Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Summer Framing and Critique Meeting

Summer Framing and Critique Meeting

Mr. Manneli from Mat About You speaks to members about framing techniques!

At our Summer meeting we were very fortunate to have Mr. Julian Manelli, owner of the Mat About You Art Gallery and Framing Studio in Ellicott City, provide us with an entertaining and highly informative presentation on the proper methods for framing our pastel artwork. He brought with him a piece of Barbara Steinacker's that he had framed for her which he proceeded to deconstruct, to demonstrate his framing methods and principles. Mr. Manelli, who acquired his expert framing skills under apprenticeships to some of the top framers in the country and studied art conservation, restoration, and preservation techniques at the National Gallery of Art, is a strong advocate of artists' keeping their professional focus on producing artwork and allowing professional framers to provide them the highest quality results. Like most of us artists, he believes that matting and framing should showcase and enhance the artwork, not compete with it for the viewer's attention, and that matting and framing choices should always be based on the art, not on a room's décor.

Some of the techniques he advocates are:

Using a kraft paper dust cover on the backs of all framed works. He puts a few small holes through the dust cover in each corner to allow the painting to breath. The downside of this is that it might allow "critters" to get in, but you should be checking all your framed work annually to make sure they're clean, "critter"-free, and unscratched, anyway.

Using linen hinging tape or specially made barrier tape to cover the surface of the rabbet on the inside of wooden frames to prevent any leeching of acid from the wood onto the mat and the artwork. You can also use a fast-drying polyurethane, but he says he does not recommend using gesso, as it will produce dust over time.

Using a little lighter fluid on a microfiber cloth to clean glass. This can be used on both sides of the glass (both with and without the UV coating). He does not recommend using alcohol to clean glass, which can leave streaks.

Using a dedicated plexiglass cleaner to clean plexiglass. (United Mfrs sells one; see below)

For those of us who still wish to do some or all of our own framing, he recommended a couple of on-line framing supply companies:

United Manufacturers
University Products   (Note: As of 1 September, their website was under construction, but it appears that they're also associated with the Lineco line of framing products).

Mat About You Art Gallery & Framing Studio
3774 Old Columbia Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Call or email for a free consultation: 410-313-8860

Following Mr. Manelli's presentation, we had the annual critique meeting, with Linda Light, Daniel Wise, Chris Powell, and Deborah Maklowski as the four volunteer critiquers.