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Cheaply Mounted Paper Collage

shayla

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Customer brought in this paper collage for re-framing. Liked the paper on the fabric, so just picked a new frame.

After she left, I took it apart and lifted an edge to see how it was attached. I was prepared for a few different things, but not what I saw. Each of the 25 8" squares in this frame is stuck on with several rolls of blue painters tape. Had to call & tell her, and she was shocked. She said, 'We paid six thousand dollars for that.' I encouraged contacting the artist, because that's not right.

The fabric backing is about 43" square and wrapped around a 1/8" piece of plywood and glued on the back. She wants to re-attach everything, and I told her it will only work if the fabric is completely attached to the whole surface. Otherwise, it could sag. What I'd usually do is float hinge each piece to a smaller piece of matboard, then glue those to the fabric backing. But with this, who knows if it would hold. I thought about cramming glue through the fabric under where the squares would go, to make it hold there, but that seems just about as rinky dink. (If you've done that and had it work, let me know). If we have to re-do it, I'd appreciate tips for the best way to glue linen to a board too big for a mounting press. I don't want to use adhesive spray, so would likely be using Frank's. Thanks.
 

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Ylva

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Is the fabric only glued on the back of the plywood? As in, you can remove it?

If the customer is happy to pay for that, I would probably start with your own idea of mounting the individual pieces to rag board and attach that to the background.
I’d think if you would roll fabric glue onto the board, let dry and then attach it with a warm iron, it might just work. Then mount pieces on top.
Charge enough!

She should contact the artist, as that is quite a price for her to pay a redo.
 

bruce papier

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Danger, Will Robinson! I'd definitely wait until she contacts the gallery before moving forward. I don't think there's a really good way to fix this mess as it stands and, if you do figure a way, it's going to take some time. I think the artist is going to have to redo the piece.
 

shayla

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Danger, Will Robinson! I'd definitely wait until she contacts the gallery before moving forward. I don't think there's a really good way to fix this mess as it stands and, if you do figure a way, it's going to take some time. I think the artist is going to have to redo the piece.
Agreed. It's about 2600 miles, which includes an ocean. It'll be interesting to see what he says.
 
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nikodeumus

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YIKES 😲
This recent thread applies:
 

shayla

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YIKES 😲
This recent thread applies:
Indeed. I read Claire's thread thinking, 'I know how it feels'. Everyone has a learning curve, and it's good to be on the journey. :)

The difference is, she's just starting out, and this guy should know better by now. He surely knows people wouldn't buy it if they knew, and unless someone checks, his clients have no idea. They brought it in saying what an amazing artist he was, and when I pointed out the blue tape and said what needs to be done, they planned to call him. Good idea, but they also plan to ask him how to best fix it. I wouldn't be surprised if he says, 'Switch to green painters tape'. :faintthud:

The back was interesting, too. 43" square, and each side had a total of 5 fletcher points in it, globbed up with hot glue. The corners of the frame also came apart.
 

wvframer

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Artists should have to get a special license... :(

This kind of stuff is happening way too often.
 

shayla

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When I called, I said, 'You have a couple of options. One is, to not care. You could just to leave it as is, put a new frame on and live with it. Another is to completely re-do it. You could also contact him, because this really is beyond what is acceptable.' It's important to include that first option, because although we care, the art belongs to her. If she decides to live with it, then that's her call. Her take was that, since the artist charged $200.00 each for the images, that adds up to $5,000. So that much of the price still made sense to her, but the extra $1000.00 for framing didn't. It would take me a lot of time to peel them off off without tearing them, and hinge and re-mount. That and the new frame are far more than a thousand dollars. Bummer having to say how much all the extra effort would cost, but it's the truth. Ton of work, and tricky to line them up. I guess I'd use the thread grid, writ large.
 
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shayla

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RULE #1
Always open a previously framed work in front of the client before giving a quote.
Words of wisdom. :beer:

I usually do, but in this case, it slipped my mind. A good reminder to keep taking the time.
 

nikodeumus

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Artists should have to get a special license... :(

This kind of stuff is happening way too often.
This topic came up a while back.
How come there isn't more attention paid by art educators to teaching the importance of quality in the complete artwork presentation?
I know that one major reason is that the majority of artists are self-taught, and therefore are unaware. That is understandable.

The artist that does a poor job presenting their piece is doing their customer a disservice and will likely lose further sales because of it.
Is it another case of "not my problem". They pass the buck to us framers to do what should have been done right in the first place.

I don't really believe that many artists are intentionally doing this, they simply aren't aware of long term quality display methods.

I have stated before, I am NOT an artist, so don't want to be too judgmental.
However, Shayla is right. Someone selling their work for thousands of dollars should really know better.

I guess the big question is how does this knowledge get broadcast?
If the majority of new artists do not take any official training (and assuming that quality displaying were being taught in all art education), how are they to learn?
By trial and error, as we are discussing now?

I guess that's no different than our field. Everybody starts with little knowledge and learns by trial and error.
THEN we go looking for advice (the Grumble) when things go wrong.
I know that's exactly how I came to the G :D
 

wpfay

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Be cautious around the blue painter's tape. It becomes more aggressively attached as it ages, before it goes south and crystallizes, discoloring the paper. If it has been for a while a conservator might need to get involved.
 

shayla

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Be cautious around the blue painter's tape. It becomes more aggressively attached as it ages, before it goes south and crystallizes, discoloring the paper. If it has been for a while a conservator might need to get involved.
Thank, Wally. I had figured I'd remove it from the cloth first, then invert them and use adhesive release fluid. But, only if it doesn't do something weird to the paper. Your note is a good encouragement, though. If she opts for that route, I'll remember to mention this. When the artist hears the real cost of fixing it here, he might opt to pony up for shipping. But if this is his usual method, what would his 'fix' involve?
 
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wpfay

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I try to educate my customers and artists as much as I can.
Yet, they keep bringing in pastels framed with plexi and wonder what happened to their art.
:faintthud:
I feel your pain. I have the same problem with the Etch-A-Sketch artists.
 

nikodeumus

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I had an elderly couple a few years ago who had moved here to the West Coast of Canada from England.
They had an antique (100+ years?) pastel in a gorgeous elaborate frame.
Of course, the glass broke during shipping.

The original image wasn't ruined, but you could see where significant portions of pastel lifted away.
pastel.jpg
I strongly recommended using spacers and museum glass to prevent further harm to the art piece. They readily agreed.
Truth be told, it should probably have had a conservator do some work to it as well.
But there is no such service within hundreds of miles of us. They were not interested in pursuing that degree of conservation.

I saved half of the old glass to keep as a visual demonstration to others what can happen with pastel touching glass.
It works every time to convince people to use some method of spacing for friable media.
 

wvframer

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Why would anyone that can read or watch a home and garden show think that blue painters tape that is designed to hold for hours is an appropriate tool for mounting art? The name of the stuff says it all!

Makes me want to smack my head. Masking tape is just as bad, but at least I can understand how that might happen. I am in a university town that offers master's degrees in art. Masking tape attaching the art to the back of the window is how they teach them. When I offered to do a presentation--for free--to teach students how to protect and preserve their art, I was rebuffed.

Since in my time framing, there have been three different highly educated artists from prestigious universities around the country chairing the dept, my limited sample suggests that the level of formal education does not have much to do with this problem.
 

nikodeumus

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Why would anyone that can read or watch a home and garden show think that blue painters tape that is designed to hold for hours is an appropriate tool for mounting art? The name of the stuff says it all!

Makes me want to smack my head. Masking tape is just as bad, but at least I can understand how that might happen. I am in a university town that offers master's degrees in art. Masking tape attaching the art to the back of the window is how they teach them. When I offered to do a presentation--for free--to teach students how to protect and preserve their art, I was rebuffed.

Since in my time framing, there have been three different highly educated artists from prestigious universities around the country chairing the dept, my limited sample suggests that the level of formal education does not have much to do with this problem.
That is astonishing to me!
How can teaching such poor practices be acceptable for any level of advanced art education?
It seems like an incredible gap of knowledge between making art and displaying it.
Do art educators really not understand the concept of long term viability of art display methods?
Or is it simply not something they think is relevant to teaching art?

Oh, well. I guess that just helps keep us framers in business.
Fixing mistakes that should never be made in the first place.
:shrug:
 

nikodeumus

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I know someone who is well established in the fashion illustration industry.
She is an illustrator, journalist, and educator in the field.
I will try to remember to ask her what her thoughts are on this subject.
 
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shayla

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This thread brings to mind the challenge of guiding customers through a few things. I give helpful info. about what they've brought in, and about framing methods and options. No matter what quality level it is, my goal is to help them feel good, aware of methods and options, and in control of what happens next. I try to give even bad news in a way that points toward those things. I want them to feel relaxed about bringing in anything, and have even said, 'I'm not snooty about art' to help newbies relax. Hard to give disappointing news, but even then, handling it well can be a gift.

Although there are certainly 'foot in mouth' moments. Last week, I pointed to a young couple on a brand new painting and asked, 'Are these people dear to you?' Came the reply, 'That's me and my wife.' Silly me, not realizing an artist might use license to make his client look a decade younger. :faintthud:
 

artfolio

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Thank, Wally. I had figured I'd remove it from the cloth first, then invert them and use adhesive release fluid. But, only if it doesn't do something weird to the paper. Your note is a good encouragement, though. If she opts for that route, I'll remember to mention this. When the artist hears the real cost of fixing it here, he might opt to pony up for shipping. But if this is his usual method, what would his 'fix' involve?
Nope! Nyet! Non!

Please do not even think about dismantling this thing yourself.

The minute you start on this you are committed and any further problems which rear their heads become your problems and your responsibility to solve. Given the ineptitude already on display here it would not surprise me if further horrors, like, maybe, superglue lurk elsewhere in this sucker trap.

I would be waiting to see what comes out of her approach to the artist and if she can't get any satisfaction there suggest a conservator handle the dismantling.

Another possibility to salvage this may be to have it scanned or photographed and frame the copy so that at least she will have something which will probably outlast the original.
 

Ylva

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That is astonishing to me!
How can teaching such poor practices be acceptable for any level of advanced art education?
It seems like an incredible gap of knowledge between making art and displaying it.
Do art educators really not understand the concept of long term viability of art display methods?
Or is it simply not something they think is relevant to teaching art?

Oh, well. I guess that just helps keep us framers in business.
Fixing mistakes that should never be made in the first place.
:shrug:

But framing is just 4 sticks of wood....

I had a similar experience. No-one in any arts department wants to learn how to do it right. I think because they’d have to admit they have been wrong for decades.

There are art professors who still teach stapling some pieces of lattice to the sides is perfectly fine. There are those who preach that hairspray is an excellent fixative.
So what is a little painters or masking tape.

I find it as astonishing and stupid and narrow minded as everyone here.
I offered to show a group of students how to hinge their art, as long as they would come to my shop, I would be happy to give a quick demonstration. No takers.

I am not offering anymore.
I educate the people who actually buy the art, hoping some of it might get back to the artist. Money talks. They don’t care what a framer has to say. Hopefully they will listen to what their paying customers say.

Okay, step down from the soapbox now.
 

Framar

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I have told this story before but it is time for me to tell it again.

Back in the eighties I attended a framing convention in Toronto and as a perk we were invited to go on an insider's backstage tour of the Art Gallery of Ontario's Conservation Department. At the end of the tour, the conservator asked if we had any questions.

Of course not one single framer said one single word. So I spoke up, and asked her, "Of all of the art you have worked on over the years, who does the most damage to the art - artists or framers?"

The framers all gasped, but the conservator quickly answered, "Artists! Artists are the worst!"
 

shayla

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...I would be waiting to see what comes out of her approach to the artist and if she can't get any satisfaction there suggest a conservator handle the dismantling....
When I called to tell her, we agreed to wait and see what the artist says. Hopefully, he'll do what's right. (hahahahahahaha)
 
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