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Need Immediate Help 🙂

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FramelessinMtl

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Montréal
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Just an art lover
Good morning, experts!

I need some advice as soon as possible.

My cousin is a ”weekend artist” — she calls herself a doodler. Recently she painted a watercolour of my new puppy, Reggie. I decided it was frame worthy, especially being painted by a relative, so yesterday I took painting into a local framing shop.

When working with the person at the framing store, we quickly realized that my cousin’s signature, at bottom of painting, was too low, so when matting was placed, painting was not square and lopsided. (Hope you understand). So the only alternative was to “move in” matting and conceal signature, therefore making the artwork perfectly square. For what it’s worth, painting is double matted with a nice, heavy black frame.

I need to know if I have options to somehow add name of artist (my cousin) to painting. Having my cousin resign painting is not an option. Would it be best to leave painting unsigned, or is having a small metal plaque for front of painting appropriate... or something else?

Need some ideas before store starts framing job. And yes, I will talk to frame shop as well, but before I do, I wanted a general consensus — I can’t visualize whether adding signature plate (?) after the fact will add or take away from the art itself?

Photo below is an idea of what I wanted using an app online. What I picked out yesterday at the store is more or less the same as what you see in photo attached, but store’s frame that I chose is completely flat, but still picks up the tan colour in my dog’s ear.

Looking forward to some speedy advice!

Many thanks — stay safe!
Chris and Reggie the dog!
 

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Joe B

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The artist can always resign/double sign their own work if they want to. Many times I have taken art back to a artist and explained that I want the signature in corner of a image so the signature can be seen without undoing the framing. My question is why are you so concerned about the signature? You know who the artist is, the artist knows she signed it, and unless the artist becomes very well known the signature doesn't mean a lot. If she were to become famous and you wanted to sell the art all you have to do is undo the mating and show the signature to the perspective buyer. You could also take a photo of the signature and put it in a see through envelope on the back. Just my opinion though, many think the signature is valuable when it is visible.
 
Last edited:

Ylva

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Welcome to the G!

As framers, we run into this many times. Artists signing too close to the edge and when over-mat it, the signature disappears.
I offer my customer several choices:

Have the artist sign it again (usually not an option)
Float mount the entire art, imperfections and all (so all the edges show).
Take a photo of the signature, put a copy of it on the back and I usually make a note on the dustcover: signature hidden by mat and then I sign that as well.

So you have to ask yourself what is important to you. The best presentation, which might mean you don't see the signature, of show the signature at all costs?

As for the signature plate, I find those usually entirely distracting and not worth it. It doesn't add anything to the potential value or the design.
 

FramelessinMtl

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Montréal
Business
Just an art lover
Welcome to the G!

As framers, we run into this many times. Artists signing too close to the edge and when over-mat it, the signature disappears.
I offer my customer several choices:

Have the artist sign it again (usually not an option)
Float mount the entire art, imperfections and all (so all the edges show).
Take a photo of the signature, put a copy of it on the back and I usually make a note on the dustcover: signature hidden by mat and then I sign that as well.

So you have to ask yourself what is important to you. The best presentation, which might mean you don't see the signature, of show the signature at all costs?

As for the signature plate, I find those usually entirely distracting and not worth it. It doesn't add anything to the potential value or the design.

The artist can always resign/double sign their own work if they want to. Many times I have taken art back to a artist and explained that I want the signature in corner of a image so the signature can be seen without undoing the framing. My question is why are you so concerned about the signature? You know who the artist is, the artist knows she signed it, and unless the artist becomes very well known the signature doesn't mean a lot. If she were to become famous and you wanted to sell the art all you have to do is undo the mating and show the signature to the perspective buyer. You could also take a photo of the signature and put it in a see through envelope on the back. Just my opinion though, many think the signature is valuable when it is visible.

Thank you for answering my query!
I’m not an artist nor a framer, so with that in mind, I was thinking that a visible signature is how one pays respect to an artist, especially one that is a family member. My piece will be under glass, so I suppose the next time I meet up with my cousin, I can always have her sign the back of framed painting.

Thanks for your input!
 

FramelessinMtl

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Montréal
Business
Just an art lover
Welcome to the G!

As framers, we run into this many times. Artists signing too close to the edge and when over-mat it, the signature disappears.
I offer my customer several choices:

Have the artist sign it again (usually not an option)
Float mount the entire art, imperfections and all (so all the edges show).
Take a photo of the signature, put a copy of it on the back and I usually make a note on the dustcover: signature hidden by mat and then I sign that as well.

So you have to ask yourself what is important to you. The best presentation, which might mean you don't see the signature, of show the signature at all costs?

As for the signature plate, I find those usually entirely distracting and not worth it. It doesn't add anything to the potential value or the design.
Welcome to the G!

As framers, we run into this many times. Artists signing too close to the edge and when over-mat it, the signature disappears.
I offer my customer several choices:

Have the artist sign it again (usually not an option)
Float mount the entire art, imperfections and all (so all the edges show).
Take a photo of the signature, put a copy of it on the back and I usually make a note on the dustcover: signature hidden by mat and then I sign that as well.

So you have to ask yourself what is important to you. The best presentation, which might mean you don't see the signature, of show the signature at all costs?

As for the signature plate, I find those usually entirely distracting and not worth it. It doesn't add anything to the potential value or the design.
Thanks for your final comment; that signature plates are distracting. This was my biggest concern, but I was unsure. I will follow your advice and proceed and have artist sign dustcover on back once complete. Painting was a birthday gift, so perhaps my cousin can add an additional word or two when signing back.

Thanks for helping me out — much appreciate — stay safe!
 
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CHolt

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Nov 20, 2012
Messages
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I'm not currently familiar with computerized mat cutters (CMC), so another Grumbler could probably elaborate on my suggestion. As far as I know the CMC has an embossing attachment, so possibly your framer could import an image of the signature and emboss it onto he matboard. Grumblers, is that possible? Has anyone rubbed graphite or pigment onto the matboard, embossed over the rubbing and then used an eraser to remove the pigment surrounding the embossing? Does that make sense?
 

Ylva

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Not every CMC has an embossing took, although I believe you can buy one separately. You also have the abilities to do pen attachment.
I do have a CMC, older Valiani, and don't have the attachments.

Having a signature on the mat: not great. Even a copy of it. The mat would become too important and one might hesitate to ever replace the mat.
 

Shayla

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Hi, Frameless. Welcome to the Grumble! :)

Signing the back is fairly common, so a good idea. One thing you might want to do, though, is ask your framer to make just 1/16" allowance total of space between mat/glass and frame. Most frame shops have a total of 1/8" wiggle room between mat and frame (i.e. 1/16" on each side, and also up and down). When using spacers, though, we make it with only 1/16", so it's easier to use them. If there's any chance that your cousin might prefer to sign the front of the outer mat, then it would need spacers to hold the glass and mat apart in the frame. (The spacers would be hidden behind the frame rabbet, so you wouldn't notice them). Another possibility is that your cousin could want to sign the inner mat, which wouldn't need spacers. And yet another is that of signing the piece itself, so that it has two signatures, with only the new one showing. For any of the options that require taking it apart, you could consider having the framer use turnbuttons rather than a dustcover. That way, you'd just unscrew and flip them to the side, for easy access.

Hopefully, Cousin will be fine with just signing the back. But if the framer uses a narrow frame allowance, and perhaps turnbuttons, it allows for other options.
 
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wpfay

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What Pat said. It is as much an aesthetic choice as anything else. We frame pieces that obscure the signature on a regular basis for different reasons, but the goal is to make the art look as good as it can.

Is Reggie a young Wire Fox Terrier?
 

framah

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As it is a personal piece with "family" involved in the making.. I would go with a nice small plaque with the dogs name and by Artist: Jane Doe.
I seriously doubt the OP will ever "Sell it" or that it would "increase in value" over time.

It's a nicely done piece of the dog by a family member and a plaque would celebrate both and make you happy to see it.

Ignore all of those crazy people above and just go for the plaque!!
:nuts: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

Prospero

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I've had this many, many times. Thing is, artist don't typically think things though as far as framing their work.
Professional artists do, but not the 'happy dabblers'. Hopefully they learn as they progress (if they do).
Covering the sig with the mat in no way detracts from the art. It's still there. It can be viewed if need be.

I get this a lot with prints where there is a huge flamboyant sig on the lower border it which throws the design out of wack.
I hate to see a 3" border at the bottom with a skinny border at the top/sides. Artists (and publishers) sometimes
pay little attention to the way a signed print is laid out. I often cover up bits that I think spoil the design. But the
point is, they are still there. Covering them does not mean they are removed. If it means the image is displayed
in a pleasing manner then who wants to read a signature? That after all is what pictures are for. 😎
 

Jim Miller

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In some cases, it might be appropriate to cut a separate mat opening to show the signature - perhaps a small rectangle or oval window cut closely around it. Of course, that wouldn't work if it's too big, or crooked, or otherwise distracting.

Signing/inscribing the dustcover probably is not a good idea, because dustcover paper generally is not good quality paper, and it is usually torn off and discarded when the frame needs to be opened in future. Saving the section of dustcover with the signature/inscription would be easy enough, if the dustcover paper is good quality - which it usually is not. IMHO it would be better to have a separate sheet signed/inscribed and placed in an envelope on the dustcover. Placing a photograph of the signature in an envelope on the dustcover is a good idea, too, as another way to save it.
 

FramelessinMtl

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Hi, Frameless. Welcome to the Grumble! :)

Signing the back is fairly common, so a good idea. One thing you might want to do, though, is ask your framer to make just 1/16" allowance total of space between mat/glass and frame. Most frame shops have a total of 1/8" wiggle room between mat and frame (i.e. 1/16" on each side, and also up and down). When using spacers, though, we make it with only 1/16", so it's easier to use them. If there's any chance that your cousin might prefer to sign the front of the outer mat, then it would need spacers to hold the glass and mat apart in the frame. (The spacers would be hidden behind the frame rabbet, so you wouldn't notice them). Another possibility is that your cousin could want to sign the inner mat, which wouldn't need spacers. And yet another is that of signing the piece itself, so that it has two signatures, with only the new one showing. For any of the options that require taking it apart, you could consider having the framer use turnbuttons rather than a dustcover. That way, you'd just unscrew and flip them to the side, for easy access.

Hopefully, Cousin will be fine with just signing the back. But if the framer uses a narrow frame allowance, and perhaps turnbuttons, it allows for other options.
Thanks for your detailed response! Lots of good ideas — cheers!
 
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GreyDrakkon

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If you want to honor the artist, what I would do is write up a paragraph or two about the artist, the date they made the artwork and what the subject is, and put all that on the back so years down the road when someone takes it off the wall all of that will be there to read. The signature really isn't the important part, so much as that people know who the artist is. Since the sig is still there, just hidden, no big deal.
 
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