Paper has been such a big part of our lives for so long, some, like newsprint soon fade and crumble while others have stood the test of time and have carried images and text for hundreds of years conveying the creators message. For art works there are a wide range of finishes and types for the artist to consider.
For the art collector probably the biggest consideration is that the image on the paper will last and retain the image and therefore its value. For the conservator and picture framer, the task is then to look after this important substrate and ensure it can remain in top condition for as long as possible and any framing methods used can be reversed or readily removed, a key feature of archival and conservation methods.
With varying textures and surface finishes as well as ranges of colours the artist has so many aspects to choose from in creating their art. For the framer and conservator the paper simply needs to be neutral ph and kept away from acid loaded materials which can affect the paper.
Generally papers made from cotton and not chemically treated meet this neutral ph criteria, however many Japanese papers made from other natural materials also meet this specification.
A walk into almost any art supply store will soon show the viewer a wide range of papers, from decorative printed ones to the more naturally presented ones of varying thicknesses and qualities. Perhaps the thing you will notice is the thickness of the papers and the watermark of the company that made it, often stamped in one corner. The ‘weight’ of the paper is expressed as GSM or Grams per Square Metre, the lower the number the light the paper and therefore it is thinner.
For the artist many seem to prefer papers which can show the rough or deckled edge as it is known, which is formed in the traditional creation process, where the edge of the ‘deckle’ frame forms the uneven edge.
A quick search on the internet will soon show you there are a wide range of process used to create papers and it certainly is a fascinating area to explore.
Now, about framing that lovely piece of paper, you know the one with the art or family photo on it… Yep you guessed right, chat to your friendly professional picture framer at The Picture Framing Shak for the best way to showcase that brilliant image.
Regards Steve Gray,
The Picture Framing Shak