99% Pro Framing + 1 % Ignorance = Failure

ahohen

Inactive Account
Joined
May 24, 2002
Posts
127
From
Raceland, Louisiana
A customer came in with a valuable signed and numbered print (that's what I was told) and wanted to change the matboards because she remodeled her home. After looking at it a few minutes i knew something wasn't right because the print was warped pretty bad...almost like it got wet. The mats originally selected were (rag mats) nice colors... the mats she picked out were also very good. Next, I took it apart while she was here so i could be sure there were not "hidden" problems i might encounter (and for me to see what caused the warping). I took it apart... it had rag mats and acid free backing. I separated the acid free foamboard from the mats (only two small pieces of ATG tape. When i saw how the print was mounted, i was shocked and the customers was also... 2" wide tan box tape ALL AROUND the print! What was wrong with this framer? Situations like this have happened before, but not this bad... What is it that makes some framers go "tape crazy" when it comes to mounting a print?
 

framah

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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Mar 15, 2001
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Degobah
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death star driver
If I saw this, I would have assumed the artist was the culprit rather than a framer. It is usually the artist who has no idea what the h*** they are doing. Duct tape is another favorite of artists based on what has come into my shop.
 

JBergelin

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Posts
374
From
Big Rapids, Michigan
I see this regularly in our shop - and it is the artist who has "mounted" thier work. The pieces come in from the local Not-for-profit artist co-op so I know most of the artists. When I try to educate them they just stare at me like I am from another planet.
shrug.gif


It amazes me that they could care so little about their work.

Contrast this to the needlepointer who carefully rolls up their work to avoid creases - watcheslike a hawk to see what kind of care you are are going to take with their work - and asks a miriad of questions to see if you know what you are doing.

Jeanne
 

Ron Eggers

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Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
This is why detailed "stickers" on the back are so important.

In this case, it could say something like:
</font>
  • Glazing: Tru Vue Conservation clear glass</font>
  • Mat 1: Crescent rag 6784</font>
  • Mat 2: Crescent rag 5831</font>
  • Filler: Bainbridge ArtCare fomeboard</font>
  • Backing: Crescent rag 2876</font>
  • Mounting: 2" brown packing tape</font>
  • Framed by: Bozo the Framer on April 1, 2001</font>
 

Ron Eggers

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Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
Seriously, if I had some reason to actually frame a piece that was presented to me mounted with packing tape, my sticker would include something like, "Premounted with 2" brown packing tape. Customer declined recommended trip to conservator."
 

Jim Miller

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May 19, 2000
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19,079
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Suburban Central Ohio
No doubt that other framer hasn't found The G yet.

Thank G, we know better than to use that cheap 2" tan box tape. We use only the expensive 2" clear box tape. :D

Just kidding. Really. Please don't do that.
faintthud.gif
 

BUDDY

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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Sep 16, 1998
Posts
11,505
From
Mandeville,La. USA 130 Blue Heron Dr.
AJ you mean you didn't just do what ever the customer wanted ,so they could save a few bucks?LOL

In another thread it was suggested that if a customer wanted an inexpensive frame we should find one that fit their budget ,and you seemed to have deliberately opened the frame package to inspect it for what was causing the problem.

In that thread it was suggested that we can always find something to fit their dollar needs and doing so will make them a much happier and probable return customer when they have a more costly job, with out bothering to bore them with our seemingly endless explanations of what the work might require to preserve it.

But it seems you too disagree with this practice in an effort to CYA and demonstrate why in the customers presence. Would you care to explain why you bothered to communicate what your experience made you feel was needed before you finalized any framing conditions?And did this help you establish what the work was truly worth both in $$$$ and to the customer's estimation?
BUDDY
 

Jay H

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Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
I would suggest that they go sue the framer. I'll bet that its not "worth" the trouble to make right the damage done to this "valuable" print.

If the framer would have drymounted it, they would have probably been happier with it.

To bad you probably can't remove all the brown tape an it will show through if you drymount it now.
 

Puppyraiser

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 10, 1999
Posts
6,569
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Maryland
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Howards retired
I once visited a fellow 'framer' in Shaumberg, Illinois. As we were in the back room chatting, he continued to work along. When he stuck down the original watercolor on all four sides with masking tape, I looked at my watch and discovered that I had an important appointment. It was all I could do to keep my trap shut. (and you all know me....)
 

Dave

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Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
13,355
From
Edwardsburg, MI
A customer brought in a framed original ink drawing which she had framed by my nearest competitor and picked out a new frame and matting. It had only been framed a few months before, but she had recently remodeled and it no longer fit her design scheme.

After she left, I examined my competitors work and was impressed with the outside of the package...Good design, heavy duty hangers, acid free dustcover, nice stickers, etc. Upon opening the package I was horrified to find the drawing backed with brown corrugated cardboard from an old Crescent mat board box and...the drawing was Scotch taped haphazardly on all for sides to the mats!

I didn't tell the customer when she came back to pick up her re framed art about the errors of my competitor or that I re-backed it with rag board and re-hinged it with rice paper hinges. Thankfully the work was only framed a few months before and no staining was evident when I used heat to gently remove the Scotch tape.

Should I have informed the customer???

No real need to...she was very pleased with the results and said she'll be a regular customer of mine from now on...

Should I have reported my competitor to the Framing Police???

I feel terrible that people's art work is being so mistreated and wonder if I should have called the owner or anonymously tipped them off to what I trust to be their ignorance of modern framing methods.

shrug.gif


Dave Makielski
 

Angie Pearson CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
678
From
Poplar Bluff, MO
Dave-
wow... I would be completely embarassed if I knew a competitor opened up my frame job and saw that... maybe instead of telling your customers the flaws of the other framer, you could tell them the things that you did to make the piece more preserved. something like "you can't tell by the outside, but I also included some acid free materials inside and remounted the artwork to help preserve it more." then they can either ask you questions or make their own assumptions.

Originally posted by JBergelin:

It amazes me that they could care so little about their work.

maybe sometimes it is a lack of self esteem mixed with poverty... they don't think their work is good enough to care about or frame properly.... oh well.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
13,355
From
Edwardsburg, MI
Good suggestion, Angie...I wish I had thought of that but I think I was so shocked and embarrassed for our industry that someone with a storefront and framing professionally would handle something with such disregard.

On your comment about artists not thinking their work is "good enough" for proper framing...For some I'm sure this may be true...however, from my 44 years in the art material industry (I started when I was six years old) I can tell you that the artist who really cares about the longevity of the materials they use is in the minority. Even artists that sell their work for thousands of dollars frequently know very little about the materials they create with and will often introduce foreign materials without any understanding of chemical composition or interaction.

Dave Makielski
 

edgewise

Grumbler
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Posts
16
From
San Francisco
Dave,

You might think about telling your client about the non conservation materials in the original framing package - not to slam your competition, but to make sure that any other framing jobs she had done by the other framer could be corrected before her art is seriously damaged.

I have to say - an acid free dustcover over a cardboard backing sheet is just about the silliest thing I've ever heard of!
 

BUDDY

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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Sep 16, 1998
Posts
11,505
From
Mandeville,La. USA 130 Blue Heron Dr.
But maybe the customer was very happy with the savings they made by not useing all that extra C/P stuff and fancier molding as well as the time they would have wasted while standing there being told why the FRAMER thought all this was necessary.( WITH TOUNGE PLACED FIRMLY IN CHHEK)or rotfwlmao.

Y'all are making the very points attempting to be made on that other thread. Shouldn't we framers give the customer the option after explaining to the best of our ability why some of this will better presrve the work and therby might cost a bit more before assumeing that all they want is a lower price?
BUDDY
 

Jay H

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Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
I’m burying this here because I actually hope it doesn’t create much attention.

There are certain extremes that we should absolutely fight. Those extremes would be cardboard, paper mats, and duct tape. I have no problem with saying that framers that use those items as standard procedure are irresponsible. You are doing your customers a disservice and should be exposed as the shyster that you are.

Excluding straight up decorative framing, we should be using foamcore and reversible mounting methods at a bare minimum. Often times its just to darn easy and cheap to at the very least take some care of the customers art. With the availability of Artcare Restore, Water Activated Tapes, Photo Corners, Nori paste, and edge strips, there is just no need to not do it better than the framing Dave describes.

Ok I doubt there is anything controversial about this so far.

On the flip side of this coin if you are doing the limbada around the design counter singing the praises of your conservation methods and how your framing is museum quality and will last as long, you are equally misleading and should be exposed. I’m sure that Hugh could write a series of books about the differences between the typical home and a museum and how framed items age differently.

Furthermore its just hypocritical if you are selling this great framing and not warning the customer that if this piece is so valuable, then it shouldn’t be framed in the first place! I wonder how many customers pay a premium for this higher quality framing, that we are encouraged to sell, and are totally confused what this framing can and can’t do? I see more customers who took the bait and were let down than those that wanted cheap framing and was surprised to find out that’s exactly what they received.
 
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