Framing pastel and charcoal drawings
Framing pastel and charcoal drawings require special framing techniques. Generally picture framers agree on industry standard framing techniques, but you should ask your Framer at the time of placing an order if you are unsure about anything.
In this blog, I talk about the way we were taught to frame pastel and charcoal drawings. The most important thing to remember is, however you decide to get your pastel or charcoal drawing framed, as long as the materials or the process haven’t damaged the artwork, it can simply be re-framed and corrected.
By their very nature, pastels and charcoal drawings produce loose particles which can dislodge at anytime, even if it has been sprayed with fixatives. Some fixative products can cause a slight colour shift when used so not all artists use fixatives on their work. Particularly in these circumstances pastels and charcoal drawings need to be handled with extreme care so as not to cause damage to the actual artwork itself. In addition these drawings will shed loose particles which can accumulate on the bevel edge of the mount causing staining.
The solution is to use a pastel trap mount to control the way loose particles from the artwork are collected. This keeps the bevel edge of the mount clean ensuring your artwork looks fresh for years to come. Should you elect not to have a pastel trap mount any loose particles may stick directly to the glass leading to impaired viewing of the image. I would recommend that you always use a pastel trap mount for all charcoal and pastel art.
When selecting a frame for a pastel trap mount you should ensure that there is sufficient depth for the additional layers used to make pastel trap mounts to be accommodated into the frame. Normally the frame should be approximately 10mm deep.
When framing original works of art, it is advisable to use UV filtering glass to protect the art from fading. However, normal float glass can be used as long as the art work is not exposed to direct sun light or other strong sources of UV light which may lead to irreversible UV damage. For more information on glass options please click here.
When transporting a framed pastel or charcoal drawing, try to keep the frame vertical, avoid harsh movement which could dislodge any loose particles.
Try to avoid using acrylic or Perspex when framing charcoal or pastel drawings as these are prone to static build up over time. To clean the glass in your frame spray appropriate window cleaning liquid onto a soft lint free cloth and wipe the class gently. Do not rub the glass vigorously as this will cause static electricity to build up which may lift loose particles off of the drawing and cause them to stick to the glass.