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New styles make framing an art of its own

Thinking of getting framed?

Picture framing, like any other design industry, has its own lines, textures and style.

And these days, there’s no reason you can’t have a little New York flair in your own backyard.

At Captured Ideas Pictured Framing, Squamish, the Manhattan range is a popular choice for urban flair.

Frames come in four shades (black, oak, silver, and cherry red), whose scratch-grain block design transforms art from stylish to urban chic.

Meanwhile the "Goya" range of frames adds hints of the city, by using a red undercoat, with a black wash.

"Protect, preserve, and present," says certified picture framer Terry Vincent of Freestyle Framing and Art Gallery, on the three tips for framing your art.

Vincent, who ran a gallery and apprenticed in Ottawa before moving to Whistler, says framing is like the finishing touch.

Goal one, is to get your art on the wall.

Goal two, is to make it look good.

"It’s like decorating, or dressing – you know how many types of clothing there are out there, and it’s great to co-ordinate, but the wrong shoes can wreck everything."

Picture framing is a certified trade, resulting in the CPF accreditation.

Students take a two-year apprenticeship course, studying paper textures, different paints, and the physics of framing.

"Be aware of what you’re buying, and don’t be afraid to ask exactly what is being done," reminds Vincent. "This is your art, and you have every right to know."

Glazing choices for frames are usually glass or plexiglass, which protects the art from light damage, but be forewarned: plexiglass is known for picking up dust.

Black and gold give pictures a "gallery" feel.

"The biggest change recently has been the introduction of antique-like finishes," says Vincent.

The chemicals and paint react together, giving the effect of something that has aged.

New in stock at Freestyle are "textures and fabrics, and leather and cashmere mats, which keeps things exciting."

And anything is fair game in the art of preservation.

Vincent preserved a stuffed parrot as a family heirloom for one client.

No matting here. Instead, she created a "beach with a pirate theme" inside a hexigon-shaped plexiglass cage.

On a smaller budget, shoppers can look at non-frame methods like laminating or fibre board backing, which has a laminated surface.

To protect posters, laminating is one option different from dry mounting, where the poster is bonded to a thick backing, in that the laminate retains a thick plastic coating.