Is Artcare the End?


WOW Framer
Jul 24, 2001
Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
I have been framing since 1969.

When I first began to work at Kramer the Framer's frameshop, I gradually began framing all of my then-meager art collection. I bought the "oops" frames and fished matboard out of the garbage - paper mats, of course, and then either drymounted everything onto chipboard or just taped paper artwork on all four sides with masking tape and finished everything off with nice clean brown corrugated board and a brown kraft dustcover. State of the art, right?

Next came whisperings of the "a" word - "acid-free", and I so I bought rag bristol board, 2-ply, and backed everything with that, under the paper mats and on top of the brown corrugated.

As my art collection grew so did the framing world's knowledge of preservation and conservation.

Next came WHITE acid-free corrugated board and linen hinges and BUFFERED Crescent mats! Wow! Of course, I had to re-do my entire collection, but it was still manageable at that point.

Then came rag matboard and I redid everything again.

Then came acid-free foam board and I replaced all the brown corrugated with that.

Then came Artcare! Slowly (and I do mean slowly because my art collection has grown to alarming proportions), I am replacing everything with either 100% rag matting or Artcare matting and Artcare foam and solid board backings with Lineco dustcovers. And Mylar corners or Japanese paper hinges, of course.

So - am I done? What will they come out with next? Artcare eats up pollution and stuff - when will they come out with boards that kill insects, fungi and encapsulate excess moisture?

I figure I will only be framing for about another 15 years or so (until I am 75) (because what would my customers do without me - and what would I do without them?) but seriously, how many more times will I have to redo all of my durned art collection???


Mind you, I have never minded re-doing a frame when a better one comes along - that is the fun part of re-framing my collection. But boy oh boy am I sick of re-doing everything BUT the frame!!!

Anyone else burdened with this particular problem?
I don't worry myself about keeping up with the latest paper technology. I'm replacing the avocado and bonanza gold mats anyway, so why not upgrade to a better board while I'm at it?

After reading your thread I thought, "I feel his pain"....understanding completely.

And then I realized, we just chose to buy a new van solely because it has so many more safety features than our three year old van. My point is.....if one wants the latest technology, one has to break down and pay for it. It's just that simple 'cause science will keep advancing - whether we want it to or not!
Sherry Lee, first of all, ahem, I am not a "he" I am a "she" and my rant was not about the cost of redoing all of that framing (most opf my collection is 11x14 and under) but about the hassle and the labor - seemly endless over the last almost 40 years - ;) .

Ron - I got rid of the avocado and the bonanza gold years ago when I replaced everything with mauve! LOL!
Well, thank you Baer - at least there's one frame I won't ever have to redo!!! You did use acid-free leather, I presume??? ;)
Sorry about that me, it's hard to keep all TG'ers & HH'ers straight - especially when a) their real name is not used and 2) I've never met them in person. Plus, my necessary leave of absence didn't help matters either.

Thanks Baer for the pictures - I swear you have more pictorals than any one person I know!

Framar, when you discussed REDOING your work.....that is labor to me, and labor is $. But I understand if most of it is your collection....labor on my own personal framing doesn't cost $ either (at least, that's what I tell myself) ;)
Sherry Lee - no problemo - the Grumble should really have a gender section under profiles - other boards do and that makes a lot of sense! I just tip toe around when I am not sure of gender.

I don't mind spending the matboard scraps to re-do my collection - I just get tired of doing them over and over! And sometimes I do change mat colors too - when something better comes along! I am quite fond of those rice-paper mats now - I sell a big mat to a customer and I have lots of left-overs!

I counted 75 pictures on the walls in my bedroom (which is 12 x 12). Ouch.
Gee Framar, if you are still in Buffalo, NY, you are sure a 'night owl'!! 'Tis no wonder you have 75 pictures on your bedroom walls - you musn't require much sleep thus you can just frame! frame! frame!
Mind sharing some of that energy???
The energy comes and goes I'm afraid - sometimes all I do is watch TV...

This latest spate of reframing has been touched off by the repainting of my hallway "art gallery" - I have one more section to paint and only about a dozen or so more pieces to take apart and do over - then I can start on another room - but not tonight! LOL!
I heard that they are now coming out with acid free drywall and acid free latex paint. As soon as your house is re-drywalled and painted, you may want to look at the new acid free 2X4s they have been working on. After those projects are completed you will need to replace your exterior plants that are withing 25 ft. of your house with the new, non-out gassing, plastic foliage, that will soon be available to the serious art collector.

Your final step will be an environmental control system and of course those velvet ropes on those metal poles that will keep viewers at a safe distance from your collection. You certainly don't want someone with garlic breath getting too close, do you?

The things we put ourselves through just to protect our stuff. Then when we die, it'll all end up in some resale shop or antique store.

JRB remembers, and so do I, when you could get rag matboard in any color you wanted - as long as it was white or cream.

Anyone care to speculate about what the next paper chemistry innovation might be with respect to matboard?
John - it is very sad to realize that nothing I own is worth the powder to blow it up and when I die it will indeed all end up in thrift store...but it will be fabuluously framed!!!


Ron, I forgot the time period when I put white/cream rag undermats on everything (under the avocado top papermats!).

Bob Hendrixson wasn't at all concerned with paper mats - his "conservation" solution was to simply cut new mats every couple of years! LOL! I guess I am still following his advice!
Am I the only one who sold a ton of Crescent Raisin? Avocado and Bonanza Gold, indeed.

Over the last few years I've heard a handful of different educators say that acrylic will become the standard glazing in all frame shops. Will you switch all your glass out for acrylic?
Crescent Raisin?...ooph! Mix it with the Avocado, some Bonanza Gold and maybe a little Celery Green and you have yourself one wonderful WALDORF SALAD! (well, you will need to add a bit of Mayonnaise White).
The ones I used over and over and over again were Bainbridge real cork mat. Anyone remember those? If the art was wildlife, it automatically got cork inner matting. And mauve and blue on everything else...
I can understand educators advocating using plastic instead of glass. Glass after all, is a liquid, isn't it? Don't want our stuff getting all wet now, do we?

I do remember those days Ron, and that swell mat cutting system we had, utility knife and straight edge. I love listening to Mary bitch about our fully automated Fletcher 6100. Things are tough all over nowadays.

Now we know who actually did all those "horrible" (cardboard backing,paper mats, masking tape) framing jobs we all love to point out

It was Framar (LOL)

Sherry-I, too, made the same mistake awhile back on the gender mix up with the same response. No harm meant, I'm sure
Mar- your question reminds me of a routine by the comedian Rita Rudner. She says it drives her crazy that her stereos and electronic devices constantly become "obsolete", and she refuses to buy anything new until they "guarantee" her it's the last new technology.
"You know all those people you see wandering down the street muttering to themselves?," she said. "Those are the people who bought 8-track tape players."
:cool: Rick
(That routine was from about 10 years ago. Nowadays, those people are the ones with the dorky phone things hanging off their ears.)
Bob Carter wrote:
"Sherry-I, too, made the same mistake awhile back on the gender mix up with the same response. No harm meant, I'm sure."

Thanks Bob for sharing!

No harm meant. The unfortunate part is, I'll probably slip up again down the road....that's 'cause I'm paying more attention at the topic or what I'm writing and I simply don't focus on all the minute details - be them ever so important! No doubt it happens to others as's called "life". Fortunately, most people (like Framar) are understanding folk - and have probably been in the same boat once or twice as well!

As it turned out, my oversight was a good thing -Framar and I 'talked' into the wee hours of N.Y.'s morning and know each other a little better for it! :D

(Sorry it caused a little digression from the thread.)
Framar, I just reframed several pieces of my "art". I have a few pencil drawings that are around 15 years old. They were framed with "standard" mats that are looking dated and was burning a tan stain on the art paper right next to the mat bevel.

The next invention is glazing that turns black when no one is detected in the room to prevent harmful light rays from fading the art. Unfortunately, you can never see it work because it knows you are there. Forget trying to film it with a video camera because it is aware of that too. You know, I just happen to stock some of this.

Originally posted by stshof:
The ones I used over and over and over again were Bainbridge real cork mat. Anyone remember those? If the art was wildlife, it automatically got cork inner matting.
Here it was linen in different shades of brown and gray-brown as a top mat on wildlife prints in the late 80s-early 90s. One popular local artist sold all his stuff that way. I was never so happy to see something discontiuned!
I don't worry myself about keeping up with the latest paper technology. I'm replacing the avocado and bonanza gold mats anyway, so why not upgrade to a better board while I'm at it?
Ron, I think I'm about done. I just had flash back on that statment. I laughed so hard it hurt.

How many remember Yes! paste mounting the "color" of construction paper to the mat be for you cut that "colored" mat?

How many were excited when Nat Mat came out with the 6 COLORED mats with those exotic names like: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Grey or Gray, Dark Green, Brown.

I think it was about 2 years before one of the mat companies started firing up the bong and naming colors... When the heck did Pusce become "Evening Blush"?
My gold in life is to be someon who names colors. I think it would be grest to sit back and make stuff up. I think being the Official Color Nmer person is a great title. Specially then someone would have to say the name to a customer...wish I could be there to say , "This is The color of a summer wheat beer mixed with lilac..."

Originally posted by Patrick Leeland:
My gold in life is to be someon who names colors.
LOL - I've often said what a great job that would be. Two of my favourites - "Chocolate Sunrise"
and "Never Avacado" - obvious how THAT one got its name!