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Framing Standards: Yes? No? Maybe?

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Founding Member
Nov 5, 1997
Suburban Central Ohio
We've had several Grumble and HH threads about framing standards from FACTS, PPFA, and FATG. Some issues have been discussed a lot, but some questions still go unanswered.

For example, most framers still don't seem to embrace any particular standards. Why is that?

A couple of other questions that come to mind are, "What's in framing standards for me?" and "How would adhering to standards benefit my business?"

If you're following a particular organization's framing standards, why that one and not another? If you're not following any particular set of standards, why not?
More than following a particular organization's standard I have set out to follow a variety of practices learned from others, here and on HH and in classes.

I read the FACTS standards and quickly realized I was not a museum. But I took some information from those standards and applied it to my work. In classes I have taken I have learned some specific practices that I thought well-worth applying.

I feel reasonably well-informed and believe the burden is on me to keep up with new materials and techiques, which likely will come into being before standards addressing them are arrived at.

Since not all work needs maximum preservation, learning "best practices" from multiple sources has helped me establish a respectable bar above which I do everything. Seems to work better for me than adhering to one strict standard.

Sort of, to borrow a phrase, take what you need and leave the rest....

I am a firm believer that not all framing needs to be the maximum in preservation. People who buy Portal posters at K-mart down the road for 9.95 just will not spend $300 plus on a custom frame job. Then again, there are times when you need to do the maximum. Last month I framed a hand drawn plot map of the Civil War era prison in Salisbury NC. I used Mylar to encapsulate it. The city refused to take it to a paper conservator. I learned that technique from a great teacher in the best shadow box class I have ever took. In the same day I 3M ProSpray mounted 2 cheap posters on regular foam board and put them in metal frames with no mat. The point is, if I only framed to FACTS standards, could I do cheap framing? I try really hard to work both ends of the spectrum in both of my stores.

I also learned another thing from this teacher. "Customers vote with their feet". It is a simplistic statement but boy it sure does ring true.

Having the FACTS standards is a great tool to turn to when we need it. However, to totally adhere to such a thing would isolate a large number of my clients and send them looking to the BBs of the world in search of cheaper prices.
Nobody (not even Nona!) has ever suggested that all of the FACTS standards should be applied to everything we frame.

Failure to believe that is the biggest obstacle to general acceptance in our industry of any unified set of standards.
I think the primary factor in the lack of interest in common standards for our industry, is that most independent frame shops are just that,"independent".

Most of us consider ourselves proficient in our craft. We are also not to keen on the idea of someone else telling us how to run our business's. Who exactly would set these standards? Why would they know more about framing than us? who exactly are "they"?

I just think most of us are just to darn independent and self reliant to want any group or organization telling us how to do it.

Do you really think this issue has never been raised before? Do you honestly think in the last five hundred years attempts have not been made to do just that, standardize us? It has not worked in the past, it won't work now.

Just because you enlist several hundred or more framers to proceed with such a plan, it will not work.

There are thousands of frame shops in this country, most are operated by very independent people who take great pride in being better than everyone else at what they do. These folks are going to do it their way, not some organizations way, it's just the way we are.

You could possibly succeed in enlisting every member of PPFA and every Grumbler, it still will not work. The reason, it would continue to be a minority of frame shops adopting those standards.

The idea is an old one, it is still a good idea, it just won't work.

As an afterthought, we a fairly standardized anyway. In the old days we used corrugated cardboard backing, lots of masking tape, now we don't. In the old days, paper mats where the standard, now they are not. In the old days, the norm was screw eyes, for hanging, now it's D rings.

We all pretty much use the same materials in our framing anyway. Our prices are all fairly close to each others. What's to standardize?

What's wrong with screw eyes? :confused:

Dave Makielski
My thinking is that if I think they won't pay $300 to frame a Portal print then THEY won't pay it....at MY store anyway....they will go down the street where another shop will do a grand job at $300.

Fortunately I KNOW customers will pay that much to frame a cheap picture or greeting card or whatever.
Dave, for small narrow mouldings, screw eyes seem to be the best, that is because "D" or triangle rings won't fit. On larger mouldings, screw eyes will eventually work loose. The weight of the picture can slowly pull them toward the hanger, using "D" or triangle rings stops that from happening. "D" and triangle rings also lay flatter on the back of the frame.

You are your own boss, you get to use whatever you want, unless your standardized, then you can't, you gotta do what everyone else does.

There's the "right way" and the "retail way"

It's our job to design the standards that best fit our needs as retailers. I personally hold great belief in the FACTS standards but cannot afford to implement them all and still make money so I find the best compromise to satisfy both. However, I remain fully educated, prepared and equipped to use them whenever the artwork, client or ethics require.
"You are your own boss, you get to use whatever you want, unless your standardized, then you can't, you gotta do what everyone else does. "

I hope that Wall Buddies don't become the standard. Using Wall buddies is one thing that most all of my customers rave about. They all love them, and no one else in town seems to be offering them. If everyone uses them, then they are nothing special.

Does that make sense or do you think I'm crazy?
I believe that most framers use some kind of standards, but most of us are pretty selective as to what we adopt.

I applaud what the F.A.C.T.S. committees have tried to accomplish, but …

Standard 12:02 states that frames hung with wire should have <u>two wall hooks</u>. So a 5 x 7 frame which weighs less than a pound, strung with #3 wire needs 2 thirty pound hangers?

The F.A.C.T.S. standard as written allows for no exceptions. Do I always adopt that particular standard? Nope!

Have I dry mounted a $20 poster and fitted it into a wood frame without a mat or spacer even though the standards say the “art” should be an inch and from the frame? Sure!

For me to adopt these standard wholeheartedly they either have to make sense in the real world or provide exceptions for an infinite number of cases. I think that’s gonna be pretty tough – especially if it’s done by committee however well meaning and dedicated.
Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
Nobody (not even Nona!) has ever suggested that all of the FACTS standards should be applied to everything we frame.
OK Ron, good point. Now is there a standard that tells us when to use the standards and when it is OK not to?
You don't need a law degree to read and understand this statement:

2.01 To accommodate the wishes of the client, availability of materials and/or required techniques, articles of this standard guide may be altered, and these exceptions shall be noted.
Jim, I'm frankly surprised that you would bring up these questions. Did you really believe that you'd get anything other than the usual "standardized" responses from the regular cast of characters here on TG?

If so, I admire your optimism.
I believe the FACTS standards are a good thing. I did learn a few things I didn't know when I read them and have become more aware of the importance of certain applications of the standards when I work. I now make sure I include two hooks and directions for hanging with each frame where applicable. I also do not use any paper mats on anything unless matching a frame job or at a customer's request...and I alert them to the hazards and note under the dust cover that the customer was informed about such use. UV glass on everything unless the customer request not to use it and wants to go as inexpensive as possible.

Most customers will opt for higher standards and are willing to pay more for them when informed and educated as to the reasons for using proper materials and methods.

Dave Makielski
This subject never fails to reopen that ol' can o' worms again!!

I regard the FACTS standards as just that, optimal standards to use as a guideline&nbsp for our framing requirements. They are NOT carved in stone hard and fast RULES in my book!

All of us have done something in our framing careers that was not correct. It just depends on how long you have been around as to how many&nbsp things you have done wrong!

John mentioned that in the "old days" he used corrugated and masking tape and paper mats. Now he doesn't. How did he arrive at some conclusion to switch to a better material?? Did he have an epiphany late one evening?? I suspect that, admit it or not, he read about or saw some kind of information on the benefits and drawbacks of using one over the other and came to his own conclusions as to what was the right thing to do. That should be in all of our heads as we trek along learning new things about our trade. And that is one of the uses that I see for the FACTS standards.

I never looked at FACTS or any other standards as "rules" to be bound by for framing. So what is FACTS going to do to someone who doesn't follow their standards? They surely won't bring a framer up on charges for not following the "rules". No. But most professional framers take the information put before them, weigh the merits of doing something according to the findings of testing and research and new technology, and apply them to their own situation. That, to me, is following the guidelines of standards.

I don't follow FACTS standards to the letter as I am sure most of us don't. But, they are there for us to refer to when in doubt about a procedure or a material to use and then we make our own decision as to how to apply these standards to our own framing.

I am thankful for those who have spent the time to set up some kind of guidelines for the rest of us to follow. I don't believe that the intention ever was for those guidelines to become hard and fast rules to follow regardless of the outcome.

As someone said, common sense comes into play in the end if we are to make a living at framing. After all, those people who we depend on for our livlihood don't know beans about FACTS, the PPFA, or anything that has to do with rules or standards when applied to framing their artwork or memorabilia. They have money to spend to hang something on their walls and <u>somebody</u> is going to end up with that money in their pocket, be it you or the framer down the street. How you apply the knowledge that you have along with the guidelines for proper usage of the materials at hand is up to you as an independant businessperson.

[Ron Eggers/QUOTE]

"Jim, I'm frankly surprised that you would bring up these questions. Did you really believe that you'd get anything other than the usual "standardized" responses from the regular cast of characters here on TG?

If so, I admire your optimism." [/QB][/QUOTE]

Ron, do you care to elaborate on the above quote?

Are you of the opinion that no serious question should be posed on The Grumble?

Explain about admiring Jim's optimism, his question was simple, are you for or against framing standards? What does optimism have to do with that question? Would it be optimism on Jim's part if he where hoping everyone would be AGAINST standards, or would optimism be if he where hoping everyone would be FOR standards?

Seems to me, one would expect a variety of opinions when one asks a question on an open forum, is that not so?

Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
Jim, I'm frankly surprised that you would bring up these questions...[/QUOTE]

We Grumblers, as responsible farmers, need to keep planting seeds of knowledge. It's a good way to get a new crop of intelligent opinions. Even if sometimes we just get a load of crop.

The talks & meetings in Atlanta stirred new questions about standards, and I'm curious to know how framers think about these things.

It's interesting that most of the responders in this thread, so far, have assumed that it's about FACTS, and that it's about only preservation framing. What about the FATG standards? What about PPFA's standards? Remember the old "Guild Guidelines"?

Who says standards should be absolute? And do standards have to be about "maximum preservation"? I don't think so.

Think about what parts & procedures you put into your "standard" framing -- that is, the framing you do most often. There are surely good reasons for your choices -- right? The rest of us might benefit from your reasoning. Or you might benefit from ours. Or both.

For example, if there are good reasons you use D-rings instead of screweyes, then maybe D-rings would become THE standard hanging hardware in our industry. That would have to happen by choice, of course, not by decree. The key would be to give informed framers access to the reasoning that shows D-rings to be the better choice for most of their work. Or maybe THE standard hardware would turn out to be something else that most of us simply haven't heard about yet.

Further to the example, nobody would use THE standard D-rings for all of their framing, but when they use something else, they'd be tempted to reason why. Maybe the best attribute of a standard is that it would bring reasoning to our selection of methods and materials.

If we had a consensus standard, and we were tempted (or asked, or required) to use methods and materials that deviate from THE standard, we would have a basis for reasoning whether it should be like that, or not. In that way, THE standard would be a benchmark; a platform for reasoning how certain methods and materials compare to others.

Think of it this way. If we were to describe THE standard car, most of us would probably agree on some features:
A. 4 doors
B. Tinted windows
C. Heater & air conditioning
D. 6-cylinder internal combustion engine
E. 4 wheels
F. Radio

Some cars would exceed THE standard. Some cars would fall short of THE standard. But in every case, we would have a good basis for comparing one car to another.

That's what I think standards should do for framing. And I think every framer could benefit from having standards of comparison.

What do you think?
JRB said:
"...We are also not to keen on the idea of someone else telling us how to run our business's. Who exactly would set these standards? Why would they know more about framing than us? who exactly are "they"?

I just think most of us are just to darn independent and self reliant to want any group or organization telling us how to do it...."

John, you seem to have the wrong idea about standards. Nobody would be telling you how to do it.

"They" are us. We framing practitioners should determine our own standards. Nobody knows more about framing than us, collectively. On the other hand, no individual should assume he has nothing new to learn.

That's just my opinion, and I'd be pleased to clarify it further if you like. It's supposed to make sense.

Likewise, I'd like you to clarify your opinion. Do you think "independent" means "alone"?
JRB, I felt, and still feel, that Jim was optimistic if he expected any NEW opinions about standards from any of the regulars here, including me.

We've all made it clear many, many times how we feel about industry standards, and I don't believe any of us will be changing our minds any time soon.

I was not commenting on the validity of the question or of your opinion or mine.

Is that clear enough?
Please, ladies & gentlemen. Clear your heads of those old demons "preservation" and "mandatory", as they relate to standards.

Give material standards and method guidelines a fresh look.

Here's one good reason for us to talk seriously about our framing practices: Our industry is changing rapidly and drastically. We need to find common ground and stand together, because if we don't, more of us will fall.
Subscribing to certain standards would show professionalism and caring for art, but not all shops are trying to attain that goal. Some are strictly price oriented.
Jim's post at 9:09 pm is without a doubt, the best argument I have ever read or heard for establishing standards. Just plain makes sense. The key word is "Benchmark" I like it. Good job and great thinking.

Ron, I knew what you meant, just yanking your chain a little, don't worry, I still like you.

Maybe the problem here is the word "standards", which can imply practices that are mandatory and universal.

There may be other words that are less charged.

In paper conservation (which is the world I'm familiar with) the AIC Book and Paper Group set out in the 1980's to compile a body of knowledge, to which all members could contribute through surveys, interviews, individual research etc.

The result is the Paper Conservation Catalogue. "Published in fascicles, the PCC presents a systematic overview, in outline form, of the body of knowledge with which a paper conservator is expected to to be familiar. Other publications are planned." - BPG page on AIC website

What is nice about the catalogue is that it generally lists pros and cons of practices and procedures. What may be useful and good in one situation may not be in another.

The difficulty is that it really needs to be constantly updated. The textile and paintings groups do similar publications, and for all I know, other specialty groups as well. A LOT of volunteer work, done by a small group of people (not me, I'm sorry to say).

And there's no universal standards that are accepted in conservation treatments. There are a lot of raised eyebrows between conservators from different countries, or even from different training programs or institutional vs private etc. etc. etc. Even the so-called golden environmental standards of 50% RH and 75 lux light levels get questioned and re-evaluated.

That's how it is in our world anyway. Keeps things interesting.

I think our friend, Rebecca, may be on to something.

The word "standards" seems to imply - to many, at least - that we should all do things the same way, all the time and in all situations. We become The Stepford Framers and even our designs start to look the same.

It gets even more convoluted when we compare the implications of "standard" (i.e. "normal" or "ordinary") vs. "standards."

I have no idea where the notion of enforcement came from in a discussion of standards, but it seems to be a major stumbling block for many good framers.

Even the so-called golden environmental standards of 50% RH and 75 lux light levels get questioned and re-evaluated.
I believe the very nature of standards requires that they be constantly questioned and evaluated by the practitioners who use them.

Even some who use the FACTS standards (the ones I am most familiar with) have asked, "Why does FACTS need our financial support? We already have the standards and they are there for anyone to use."

My answer is, "The existing standards need to be questioned, evaluated and updated and new standards need to be developed for other materials, like adhesives and fome boards."

Framers who follow ten-year-old standards will be doing themselves and their customers a disservice. I hope that doesn't mean we should dismiss the whole concept of standards.

But maybe we need a better word.
this word is an issue with some folks. remember a couple months back i asked how people felt about the nmae "Standard Gallery and Framing"? Many people thought of standard as basic. Others thought of it as the best. I think Jim is saying basic in this instance and others are going the other route (not speaking for Jim ;) . I know it is simply a word, but people get tied up in it.

Ok I agree with Framerguy about Jim's post being pretty convincing. So where is the link we can check it out with an open mind Mr. Miller?

I hope in this thread we can get past what dns aptly describes as being "tied up in it".

Let's set our biases aside and talk in terms of doing the most suitable, most profitable framing we can do. There are several hints here, that indicate we're not very far apart in our purposes or our practices. What's our common ground?
Our common ground are the supplies we use. We all use pretty much the same materials from mostly the same distributors.

Sadly, even the bulk of our designs, DO look the same. For example, my guess would be the "benchmark" mat would be 2.75 inches wide with a 1/4 inch fillet added on, for a total of 3". Most of us bottom weight by 1/4". We either go wider or narrower from there, but 3" is the "standard".

How many shops use mostly Larson Juhl? I would stick my neck out and say that Larson Juhl is the "benchmark" supplier.

No matter how you look at it, most frame shops have fallen in step with what is considered "standard practices" right down to prices and design. It's much like any business, if it works, that's what folks will do.

Perhaps this is the resistance to standardization, no one really wants to get even more standard than they already are.

Most of us are looking for something unique in materials or design to offer our customers, something that will set us apart from our competition, looking for ways to "standardize" our businesses seems redundant.

I agree with Ron and with Jim. Perhaps the most useful statement in Rebecca's post is
What is nice about the catalogue is that it generally lists pros and cons of practices and procedures. What may be useful and good in one situation may not be in another.
The more information we all have about what is optimal, the better we can decide what is suitable for each job we are called upon to design. Because of organizations like FACTS, the rising tide of knowledge lifts all boats. (Well, most of them, anyway.) That is why we are no longer using the corrugated cardboard and masking tape.

I learned something new here today- a new word:
"Published in fascicles, the PCC presents...
The dictionary defines fascicles as installments. I thought they were ruthless totalitarian dessert treats, and wondered what they had to do with preservation.
I think many framers don't like the idea of standards because they only envision one level of standard - a level not always necessary for the item being framed and not always suitable for making a profit. I like the idea that the "Fine Art Trade Guild" in the UK uses to catagorize a framing project into 1 of 5 levels and then have standards in each of these levels. Level 1 basically has no standards and they refer to this level as being for "temporary display". Level 5 is what they refer to as "Museum Level". Our shop has gone to a 5 level standard - our own version.

If you are interested in the Fine Art Frame Guilds standards goto: http://www.fineart.co.uk/FramingStandards.asp
Compliance with a standard or benchmark can be a tricky issue for any business to begin to undertake.

How do you control the actions and behaviours of all individual employees and then how can you teach them all to work within the framework laid out?

On any single day we must handle such a variety of jobs types and each of those has variable factors, it's fine to have standards to work with but perhaps many fear that they will come across jobs that do not neatly fit into a category. What good is it having a policy to adapt standards when it simply takes too long to train and educate for all the possible variables?

Personal disagreements with a single part of a standard may be to blame, if a framer wants to "personalise" a standard they may fear that in "re-writing" the part they disagree with is far more difficult than expected, therefore giving up as theres jobs to be done...?

On a side note I think the first thing that needs to be dealt with is the marketing aspect, obviously "standards" is misunderstood no matter which organisation it hales from.
" I like the idea that the "Fine Art Trade Guild" in the UK uses to categorize a framing project into 1 of 5 levels and then have standards in each of these levels."

Now we are talking. That is more like it, having different levels just makes sense. It is better than an all or nothing type 'standard'. IMHO
As far as I know, no framing organization has suggested an "all or nothing type 'standard'".

PPFA's old Guild Guidelines for art on paper listed ratings as good, better, best, and gave some instructional guides for mounting & such.

The FACTS #FRM2000 Preservation Framing Guideline invites deviations from the benchmark specifications that were originally called "maximum" preservation.

Probably the closest to "all or nothing" standards are the five FATG categories, which are quite specific about what is acceptable for each category.

But this thread isn't necessarily a referendum on any particular standards. If we were starting from scratch, how do you think the best standards could be developed?
Did our suppliers drive the move to higher “standards” of their own volition or did we, having been persuaded by the conservators that, not only were the materials that we were being supplied with and were using in our workshops were not always of the best known quality,and that they may well being doing some positive harm to them?

I personally don’t care which came first, the chicken or the egg. Both taste nice to me.

I am very happy indeed that we have today an industry that has the materials, which if we choose to use them, allows us to place our customers’ treasures in surroundings of the highest quality, with advice on the better ways of doing this or that or the other to fix these items within their frames.

More power to the conservators, restorers, archivists etc of this world. They always aim high, as do the best framers. I am so pleased today that we are being given positive advice and the best materials to use. In the not too distant past all I seemed to hear was “don’t do this and don’t do that and certainly don’t do the other.
We now have the chance to set our own standards.

For me the standard treatment for our customers’ treasures should always be the best possible within the usual financial constraints.

We are, after all, commercial picture framers.
I think we are getting into a symantics problem here. As I understood the usage of "Standards" be it FACTS,PPFA or any other,was they were meant to be "GUIDELINES" as Framerguy (Tom) has already said. Also as Ron and Nona have suggested NO ONE has ever said that any of thses "GUIDELINES" had to be applied to ALL Framing situations. However all of thses "Standards" have tried to cover every concievable situation that may occur. hence if we try to say we MUST adhere to every Chapter and verse we will find ourselves in a conflicting quagmire of seeming contradictions.

The Only problem occurs when there is a term that is used by multiple Referances and they have different definitions. Then we are forced to refer to the source of the "Standard/Guideline" we are applying and accept their symatics.(Until,hopefully there is ONE unified set of terms-which is what I thought these "STANDARDS" were attempting to do,not teach us the ultimate and ONLY acceptable way to frame )

I don't belive any of these Standards are suggesting they are a Unified LAW which when Violated will render the Framing inappropriate.

As such we will continue to have several different ways to achieve a single Framing task and it is up to the individual to detrmine which will meet their clients needs or in the case of a Contest or examination,which one meets the needed definaition of the appropiate group.

But then this has always been true ,and as Ron and Nona have said ,no one has ever suggested anything else .
It is only when we try to say "I do things in the most correct manor ,and I can prove it" that we have a problem with this.(IMHO)
I’ve been on the road and when at home I’ve been preparing for my next trip. These classes don’t just come out of the air, at least not my classes, they take preparation and a lot of thinking. Anyway that’s why I haven’t posted on this question. Now that I’m here, this won’t be short but it will be honest.

The standards are an attempt to give directions for use of materials. In the past it was hard to know which materials were acceptable to go next to valuable art work. Not all artwork is valuable and therefore sometimes it’s not important, BUT when it is important, how do you know which materials to use? Do the manufactures tell you? No, many times they do not. Also, sometimes we are led to believe that one material is vastly superior to another, when it really is not and sometimes a benefit is discounted by competitors so a framer has doubts as to it’s effectiveness.

Having the PMMB-2000 instead of a 5 levels approach puts the decision about material use in the hands of the framer, you are not relying on someone else. Just give me the FACTS!!! If a particular material meets PMMB-2000 for preservation framing I can use it on anything I want and be safe, there is no interpretation involved. It’s yes or it’s no.

Guidelines are used by framers so they can frame to the standards, methods or guidelines of the day, they are only a guideline and certainly not applicable for everything BUT if I am in doubt about a technique I can read the guideline and see if that technique can meet it. If so, I know I am framing the way it has been shown to protect art in accordance to the current body of knowledge.

The current framing Guidelines and material Standards will be revised every 5 years, or more often as new knowledge or discoveries dictates.

If 1,000 framers support FACTS with a nominal $30 per year that $30,000 will be matched by manufactures because they will realize that framers care about standards instead of marketing hype, misinformation, and yes, sometimes downright lies. Instead of trying to get 5 levels of framing to fit your job or visa-versa, having knowledge of how things have been done to protect art and materials appropriate for preservation framing, the custom framer is in charge and able to meet the needs of her/his customers. I can’t imagine why any competent, informed framer would want to be spoon-fed and in my opinion the 5 levels is the equivalent to that.

I don’t mean to insult or hurt anyone, honest I don’t, but for the life of me, why is this still being debated? Why don’t I have 1,000 framers yelling for FACTS and working to make sure it is here for everyone? When I see the light go on and the framer finally understands, they write that check so fast it makes my head spin. How do I reach 1,000 of them? Seems so simple to me and to many others, why not all of you?
Originally posted by BUDDY:
...I don't belive any of these Standards are suggesting they are a Unified LAW which when Violated will render the Framing inappropriate.

As such we will continue to have several different ways to achieve a single Framing task and it is up to the individual to detrmine which will meet their clients needs...BUDDY
You're absolutely right, Buddy. But some framers have wrongly concluded that standards represent rules-without-exception. How did that happen, anyway?

Standards could never force a framer to "do the right thing". Rather, standards serve to inform those who are uncertain and want guidance about what's appropriate for a given project.

I think it's fair for standards to serve us in two fundamental ways:
1. Help us inform ourselves
2. Help us inform our customers

Unlike some very knowledgeable framers, I believe we should have guidelines about techniques, as well as standards about materials. That is, some kind of reference to help us understand the differences, attributes, and deficiencies of all kinds of mounts, hanging systems, glazings, fitting features, etc. For example, if we're debating whether to use hinges or edge mounts, it might be helpful to know exactly what would be the advantages & disadvantages of both methods, compared to the characteristics of the photograph at hand.

Or if we're debating whether to drymount or wetmount a poster, we ought to have a guideline that tells us what's best and worst about both methods. That doesn't make the decision for us -- it just helps us make the decision better.

Yes? No? Maybe?
I think that is why we attend classes and seminars at trade shows and read publications and text.
And then we can test our understanding of what we have read and been told in things like ,the CPF,MCPF,and and GSF.And then when we need to see if anything has changed we can attend the ReCPF.
None of these will guarantee that we do the right thing either but we can certainly find out if we are use the Proper Materials as per FACTS in the correct mannor.
Or we could just trust what the Vendor of these products tells us what we should do and why. LOL
I was very tired when I posted last and on my way out of town, could you tell? I was a bit grumpy.

I do however need to know how to get 1,000 framers. Any ideas on how to do it? Or we can get 500 for $60? How do we convince framers that they need to support FACTS so it will be viable. This is not one of those, let the other guy do it, we all need to step up.

Was I wrong, are there not 1,000 framers who care enough about their industry to ante up $30 a year to support standards and guidelines? The question isn't whether we need them, that has been discussed and discussed and the majority of f ramers know we need them, now how do we get the $30 from them?

I expect that you have a little money in the kitty!!!!…..why not use some of it to advertise in the various trade journals including the PPFA members only, FATG “ART Business Today” and the PROFILE journal in Australia…..you could also use the Décor email advertising thing that some of the suppliers/manufacturers are using…

I don’t know how much you have collected so far….but I would be more than happy to see my contribution going to help gather further “Patrons” for FACTS and if you need a little more of a contribution I'm happy to stump up….
We don't have much money in the kitty, we are working on it though and the marketing committee headed by Ann Hast with Allyson Everett of Larson Juhl is working on some ideas to spread the FACTS name and benefits.

It's not really even the money, it's more getting enough framers to say it's important to them. Believe me, if 1,000 framers were solidly behind FACTS with just $30, the whole industry would pay attention. What’s so sad is that the industry as a whole thinks framers don't care, don't want to know real facts, and are happy to just be spoon fed. This next year will tell the tale. If we can't get the framers to support FACTS, all of the work that has gone into it so far will be for naught and the silence will have done the voting for them.

I don't want to be negative, but I'm sure very few if anyone at this point is even reading this. Probably tired of it all by now, but everything is in place, great people are involved, the structure is cooking, we have a chance here to change the picture framing industry, bringing it into the 21st century in terms of professionalism.

Support FACTS. Tell people about it, if you have questions ask, but encourage it and send in your $30 or more if you can.

Unfortunately I think "most" don't care. Here in the Worcester area I can think of about about a dozen framers I have pretty regular contact with.

I have joined PPFA and sent you some money.
2 others are reasonably active in PPFA. (show up some of the time.)
2 more joined PPFA but never come.
The rest have no interest (I have asked many times!) in PPFA or FACTS, or anything that costs them moeny and isn't a DIRECT cost of doing business.

That's about 60% that don't even want to talk about a standard or a trade organization. (Maybe I'm not the best spokesperson!

I think a very interesting comment was from a gentleman who comes in here asking for help fairly often and calls about every other week. He said he wouldn't have time to read anything anyone published anyway! I don't know what to tell you?
Originally posted by Cliff Wilson:
Unfortunately I think "most" don't care...
That's about 60% that don't even want to talk about a standard or a trade organization...
That's a pretty high percentage in your area, Cliff. In my area, and I guess in most of the country, fewer than 10% of framing practitioners give a hoot about standards -- or anything beyond the business practices they grew up with.

But as our market continues to evolve and increasing numbers of those "traditional" framers go away, I think the the newcomers will be more interested in standards. That would fit with their greater interest in professional business administration, better technology, better materials and methods.

Our industry is changing rapidly, and these are among the changes.
YES!! A positive word. Thank you! I just can't believe that there could possibly be that many short sighted framers out there. Remember in Chicago, I swore 1,000 framers would care. After all there are over 3,000 CPF's, aren't there?

I just taught the re-cert class in New Hampshire and the interest in the group was very high, not just to get re-certified but because they wanted to know new information about their profession. There were lots of questions and comments and verble appreciation. Look at how many people take classes at the different venues.

I'm just going to have to be more positive. There are 1,000 framers who care. We'll see at the end of this year if they stand up or not. Maybe it's just a case of giving them a chance.
Nona and Jim

I'm not trying to step on your toes, however, I think you may be confusing framers wanting 'standards' with framers 'gaining knowledge'. I have found that most framers I talk to have a lot of knowledge about conservation/ preservation. In fact I really love the idea of having all the information in one place. But when you call it a 'standard', it sounds/feels to me like a 'rule', and I know from experience that everything doesn't fit into neat box.

My gut feeling is that in 5 or 10 years, however the Big Box Framers do it, that is what the standard will be. It will be up to the independents to decide if they want to go over or under the status quo.

Don't take this wrong, I'm still a swing voter on the issue. I'm for and against it.
Originally posted by nona powers:
...I'm just going to have to be more positive. There are 1,000 framers who care. We'll see at the end of this year if they stand up or not. Maybe it's just a case of giving them a chance.
Yes, Nona, I agree that there are at least 1,000 framers who would stand up for standards. As Jay would say, "Let's run the numbers" -- just guessing, of course:

Of the roughly 13,000 framers in the USA, 25% to 30% (3,250 to 3,900) try to go to classes and trade shows, and will join PPFA when they are inspired to do so. The rest are uninterested in classes, camaraderie, certifications, or anything outside of their own back room.

So, about 3,250 to 3,900 framers probably already know and understand FACTS -- not to be confused with the additional 2,000 or so Grumblers, PPFA members, and others who have heard of FACTS, but either reject the idea on principle, or have misunderstandings about what standards are.

Of those 3,250 to 3,900 "real potential" FACTS supporters, 20% think they are too poor to donate anything to anyone. And 30% are doing OK, but are unsure how the standards could benefit them, and are waiting for someone to seek them out and explain it. That eliminates 1,625 to 1,950 more.

Now we have roughly 1,625 to 1,950 framers who are prime candidates to support FACTS. However, 30% of them (487.5 to 585 framers) think that someone else will do it, so they reeeeally don't have to. Now we're down to 1,040 to 1,462.5 framers who are ready and willing, if only we can get to them.

Take heart, Nona. Your goal of 1,000 seems quite do-able.
"But when you call it a 'standard', it sounds/feels to me like a 'rule',"

The standards are for the materials and yes, they are rules. A mat board must be made of certain things and meet certain criteria to go next to valuable art. It provides a means for the framer to know one material from another so they can use the appropriate one for the job at hand.

"framers 'gaining knowledge"

The Guidelines explain how to frame to do the least amount of damage to art. That's it, you don't have to follow them, but they give information, they provide a means for framers to "gain knowledge."

Thanks Jim for the math, I'm glad to know I was right. We just need to get to them and to provide the information for the ones who do care. We have our work cut out for us, but onward and upward. After all, if Kit can get up early for a meeting, it does show just how much some do care!!