Picture Frame Basics

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Picture frames have been around for almost as long as pictures themselves. Once man transitioned from drawing and painting on cave walls to something a little more portable, frames have been an important part of the story telling process. It’s believed that early frames were used to separate the image from it’s surroundings, emphasizing the message of the art within it. A frame around any image validates the content and gives it more visual impact.


By the early Renaissance period, altar frames had become elaborate works of art. Often they incorporated gold, gems, and mosaic inlays. Thanks to artists such as Michelangelo, how frames relate to the art work and it’s environment became an art form itself. Although some art is still displayed without a frame, Van Gogh touched on the essence of the value of a frame when he said, “A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body”.


There are many different styles of frames, made from many different materials. When done correctly, picture frames should reflect the style of the subject, enhancing it. To help you decide what kind of frame you want to use, here are a few basic types of materials and styles available at picture frames in Toronto.


glass framesTo Glass or not to Glass? – Different coverings can have a significant impact on the piece being displayed. Plain glass is most common, mostly because it’s cheapest. UV glass costs more, but protects the chemicals in whichever medium you use from fading or cracking. Of course, you can protect the art by glazing it as well.


metal frameMetal Frames – By far the strongest, metal frames can be mass produced cheaply. A narrow metal frame can be almost unnoticeable, which you may want for something like a photo display. Metal frames can typically be repaired much more easily than wood as well.


wood picture frameWood Frames – Until recently, the most common type of frames were made from wood. Softer species like spruce, pine and poplar are relatively easy to carve ornate patterns on. Mahogany, oak and walnut are harder to work with, but offer more elaborate grains that stand out when finished well.


If you’re deciding on what kind of frame you want to use for your project, the best thing to do is consult a professional. Forprofessional picture frames in Toronto, visit the folks at Picture it Framed, a custom picture framer in Toronto. They can help you find the right frame for any project that you might have.
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