As fashion and home decor trends keep evolving and changing, so do trends in our picture framing industry.
One that immediately comes to mind is the oversized matboards that were a big art statement in the 1980′s and 1990′s. I often refer to the big shoulder pads that were also popular at the time. Art and home decor trends always seem to reflect the fashions of the day.
A new “trend” started for me a few months ago, when one of my customers walked in with a little antique etching and pointed to my French matted fish hanging on the wall – “I want you to do it like that!” she said.
Honestly, I cringed!
That particular piece was one I had created a couple of years ago, testing my French matting skills. French Matting is defined as “An ancient technique using pale watercolour wash panels and ink lines around the perimeter of a matted piece of art. Artists created borders of lines and panels around their images to draw the eye inward, repeating the delicacy and contrasts of the images.”
All my lines were drawn by hand, the gold leaf band was painstakingly masked with tape, directly onto the board, a layer of red clay applied – shellac – gold leaf size – gold leaf – shellac. The tape then removed, all the while I was hoping and praying that the edges were clean. Thankfully, they were. The watercolour wash was then applied, a bit patchy I’ll admit, but the overall effect was pretty good. Phew!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have to attempt something like that again anytime soon. But then, I should have known better. My customers are brilliant at pushing me and that creative boundary – the very reason why we love this industry SO much!
There had to be an easier way though.
Having recently purchased the Gunnar T2 Pen Tool, the latest addition to my beloved Gunnar F1 Computerized Mat Cutter, the French matting lines were as easy as the click of a button. I bought every pigment pen in every colour imaginable.
Gunnar screen shot
I then worked out a way to make gold leaf paper and cut it precisely into strips, applying it finished – to create the gold leaf band.
Instead of applying a watercolour wash, I opted for strips of beautiful marbled paper. Sourced from around the globe, they range from fine, muted and detailed, to colourful, vibrant and bold.
I have always been a “details” person, even back when I was a bridal gown designer. As a framer, I truly believe that if you never take the time to think, and design something thoroughly with your customers, you’ll never have the opportunity to create it.
So…why not start your own fashion trend? The next time your customer comes in with an artwork you think will suit, try it out. Get creative – it’s 2014!
…and be sure to check out all our latest designs at http://www.frenchmatting.com.au