FramED needs ED.

Baer Charlton

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So there I was reading blithely along over my morning Cheerios... and I started choking and sputtering and the next thing I know, my wife is trying the Heimlich choke.... [around the middle honey, not the neck... or was she trying something else???]

There on page 12, a nice picture with a simple weighted bottom....

and the copy reads:

"The antique print framed by Framerica represents a classic "gallery-hang" design. A "gallery-hang" is oftentimes used when the artwork is hung high on the wall, allowing the matting to look even all around. In this instance, the bottom portion of the the mat had to be larger."

Trans-logic like this may work for some, but I think for a Trade Journal that is about to put itself out there as an "Education" forum... they had better do their research more fully.

A weighted bottom is to counter act the optical illusion that the image is sinking into the mat..nothing else.

Galleries don't and never did hang pictures that had people craning their necks and if they did, to make the mat look even you would weight the TOP..

It's called PERSPECTIVE. Same reason the Doric columns on the Parthenon are slightly larger at the top, so that over the 43' they look symmetrical.

I thought about writing a missive to the author, but no by line is given. So I thought about a letter to the editor, then after thinking about it for a while, I realized that this was nothing more than an Infomercial for Framerica.

I would be nice to see new writers come along.. but only if they write 1) informed pieces 2) informative pieces and 3) aren't just another infomercial camouflaged as news. We get enough of that on TV.
 

jacqueline

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I can't site the source, but I did read many years ago that a weighted bottom mat was traditional to counteract the high ceilings of yester year. So perhaps this writer has the same source. It's been ages since I read this and can't even fathom where, but it struck a chord and I have always remembered that.

Personally,I have always thought that it was to counteract the fact that visual center is above the actual center and therefore with the mat weighted at the bottom the viewer is closer to looking at the center of the picture.
Jacqueline
 

Jay H

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I'm not sure if it started out that way or not. It obviously isn't the reason that we bottom weight things today.

So the idea that its visually more appealing baers more "weight" than some obscure fact. That is what you would think an ed. article would cover.

Weight, get it?

Carry on.
 

RoboFramer

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Why more at the bottom? Another minefield of a subject.

Some good reasons

1. Land/seascapes usually have more sky than land/sea, a deeper bottom margin brings the horizon nearer to the centre.

2. Everything inside the frame must have some play, this is taken up at the bottom, therefore equal mat margins CAN look top-heavy.

3. Unless screwed to the wall a frame leans forward slightly, bringing the top closer to the viewer, more at the bottom compensates.

4. It justs LOOKS better on a lot of things
 

Baer Charlton

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Gee John around here we start with about two fingers, unless it's been a hard day then it usually the 4oz rock glass with out rocks.....

Oh, mats.

4T&S gets a 5
but
3T&S looks better with only 3.5".

Unless it is a Chinese scroll then of course its 2"Sides, 4"heaven and 6" earth.... but recently I have been leaning to the Pathagrian therum... 3-4-5 and I kind of like it.
 

JPete

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I thought the reason for placing the wire at the center was so the picture would tip ajusting for the high ceilings.
 

RoboFramer

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Originally posted by JPete:
I thought the reason for placing the wire at the center was so the picture would tip ajusting for the high ceilings.
If you want a picture to 'tip' just slacken the cord, doesn't matter where you position it.

If you want to hang pictures too far plus or minus of natural/average eye level then you'll always be making the best of a bad job. Weighted mounts, tipped frames, binoculars, step ladders - whatever!
 

Kit

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Ya - pictures should be hung at eye level.

But my eye level changes depending on whether I'm standing up, sitting down, or lying on the floor playing with the cat. As for the pieces hung above doorways ... what can I say? I ran out of wall space; it's an occupational hazard.

Even for artwork hung way above my head, I've never liked bottom-weighted mats. To me, they look like the piece was fit into a wrong sized frame.

Kit
 

B. Newman

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Kit, I agree with you, I don't like them. And those "off-center" pieces in Framing Monthly this month, I don't like them either.

But that's just me...
 

B. Newman

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After nearly 34 years in this industry, I have yet to have one that gave me that feeling.
 

Bogframe

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Galleries don't and never did hang pictures that had people craning their necks and if they did, to make the mat look even you would weight the TOP..
Sure they did, I have some pictures in my files of some gallery shows my grandfather's work was in, and a few of those rooms were hung pretty much floor to ceiling!
I don't know about you, but when I look at an evenly matted piece that has been hung way above eye level, the bottom of the mat looks narrower than the top. That's why when I'm matting something for our apartment that's going to be hung close to the ceiling I weight the bottom(but that's just me.)
 

RoboFramer

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Originally posted by Kit:
Ya - pictures should be hung at eye level.

But my eye level changes depending on whether I'm standing up, sitting down, or lying on the floor playing with the cat
Which is why I said 'average'. Generally, when people look at art, for the sake of looking at art, they are standing up. Can you imagine it "Ooh come on tiddles, chase that ball of wool - hmmmm can't imagine what the artist was thinking here".

I have art in my lounge, I'm always sitting down there, usually watching TV, (Has your TV got more surround at the bottom? - Mine has!). I'll glance at the pictures on my way to somewhere else.

I have a whacking great picture over the dining table, it's hung lower than average.

But what about canvasses, you can't weight them can you? I have a couple of portraits and it drives me nuts that the eyes are below centre. One day I'll re-stretch them - folding some hard work over the stretcher bars.

Like I said - a minefield of a subject

[ 01-01-2006, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: RoboFramer ]
 

RoboFramer

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Another 'intentionally deleted' same excuse as above, only this time I HAVE had a drink, just one, with dinner.

Starkle starkle little twink
who the he11 you are I think
I'm slightly under the affluence of incahol
and not as peep as thunkle drink

[ 01-01-2006, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: RoboFramer ]
 

Handy

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I have to say that I've never really noticed the artwork "sinking' into the matting either. To me adding the extra little bit onto the bottom doesn't make it better or worse. Guess I like mine symmetrical! LOL!!
 

Baer Charlton

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Originally posted by RoboFramer:
But what about canvasses, you can't weight them can you? I have a couple of portraits and it drives me nuts that the eyes are below centre. One day I'll re-stretch them - folding some hard work over the stretcher bars.
John, a good flat liner... 3" liner on the sides and top, with a 4" on the bottom. Clip the ears and wrap same as usual.

I weight liners all the time... flat ones.
 

RoboFramer

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Baer,

This is something I must look into. My selection of liners is dismal, four to be exact, they already come linen wrapped. Half to one inch wide, one has a gold lip.

This has been fine 'til now - mounted work on paper = (generally) wide mount/narrow (in relation) frame. Oil on board/canvas/glass not required = wide frame/narrow - if any, liner.

Liner generally used to set the work back in the frame and/or add some contrast.

Not sure I'd like the look of a large frame containing another large liner - any pics?
 

JPete

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Originally posted by JPete:
I thought the reason for placing the wire at the center was so the picture would tip ajusting for the high ceilings.
Intended as a bit of humor.
 

Baer Charlton

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0ELiner.jpg


2-3/4" T&S 3" bottom.. I made this liner myself out of 1/2" basswood. Hand planed the rabit in until I had a 3/32 tick lip...with a back beveled sight-edge. Gray primer..

Sorry about you guess in the UK not being able to enjoy Frank's 600+ fabrics and 40+ liner profiles.

Maybe what I should do is open a satellite outlet in Surry or Leeds....after all, I drink Guiness, throw darts, and speak the Queen's 'Stalian. :D
 

HannaFate

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The reason a larger bottom mat was used when pictures were hung high on the wall was because the lighting was in the middle of the wall. Gas lights, that had to be low enough to reach and adjust. The shadows cast upward by the gas light would cover part of the bottom of the mat.
 

nona powers

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I have to chime in here, probably because I write for DECOR. I read the same article and wondered why he called it a gallery- hang design, but no matter what he called it, I think we have to be a bit more tolerant of writers and information they provide. I don’t know of a magazine in the industry that does not have incorrect information occasionally and I am talking about from very well informed people. Our industry is going through huge changes and will continue to for a long time. We have to know more because we now see the consequences of some of our past incorrect actions. There is disagreement about many things but design is subjective and depends on the art and the needs of the situation, there are no rules for an aesthetic final product.

The author’s information wasn’t so wrong, galleries did hang things from floor to ceiling. Look at Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez and you will see how galleries and museums hung their art as well as the art patron up until the mid to late 1800’s. The author probably heard the term, or read it somewhere. I can’t tell you how many terms or reasons I’ve heard for weighted bottoms. I love reading some of the justifications for designs published and have to laugh as I’m sure people have at some of my designs. I could tell you stories..... as I'm sure you could tell me a few.

In conclusion, (I know, you didn’t think I would ever finish), every person should always do their own research when the topic is an important one and not take any ones word for anything, but as far as design goes, a skeptical eye is always the best eye.
 

BUDDY

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Nona I have to agree to some extent. But not that you would need it. However the way I remember it there was a lot of different reasons why mats were supposedly weighted.But if my memory is still any good ,no one is REALLY sure why the method was originally employed and it does suit a lot of needs .Some are still relavent and some aren't a problem any longer as they used to be. So as you so correctly pointed out If the reason suits your needs it may be correct if not maybe we could just insert a more practile one as long as it accomplishes what we hope to achive.

So in this case maybe "the means does Justifie the End" LOL. Or we could always refer to Ellens sign off when reading some of these articles.I sure hope I don't have to be TECHNICALY and HISTORICALLY correct every time I give an opinion.
BUDDY
 

Baer Charlton

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OK, this is going to just be a p*ssing match about old rumors and "well, that's the way I learned it"..

And now I'm ticked that I can't find my one collage text book that was worth saving....and it was all about WHY in design. Beyond ergonomics..

But I do remember where to send every body... for those who read DECOR, go to DECOR, for those that read PFM get your too... turn to any of the pages that have pure ads in the back...

This is where there is no other article or any distracting from the pure straigths [size] of all four of the galleys ... as you will see, the bottom is about 3/16 larger [weighted] than the top. The side galleys are weird because of "thumbmation" and "binding".... when I have time I'll look those up in the "Divers Arts" book...because it comes from Guttenberg.

And yes Nona, Las Meninas shows painting piled one on top of each other and even attached to the ceiling.... But no-one hangs that way, as you point out for 200 years...

And Urban Leagends persist and grow acceptance until people who know say "Stop. Enough."

That article would have never made it out of the back room of the LA Times.... and their attitude USED to be "we only have to be right for a day."

If a "Trade Journal" is going to print things that is billed as "informative to the trade" or even more so as "Educational"... you can't hold yourself to that high a standard and then just accept terms and explainations that make no more sense than they were just pulled out of second year journalism students but.

No more than you would accept that as long as a person hangs their art down a dark hall, it doesn't matter which glass they use. Or even mat board for that matter.

This isn't 1947, and we aren't "making it all up" anymore. There are ways to get information, if you won't hire people who already have that knowledge to write for you. It's called research.
faintthud.gif


I'll get off my box now. I have to go make up a bunch of stuff for a class. :D
 

Terry Hart cpf

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I think the reason is psychological. I bottom weight many pictures because I think the customer will relate to it for a deep seated reason widely spread over fast regions of their lower subconcious levels. Occasionally I'll see need to weight the top, or even the middle. Whatever my eye sees as appropriate. Many satisfied customers.
 

Kit

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Originally posted by RoboFramer:
Can you imagine it "Ooh come on tiddles, chase that ball of wool - hmmmm can't imagine what the artist was thinking here".
<font color = blue>The thought of addressing my elegant LadyCat as 'Tiddles' ... oh, the repercussions are too horrible to contemplate! She's a great fan of my photography, especially those pieces featuring Herself as the subject.</font>

(Has your TV got more surround at the bottom? - Mine has!). <font color = blue> No, sorry. I don't have one of those.</font>

I have a couple of portraits and it drives me nuts that the eyes are below centre. <font color = blue>These are portraits of people lying on the floor, playing with the cat, right???</font>

Like I said - a minefield of a subject
[/QUOTE]<font color = blue>Oh, ya. But I enjoy dancing through minefields, especially when I can poke a little fun at another Grumbler while doing it.

Kit</font>
 

Jay H

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I think it is all about aesthetics. If you look at a weighed mat and hear “why is that my wider than the rest,” you did it wrong. If you look at it and don’t really notice the different mat widths, then you did it right.

I heard once that the reason we bottom weight could be illustrated when you ask somebody to draw a triangle. Everybody except raging lunatics will draw it with the wide base at the bottom.

Images that are portrait don’t get bottom weighted here so much. Images that are landscape do almost always.
 

RoboFramer

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Originally posted by Kit:

<font color = blue>Oh, ya. But I enjoy dancing through minefields, especially when I can poke a little fun at another Grumbler while doing it.

Kit


Be sure and let me know when your gonna start won't you
 

RoboFramer

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Baer,

Thanks for the photo - very nice job. But I must admit that (if this is an oil on board) I would use a mat and glass if I wanted that effect. I will definitely try this though - I prefer not to have glass on an oil, regardless of support.
 

Baer Charlton

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John the glass is because this was going in a place where little untrained fingers might touch...

And with the smog here...just a good thing.

It only took one walking tour though the "Great Clean-up" in London in 1983 for me to become a firm believer in glass on things.

Tar & Nicotine residue in old stitchery is the ultimate second hand smoke aguement.
 

RoboFramer

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Baer,

Never realised there was glass in your frame, but now I am a bit lost.

I wouldn't go to all that trouble if I could get the same effect with a mat and a slip (fillet - whatever) I definitely would though, and will, where no glass is required.

Glass or no - (on oils where a choice can be offered) I let the customers have the final say. I tell them their artwork is protedted by varnish, which can be removed and replaced, so they don't HAVE to have glass, if however they do have it, a tin of glass cleaner is a bit cheaper!
 

Jack Flynn

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Re: galleries stacked with art above eye level, one of my favorite art spaces to visit is the Grand Salon at the Renswick Gallery in DC.

From their website: In 2000, the refurbishment of the building's Grand Salon, a 4,300-square-foot gallery with a soaring 40-foot ceiling, included a state-of-the art lighting system that re-creates natural light through innovative treatments of the historic laylight (a skylight unexposed to the outside), custom-made draperies, and gilding of frieze elements.

Today, it is considered one of Washington, D.C.'s premier spaces. Paintings from the collection are hung salon-style, top-to-bottom and side-by-side, on its rose-colored walls, recreating the elegant setting of a nineteenth-century collector's picture gallery.

Small image at link below.

http://americanart.si.edu/renwick/images/grandsalon.jpg
 

Doug Gemmell

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Originally posted by Terry Hart cpf:
I think the reason is psychological. I bottom weight many pictures because I think the customer will relate to it for a deep seated reason widely spread over fast regions of their lower subconcious levels. Occasionally I'll see need to weight the top, or even the middle. Whatever my eye sees as appropriate. Many satisfied customers.
I like the way you look at things Terry. I think you should give classes on the subject!
 

FramingFool

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I'm with Kit and Betty .... HATE bottom-weighted mats ... and your example, Baer ....just looks weird.

We do 'em if the customer kicks (it has to be a hard kick) and screams ... but never de rigeur ....
 

Doug Gemmell

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We usually add about 1/4" to the bottom, regardless of size. Hardly noticeable but somehow balances the piece. In my opinion, if the bottom isn't weighted it looks smaller.
 

Doug Gemmell

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I should say that the bottom looks smaller than the top and sides if not weighted.
 
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