Strawberryluna

Quick & Simple Frame & Matte Guide + Diagrams

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So you bought a piece of artwork that you love, yay! Now what?

Yep. As printmakers and sellers we get these questions on daily basis from our online shops and in person at craft & art fairs. If you are wholly unfamiliar with the elements of framing prints and artwork it can seem like a math puzzle with multiple sets of numbers to keep straight. But really? It’s simple, we promise.

And to prove it, I’ve broken down the main elements in the below diagrams that I illustrated for you. Ta-da!

Frame_Matte_Diagram750

The 3 Basic Framing Elements:

  1. Artwork: The print, water color painting, vintage wallpaper, etc. that you want to display. This will be the smallest element in size. Shown here as my illustration of a tulip, including the entire artwork area.
  2. Matte: A thick paperboard “frame” with an opening where your artwork will be centered. Mattes can be any color (white or black are the most common), any width, and you can even “double matte” (or triple matte if you are feeling ultra fancy) artwork by layering 2 different sized mattes over one another and over your artwork to be framed. Your matte will be longer and wider than your artwork at it’s outer dimensions, but the inside opening will cover the edges of your artwork (the green areas as above) for a seamless fit. The matte doesn’t have to cover your artwork uniformly, it just needs to lay over the edges so that your artwork is centered in the matte’s opening.
  3. Frame: The frame that you choose, yep, it’s pretty self-explanatory. But like mattes, frames come in many sizes, but also in a wide variety of materials such as metal and wood, and in practically any color and finish that you can imagine. The frame will be your largest sized element, and like the matte goes over the edges of your artwork? Your frame will go over the outer edges of your matte (which in turn are over the outer edges of your artwork).  Framing is basically a layering game!

Frame_NO_Matte_Diagram750

However, note that a matte can be an optional element of your framed art, depending on your style and the artwork itself. Above you see a my diagram of the same artwork in a frame, but without a matte. To illustrate that difference further below are two examples of our Ghost Ship By Day Print framed, one with and one without a matte.

Example A:

With a matte below, in the upper right corner (photo by a sweet customer with great taste in prints @mylittlecherry on Instagram):

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.23.37 PM

Example B:

And the same print without a matte in the middle between two cuties (photo by one of our lovely retailers @apple.village on Instagram):Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.24.01 PM

As for the actual framing? Again, lots of choices to fit every aesthetic and budget are available. We love our local Frame Shops here in Pittsburgh:

We adore three places online that have great frames and mattes and both places offer all American Made materials, plus all frames and mattes are cut to your specs, which is amazing and really great. They all ship quickly and safely. All very affordably!

  • Frame USA – features an incredible selection of frames, mattes and materials from low to high end.
  • All Barn Wood – many of their frames have a more rustic and camp vibe with lots of reclaimed wood options.
  • Matteboard And More – offers custom size, color, and material options in mattes, backing boards, frames and show kits and more.

There are of course off great off the shelf options these days now too at places like IKEA, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond also where frames usually come with a matte included. If you are going that route, we suggest that you find a frame that you like, and then get a matte custom cut to your artwork’s size for about $10 at places like Michael’s & JoAnn’s craft stores, or at your local favorite framery or art supply shop.

So there you go! If you have any questions feel free to comment below. We hope that this post helps you get you new artwork up & beautifully displayed.

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New art print released: Summer Cardinal, the 3rd 2010 Seasons Print

4 color, all hand screenprinted art print "Summer Cardinal". (click for more info or to purchase)

Huzzah! It’s summer, fully. The 2nd of 3 new releases today, this is my Summer Cardinal art print. And I have to be honest, it’s been done printed, cut, and ready to fly home since the first day of summer. Mea culpa on the slow to blog it here (in)action.

But, summer is all about being laid back right? Right. Sweet.

Quick story about this print. It was originally designed as a 5-color print, with a transparent metallic gold ink as the last layer. Somehow in my head, rather than expecting the metallic gold to work as a true transparent ink and blend with the pink base/1st color to make a new color (in this case, a peachy coral), I thought that it would sit on top. Essentially making a misty soft metallic gold overlay all subtly sparkly.

Yeah….no. Nope. (See last photo below.) I pulled two prints and decided to stop there, making this a 4 color print.

That’s screenprinting!

Summer Cardinal is a part of my new Seasons series. This is the seventh print in series of seasonal prints that I’ll be releasing. Ready? Here’s the mind-blowing part = there will be 4 per year. Crazy, right?

This year for the Seasons series, in 2010 I am doing things a little differently, rather than making a new image for each season, I’ve decided to follow the same bright red fellow in the same scene, across all 4 seasons. And here for Summer Cardinal, in honor of the softer, breezier and warmer life of summer, our little red fellow is enjoying the gathering sunset of a lovely night ahead in twilight pinks.

Summer Cardinal is my 4-color, all hand screenprinted art print with tender summer night pink, bark brown, scarlet red, fresh-leaf green hand mixed and non-toxic water based inks. All prints are hand signed and titled. Edition of 500. Size: 16 x22 inches (39.4 cm x 55.9 cm.) Paper: archival Cougar, White 100lb cover weight. $25.

This print is ready to fly home with you and available for purchase here at my website now!

Process shots of my hand screenprinting this print are below for you as well. Click any of the images to see more information and to see more photos from my Flickr account too.

1st color registering for my 4-color "Summer Cardinal" hand screenprinted art print. Click to see more process photos and for more info.

Just a lil guy. Click for more process photos and more info.

2nd color printed, and my printing apron, from Etsy seller Amievoltaire. Click for more process photos and more info.

The 5th color FIAL. Click for more info and more process photos.

New poster released: Jackie Kashian CD release party poster

3 color, hand screenprinted poster for Jackie Kashian. (click for more info & to purchase.)

The first in a slew of new releases. Ok. Well, if 3 new releases can be a slew, then call me Seattle.

Jackie Kashian is a danged funny person. No, really, check out her newest CD release It Is Never Going To Be Bread or a live show to prove me wrong. Go ahead, I’ll wait. ‘Cause you won’t be able to prove me wrong. And this poster is for her new CD release party set of shows in Minneapolis, MN on June 22- 26th, 2010 at Acme Comedy Company.

This kitty-kitty at an ophthalmology appointment my all hand screenprinted poster for super rad Jackie Kashian’s CD Release party shows at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis. It’s my 3-color, scene of a poster with bright red, sensible beige and black cat black, hand mixed and non-toxic water based screenprinting inks.

Like all of my posters, this limited edition silkscreen poster is signed (by me) and numbered in a limited edition of 80. Size: 16 x22 inches (39.4 cm x 55.9 cm.) Paper: archival Cougar, White 100lb cover weight. This poster was available from Jackie Kashian, at her CD Release party shows and then it will also be available for $20 + shipping & handling from Dan Schlissel at  Stand Up Records, her CD/record label’s website thereafter, contact Stand Up Records:

Website: http://www.standuprecords.com
Email: Dan Schlissel – ismista [ a t ] yahoo dot com

And! Would I forget some process photos? Come on. Below and always more over in my Flickr account.

1st color screen, ready to print. Click to see more process photos.

3rd color about to be printed. Click to see more process photos.

Detail of kitty-face. Click for more process photos.