Applying Dust Cover and Hardware to Pastels

Sherry Lee

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Jun 25, 2002
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Phoenix, Az.
I've done searches for help with framing pastels. I've done them before, but have a VERY dusty pastel to do now....no use of fixatives.

I see the suggestion to use spacers between the bottom mat and top mats.....I assume that is to catch the dust. It sounds like it would look very strange, but I'll give it a whirl.

I will be using preset flexipoints and then set it in vertically.

My concern is laying it flat (glass down) to put the dustcover and hardware on. This piece has a lot of white 'dust' and the top mat is dark, dark green.

Any tricks up anyone's sleeves?????

Thanks!!

[ 03-31-2004, 02:08 AM: Message edited by: Marc Lizer ]
 

JRB

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San Diego, CA
You could try using Super77 on the back of the frame, let it completely dry. Fit your artwork and mats, Super77 your backing paper, wait thirty seconds, then set your frame package on it. Working from underneath by sliding the frame package over the edge of your workbench, trim the dust cover and put on your hardware.

Note: I have never done it this way before, but I think it may solve your problem.

John
 

Kit

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Rochester, MN
Sherry, If you have a large easel for displaying framed art, you can use that to hold the piece in an upright position while you work on the back.

Just set the frame on it backwards.

I've done both this and John's method and my vote is for anything that doesn't involve crawling around on the floor.

Kit
 

JackBingham CPF

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Lititz PA
Sherry, I dom't use any fixatif on my pastels. Before framing a pastel, I place a sheet of newsprint on the it and roll a hard rubber roller over it to remove any excess dust. This works very well for me. If I am working on a customer's pastel, I alway ask permission to do this.

Jack
 

Hobbes03

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Torrington, Connecticut, USA
Double mats, reverse bevels, with mats or foamboard built up between mats for spacers to catch dust.

As for the dust cover and hardware. Before the mat package goes into the frame, I locate the hanging hardware on the empty frame. If I'm using WallBuddies, I predrill the holes, if straps and wire, I attach the straps and wire, then take the straps off with the wire still connected and set aside.

Then I make a spacer with foamboard that is the same thickness as the mat package. I use this spacer to attach the flexi-points into the empty frame. The idea here is to attach the points without the matpackage in place to avoid the vibration caused by the point driver, which would possibly dislodge the pastel. Then all you have to do is bend the points up when it is time to install the mat package. Also, I seal the mat package with 810 tape to keep dust out.

While the frame is still empty, I roll out the dustcover, put the frame on it and draw a pencil line around the frame. I make sure I trim the dustcover so that it is about 2 or 3 inches larger than the frame so that you can pull it tight afterward. This is my guide for the ATG gun. I make a sort of pedestal by stacking foamboard under the mat package to lift it off the table. Place the matpackage on top, then lay the frame over. This way, you can reach under the frame and bend the points back to secure the package. Then carefully lay the frame over the dust cover which has the ATG already applied. I lay one edge of the frame down, then gently pull the dust cover so it becomes tight, and do that all the way around the frame. Then I use an X-Acto to trim the dustcover. The dustcover does come out nice and tight. Just make sure you burnish the edges of the dustcover.

To attach the hardware, I place the frame on an easel. Use an awl to poke through the dustcover where the pre-drilled holes are, and attach the hangers. Put on your labels and bump-ons and you're all set. It's actually not as bad as it sounds.

-Mike.
 

Matoaka

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Given that pastels are so difficult to fit (I become a human pretzel and crawl around on the floor, myself)... How much should we charge for a "pastel fit"? I'm currently charging 1.5 times a standard fit... maybe it should be more??

Thanks,
Susan
 

preservator

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Wilmington, DE
Paste, the medium without a medium, is a problem
that artists creat that makes life difficult for
framers. The easel fitting and predrilling of
hardware, which have been mentioned, are critically important. Brad pushing or pulling
tools are also a must, here, so that the package
can be secured without concussion. Having a
channel below the pastel, into which loose pieces
of pastel can fall, does prevent the possibility
that those particles do not bounce off of a bevel
and back onto the bottom of the paper. This may
sound farfetched, but one can observe this happening with unfixed pastel.


Hugh
 

The Frame Lady

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Utah, home of year \'round fun
I don't do much pastel, but do artists have something against fixative, and why?
I have used a fixative on my own charcoals and a local teacher recommends the same. It justs seems odd to let and expect your artwork to just sort of drift away . . .
 

preservator

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The problem with fixatives is that what they really amount to is an attempt to add a medium
after the design has been completed. If one uses
enough fixative to penetrate to the paper, the
matte look of the pigment will be lost and artists
don't want the surface of their work to shine.
If fixatives are applied to designs that have
uncovered areas of paper, the fixative may discolor, eventually, and show up on the paper.
Since there is no medium in pastel, its pigment
particles are exposed to pollution and light
damage and before they fall off, they may fade
to a translucent state, making darks go lighter.
Fortunately, in response to ASTM testing of pastels, they are being made more light fast;
making this last problem less serious.

Hugh
 

Jim Miller

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A pastel artist explained that she never uses fixatives for two reasons that made sense to me:

1. Fixatives change the appearance of the art.

2. Fixatives are temporary -- Imagine a pile of sand arranged on a board on a table. Spray varnish on the sand arrangement. When it's dry, lift the board to the vertical position.

The varnished sand will form a sort of crust on top, but the sand underneath will remain loose, and it will eventually shift and break up the varnished crust.

By her logic, fixatives affect only the top few layers of pastel medium. The rest of it remains loose and will shift over time, breaking up the top crust. I guess if heavier coats of fixative were applied, the crust might last longer, but would still break away eventually, and perhaps in larger particles.
 

Cliff Wilson

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I work a little with Pastels myself.

http://home.att.net/~wilsonclan/

I use fixatives for layering, but rarely for a final coat. It does change the intensity and look of the image. Sorry, it just doesn't look right.

There are varying degrees of paper tooth that can be used with Pastels. The problems arise when an artist uses too heavy an application with to small a tooth in the paper. If you get an artist that has this happen often (like the second "problem" Jim mentions) suggest that they look into using heavier paper with a good tooth or even some of the new sanded papers. There is a brand called Wallis that I like very much.
 

McPhoto

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Cliff -
Very nice pastels - especially liked "Sunset on Boathouse" reminded me of the "Sunrise" while vacationing many years ago on Cape Cod.
 

wpfay

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I frame pastels for a local artist. She works on full sheet paper (30" x 44") and works to the edge. She uses no fixatives and no blending, just color on color, so she has quite a build-up of pigment when done. We use a 1/4" spacer behind a 12-ply rag mat. One of the house rules when doing her work is that the piece never goes past 90 degrees.
Switching to Wallbuddies has been helpful in keeping the piece from tipping forward on the wall.
When one of these sells, I usually get to disassemble them and clean before it is delivered to the client & they are never shipped.
It's also good to let the client know the the dusting off of pigment is to be expected and periodic cleaning too.
I had to clean one once that had been leaning against a wall when a maintenance worker accidentally knocked it over. It fell flat on the face, and the glass did not break. When I took it apart there was an exact reproduction of the image on the inside of the glass.
 

Hobbes03

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Torrington, Connecticut, USA
Originally posted by mcphoto:
Cliff -
Very nice pastels - especially liked "Sunset on Boathouse" reminded me of the "Sunrise" while vacationing many years ago on Cape Cod.
Yes, very nice work Cliff. We vacation quite often in North Eastham on the Cape. Very beautiful area.

-Mike.
 
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