Filets Fitting

Mel... Using a fillet is not a great idea when conservation framing. FACTS guidelines for works on paper require that art be at least 1" from wood. That pretty much shoots down most designs using a fillet, unless you are using it as a frame enhancement.
I just came back from a trade show at which I saw, perhaps, the worst fillet work that I have ever seen! Gaps in the mitres, corner packing all over the mats, ATG sticking out from under the fillet and all over the mats!...Sorry folks, I think I'm losing it!...! yes!!! - I'm losing control!! Look ou....! [...It is now some time later.] ... There, I'm glad that's over!...Sorry for the digression. I've got A Thing about sloppy framing! I have seen fillets taped (no glue!) into place with 810, P90, masking tape, bookbinding tape, and butchers' tape! I have seen fillet mitres packed with ATG and nail filler to make up for bad corners. I have seen a lot of artwork ruined because the "framer" mounted the artwork into the mat package first and then decided to touch up the mitres, getting the stuff all over the artwork or allowing it to bleed in later! ...but this booth I was in at the show, wow! It had to be the worst! ...and I didn't have to take the frame apart to see it! Seeing stuff like that makes me upset enough to want to drink my own bath water! Steady boy!... O.K! O.K.!...I think I'm all right now! ...sorry.
Fillet work can be made more palatable in regards conservation framing if the verso (the underside facing the artwork) is sealed with at least two coats of waterborne polyurethane before it is put into place. This practice effectively seals the tannins and lignins in the wood. Once in place, the fillet should be held off the artwork by the installation of a rag mat interleaf, or duster mat: I recommend using B8634 or B8644, reverse bevelled,with a 1/16 inch or 1/8 inch backset. After relieving the corner mitres on the fillet stick, do your touch ups on the mitres before assembling - that way you don't run the risk of marking the mat or the artwork. Hope this helps you. ...I think I'll go have a glass of sherry...

[This message has been edited by Orton (edited 09-28-98).]
Please refer to the Fine Art Care & Treatment Standrds Guidelines for maximum preservation framing of artworks on paper (guideline # 07.09.01). It is endorsed by the 3M, Crescent Cardboard Co., CYRO Industries,Decor Magazine, Frame Tek, Hunt Mfg Co., Larson Juhl, Lineco, Nielsen Bainbridge, Picture Framing Magazine, Sandel, Tru Vue Inc., Zuel, FrameMica, Fletcher-Terry Co., Decor Mldg, Framing Fabrics & Mldg, Max Mldg, Studio Mldg, to name few. The guidelines state that the art shall be completely seperated and isolated from any potentially damaging materials by an impermeable barrier such as glass or metal.

[This message has been edited by Grey Raven (edited 09-29-98).]
Grey Raven, can these Fine Art Care & Treatment Standrds Guidelines be found on the Internet? If not, how can we get them on the Internet? Isn't that what framers should be using the Internet for, getting educated!
I do not think the guidelines are on the net yet. I will make a couple calls today to verify that. Guidelines are also out for textiles and photography.
GreyRaven: This scares me. I have devoured everything I could and taken workshops, etc. on conservation framing and I did not realize the art had to be a full 1" from anything wood. I'm now frantically reviewing past work orders. Would a fillet within an inch of leather moccasins (not old, but sentimental), probably no closer than 3/4", require a call to the customer for a redo? Or are we talking degrees of conservation framing here? Please do provide those guidelines or their source if you can. I will be very appreciative. Thanks.

Update: Just absorbed Orton's message. Am heading there now. Thanks, again.

[This message has been edited by Mel (edited 09-30-98).]
I just lost my whole response to you because some stupid thing went wrong with my computer!...Here goes again.

Mel: don't hit the recall button yet! The issue is not degrees of conservation framing; it is understanding the requirements, IN CONTEXT.

The concern over art's proximity to wood is in the context of RAW wood, in particular, the art's proximity to the lignin and tannin (tannic acid) in raw wood, and their possible adverse effects upon the artwork. This same concern applies equally to the raw, unfinished rabbet in wood mouldings!

Fillets have multiple coatings on them to prepare the raw wood for its final decorative finish. If all of these coatings are benign, intact, and non-porous, then the concern is alleviated, as is the potentail for damage. However, since we do not know, with any degree of certainty, the condition and characteristic of the finish on the fillet (particularly on the verso, the face closest to the artwork) it would be prudent to seal that surface with a suitable agent. Recommended two coats of waterborne urethane, and don't use the cheap stuff! Use the stuff that has a high percentage of urethane plastic in it. Let it dry well.

The CCI reference that I posted previously has a discussion concerning lignins' effect on fine art. It seems that the jury is out on this one,again!

Please understand that deleterious effects of acids, lignins, tannins, pollutants etc. on artwork is only concerning in degree, and to a very large extent regulated by the presence of excess moisture levels. Protect the art from high U-V exposure, high temperatures, high moisture, sources of potentially harmful materials (e.g. bargain-basement matboard), provide a safe environment (appropriate mats and mount board) reduce the amount of time that the artwork is exposed to the harmful things in life, and you will have done your job.

... by the way, you can check with CCI on the best way to mount those mocassins. Tanned? Untanned? They are a natural animal product and therefore do have their own sets of problems. Now, are they naturally acidic or are they...

Don't go overboard with this stuff, or you'll wind up paranoid.

[This message has been edited by Orton (edited 09-30-98).]
The FACTS Web page may be found at: Mel, I would not call the moccasin customer for a redo. The moccasin is probably the most self destuctive piece in the framing package anyway!! Hey, we do what we can to prolong the life of all the wonderful and odd things that people bring us. The fact that you are concerned with doing a proper job of it is terrific.

[This message has been edited by Grey Raven (edited 10-01-98).]
Orton & Greyraven---
The moccasins are in the past. Three tiny pair, made of doeskin (white, untanned), and beaded by local native-Americans as gifts for my customer's children. The fillet did not have a raw back as I recall--I will have to check. The moccasins live in a very dry climate--eastern Oregon--unless she hung them over the shower!

I found the FACTS, thanks. Most of that's old hat, but the 1" business wasn't. But I recently read something else that has me worried--yes I worry too much--apparently, I should have used nonbuffered mats. I know they must be used with certain photos and cybachromes, but I didn't realize anything animal also needed nonbuffered materials. I used a Miller black-core suede. Will the moccasion create calcium growths at some point (something from a Vivian Kesler column about this)? Am I to worry about this?

By the way, I really, really appreciate the time you take to answer a "rookie's" questions. This business is such fun precisely because you get to make something beautiful, get paid for it, and continue to learn. I had NO idea this was so esoteric when I started. Incidently, I like to share this type of information with my customers. Not only are they really impressed, I figure the more they know about it the more they will want the job done right, which seems to be the case.

My husband wants his turn at the net. Thanks, again, and good night.

[This message has been edited by Mel (edited 10-01-98).]
Mel: ...there you go! Do not lose sleep over this stuff! Most animal products are naturally slightly acidic. Therefore, the use of buffered matting needs to be reconsidered in these applications. Sometimes, case depending, it does not matter whether the board is bufferred or not. Silk, leathers, some other man-made fabrics, some photo stuff - there is a long list - but - do remember that these items become chemically active ususally only in the presence of moisture and raised temperatures. So if the artifacts are not inundated by excess moisture and excess heat, there is generally, little to worry about. If in doubt, use unbufferred rag board in contact with the artifact and use bufferred board elswhere in the mat package. Grey Raven is absolutely correct: the most unstable part of the mocassin frame job, are the artifacts themselves. Keep them dry, keep bugs out, and - voila!

[This message has been edited by Orton (edited 10-01-98).]