I decided it was time to update my history to the current time. To see the rest of the story visit
Sally Dallas, CPF. The care and feeding of a Picture Framer
Stage 4: On my own
In 1996 got an opportunity to purchase a building in Newberg, Oregon and took the leap, not to just owning and operating my own gallery and frame shop, but to property ownership and management (I had a tenant building on the property that sold in 2014). Wow, what a learning curve. To quote my mom "You couldn't just get your toes wet, you had jump in up to your neck" Yup!
I spent the next couple of years developing the frame shop and gallery following. I started doing The Room about 3 years in an after that every quarter a different window theme went up. I became known for those window displays as well as a to framer. I entered competitions with fellow PPFA Chapter members, joined the (then Newberg Chamber) and served on their board for a term. I really appreciated find a place in such a great community. I had a client recommend me as expensive, but worth it. That is one of the best things I ever heard.
In 2009, I joined with five other downtown shops to start ARTwalk. Our goal was to promote the downtown and create awareness that we had a potential gold mine here. Ten years later and we are still going.
In 2015, after a rough couple of years I made the major decision to lease out the main floor space and create My Personal Framer in the workshop space. Roger Hirsch, retired, helped me to carve out a space for the design and business side with the workshop on the other side of the wall. It has been interesting going from 1900 sq feet of showroom to 250. But it is what it is. I struggled emotionally for the first couple of years after moving on from my dream situation. Some folks wanted me to blame it on the 'Economy', but the reality is I wasn't able to adapt and change to work with the current economics.
I like my small space and really appreciate when clients new and old find their way to me.
After investing so much time and effort into your needlework, framing is critical to both enhance and protect it for generations to come.
Conservation Treatment. I utilize the highest quality conservations methods: reversable mounting techniques, preservation materials, and glass that protects from damaging ultraviolet light. Our techniques protect against heat, light, humidity and insects.
Designed to Look Its Best. We offer hundreds of quality frames and matting options and will personally guide you through the design process to find the combination that displays your art to its fullest potential. We even offer in-home consultations to assist you in making choices that complement your decor.
Bring your latest handcrafted project to My Personal Framer and let us help you turn it into a work of art.
Exceptions and special cases
Canvas & needleart
Glass and Glazing
There are a variety of choices. We can show you samples of each and help you to decide which will work best with your project
At Materpiece Framing we mount according to the artwork in ways that are appropriate and best for the art.
Works of fine art on Paper
All methods of attaching the fine artwork to the backing board (mounting) must be reversible without harming the artwork. The attachment should also be less strong than the paper of the artwork -- this allows the attachment to give before the paper of the artwork tears or is damaged. Archival corner pockets may by used on many types of artwork, others will need linen hinges, or mulberry paper hinges and wheat starch glues.
Special mounting issues.
What are conservation or preservation mats and why should I use them?At My Personal Framer we prefer to use 100% conservation/preservation mat board.
A little about paper mats
The standard paper mats do not protect your art. They are non-purified wood pulp which can actually burn the paper they sit on. The acids in the wood pulp board reacts with light and air to discolor the art. Have you ever seen old prints that have a gold rim on the paper just inside the ma? This is caused by wood pulp acids attacking paper. Paper mat top colors are dyed and not pigmented. Dyes are very light sensitve and fugative. This means that the colors will fade significantly in short periods of time. Next time you see a framed piece and the mat looks dull and muted compared to the art-that is fading. The colors fade in order of Yellow, then Red, Blue lasts the longest and you often end up with a blue print and mats that don't match the art anymore.
Conservation and preservation mats
These mats are either cotton rag or wood pulp mats also, but they have had all the nasties removed from them and then they are buffered to be neutral. The top color of these mats are also pigmented. Pigmentation means that the actual mineral is ground and mixed with a ground to stablize and make them adhere to the surface.
from Wikipedia (Ok, this is the really technical stuff)Acidic vs. "acid-free"There are two main types of mat material: acidic, and "acid-free" (neutral pH). Older mats (wood based paper) are typically acidic, because acid-free paper was not widely available or marketed until recent years. While most newer mats are acid-free, there are some papers that contain acid and one should ask the picture framer about the acid content of the mats if the desired life of the piece being framed is more than 75–100 years. (I use the term Preservation or Conservation instead of "Acid-free" as there is some confusion about what constitutes "acid-free")
The difference is important for the long term protection of the piece because acidic mats can cause what is called mat burn, brown marks that creep in from the outside onto the displayed piece itself. While mat burn is sometimes reversible through cleaning the piece, cleaning may not be feasible if the piece was executed in water-soluble inks or paints, such as watercolor. Thus, it is important to know if the mats used are acid-free if the piece is to be preserved for a long time.
To determine the pH of an older mat with a white core, look to see if the core (visible where the mat has already been cut) has turned brownish or yellowed; if so, it is acidic. If the core has not changed color, one can determine the pH by using a pH tester.
There are several categories of mat board and they are all separated by the level of protection offered the art work or artifact being framed. While some say that acidic framing materials should be avoided for all but the most temporary frames, it is not safe to say that all "acid-free" mats are recommended for long term preservation use. The hierarchy of mat board quality is as follows:
I. Museum Board - The highest quality material available. It is constructed of 100% cotton fiber, is Archival and will protect and preserve the contents of a frame. While it is the most expensive material available, the difference in actual material costs relative to the cost of framing is minimal.
II. Museum Mat or Rag Mat - Still a good quality choice for conservation, it is constructed of cotton linters (short cotton fibers) and cellulose (wood pulp) middles. The cellulose is a less expensive raw material but offers sufficient conservation properties for most works.
III. Conservation or Archival Mat Board - Constructed of 100% pure high alpha cellulose (wood pulp) and treated to be inert for up to 300 years. This is the highest qualitypaper matboard available.
IV. Acid-Free or Acid Free Lined - This material is usually lined with a wood based liner on one or both sides that has been treated to prevent "short term" acid burn and the core is either recycled fiber. Eventually the acid in the core will leach out to the surface which can harm the artwork.
Caution must be exercised in selecting the type of framing desired. Art work that is desired to last long term (more than 75 years) can be damaged by improper mat boards that are used intentionally to lower cost. However, non-archival quality mat boards may be suitable for a photographic print, laser print, etc. that is not meant to last long term. Additionally, prints made with traditional chemical processing of photographic film (i.e. dark room development), as opposed to computer printing, are already slightly acidic by nature and therefore are much less likely to be damaged by non-archival mats.
In addition, correct "conservation" framing includes all components, not just the mat board used directly behind the glass. Until recently, there were no truly "archival"-qualityfoamcore boards available, though a number of foamcore brands exist with buffered surfaces and the Nielsen Bainbridge company now produces one  that is claimed to both block the intrusion of airborne pollutants and to avoid the problem of outgassing that non-archival foamboards may fall prey to; for this reason, and due to many smaller frames' shallow depths, it is not uncommon to see mat boards used as backing for a picture frame as well, though foamcore and mounting boards tend to be stiffer. It is also important, if long-term preservation is of concern, to make sure the framer is using good conservation framing technique.
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs fromfluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.
Many materials selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light. Materials that humans have chosen and developed for use as pigments usually have special properties that make them ideal for coloring other materials. A pigment must have a high tinting strength relative to the materials it colors. It must be stable in solid form at ambient temperatures.
For industrial applications, as well as in the arts, permanence and stability are desirable properties. Pigments that are not permanent are called fugitive. Fugitive pigments fade over time, or with exposure to light, while some eventually blacken.
Pigments are used for coloring paint, ink, plastic, fabric, cosmetics, food and other materials. Most pigments used in manufacturing and the visual arts are drycolourants, usually ground into a fine powder. This powder is added to a vehicle (or binder), a relatively neutral or colorless material that suspends the pigment and gives the paint its adhesion.
The worldwide market for inorganic, organic and special pigments had a total volume of around 7.4 million tons in 2006. Asia has the highest rate on a quantity basis followed by Europe and North America. In 2006, a turnover of 17.6 billion US$ (13 billion Euro) was reached mostly in Europe, followed by North America and Asia.
A distinction is usually made between a pigment, which is insoluble in the vehicle (resulting in a suspension), and a dye, which either is itself a liquid or is soluble in its vehicle (resulting in a solution). The term biological pigment is used for all colored substances independent of their solubility. A colorant can be both a pigment and a dye depending on the vehicle it is used in. In some cases, a pigment can be manufactured from a dye by precipitating a soluble dye with a metallic salt. The resulting pigment is called a lake pigment.
Mounting: why is it important
What does this mean?
Art is fragile, especially art on paper or canvas. Both are friable (they tear easily), scuff, stain, discolor, and fade. Some damage is inevitable (especially fading) even with the best of materials. BUT, we can reduce or eliminate much of the potential damage that can happen.
What I and most framers do is Preservation Framing. If conservation is needed I take it to a conservator. I know several: Paper, works on canvas, and frame. I also work with photographer David Krapes and Jan Mathis of Studio 315 in Newberg, Oregon.
Glazing; glass, acrylic or none
What is "Neutral Framing"
Neutral framing (to me) is when the frame, mat and art are in such harmony that no one element stands out from the rest. When you look at the art and just go aaaahh! "Neutral need not be boring!"
When looking at art ask yourself these questions:
All of these questions factor into creating your custom framed art. It helps guide how we design it, how much you spend and where it will hang in your home.
More on Neutral Framing
Black is not a Frame
Black is not a Frame: It's a Line - Northern Michigan's Premier Picture Framer and Display Specialist
Black and White, or any High Contrast Art
High contrast art is sometimes the hardest to design.
The question is, "What combination brings out the most details of the art and helps me to see the art first".
This also applies to any art form that is extremely dark or light
Elements of Design
What do you want your framed piece to look and feel like when you get it home?
After all you frame that expensive fine art to highlight your local framer, right? — OR is it to highlight your good taste in art!
Sally Dallas, Artisan Framer