed, I have in stock a full 41" x 71" sheet of Optium Museum Acrylic, and will replace it when it sells.

    4. Optium products are on the high end of our pricing spectrum. As such, price resistance is an issue at every level. Consumers, framers, and distributors all need to understand the value of these premium products. There's a pretty steep learning curve for all concerned, and that takes time.

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    PFG Picture Framing God Jerry Ervin's Avatar
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    Sorry Dave

    When I mentioned that the retail price was quite high, and out of most consumers budget, the replies lead me to believe that framers are actually selling the stuff.

    I really question how much of this is being sold in the retail world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Ervin View Post
    ...I sell quite a bit of Museum Glass. More than I ever thought I would.

    However, there is a huge difference in the cost of TruVue Museum Glass and Cyro Optium Acrylic....
    Jerry:

    If you sell more Museum Glass than you ever thought you would, perhaps you would find the same to be be true of Optium acrylics, too.

    Note that the price difference between Conservation Clear and Museum Glass may be more of a jump than from Museum Glass to Optium. But in any case, both are valuable products when their value is important.

    Optium may not be the "default" glazing recommendation in any frame shop, but you can be sure some of us are selling it on occasion, when it is appropriate for a project at hand.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    In the three years I've been framing under my new business model I've never used it but have suggested & quoted it where I thought it was applicable ...jersey boxes and anything over 32 X 40 because of weight or danger of breakage and creating a liability for the owner.

    Optima Acrylic is very high priced and I think it is quite reasonable for most framers to take the step of suggesting and selling museum glass but it would be a giant step in my mind to expect Optima Acrylic to be a common glazing for most frame shops or their customer base.

    Once the threshold of comfort of how to and when to sell museum glass is crossed then the sales of Optima Acrylic will begin to rise accordingly ...hopefully increased sales will help to lower the price and it may become as common as museum glass.

    I just didn't quite get what you were saying Jerry and I appreciate you clarifying what you said. I think Jim answered well the distribution sparsness question.

    Dave Makielski
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  • #27
    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II Natalya Murphy's Avatar
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    Default If it came in smaller sizes we might have more sales

    If Cyro were to come up with a smaller size of the Optium perhaps it would be easier to sell more since our costs and therefore the consumer's costs would be lower. TruVue is selling museum glass in more sizes now, and their Cyro conservation acrylics come in 32x40 sheets. Why can't they create a 32x40 or smaller Optium sheet?

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    When I worked at M's, and the PerfectVue glass (museum glass was not avaiable to us) came available in smaller sizes (it was previously only available to us at 32x40), our orders for PV went sky-high, and PV actually became our default glass. We were much more likely to sell it when it was easier to handle, and not so much waste. Now, I believe it will start to become easier to sell museum glass for the same reason (smaller sizes, because it doesn't cost me so darn much to order it at a time and less scrap to mess up!), and eventually Optium, if it will go to smaller sizes as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natalya Murphy View Post
    If Cyro were to come up with a smaller size of the Optium perhaps it would be easier to sell more since our costs and therefore the consumer's costs would be lower. TruVue is selling museum glass in more sizes now, and their Cyro conservation acrylics come in 32x40 sheets. Why can't they create a 32x40 or smaller Optium sheet?
    Just to set the record straight, Optium Acrylic is a Tru Vue product. Tru Vue buys they substrate, OP-3 and a custom formulated 93% acrylic, from Cyro. The 41 x 71 size came from the size limitation of their original coating line.

    If you would like to stock smaller sizes or buy Optium cut to size on a per job basis, feel free to contact me. Maryland Glass and Mirror has be selling both full sheet and cut to size Optium for several years now.

    -Matt

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