Wednesday thru Friday 10 AM -1 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 12 PM
or by appointment
702 St. Louis Rd Collinsville, IL 62234
call Carolyn at 618.344.1212
The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. provides custom framing services for:
Works on Canvas • Limited Edition Prints • Posters • Photographs • Sport Jerseys
Needlework • Shadowboxes • Antiquities • Degrees • Diplomas
I have been custom framing artwork and other items for a very long time, almost 31 years now, and I love framing as much today as the day I started. My workshop is a full-scale frame shop and all work is done in-house by me.
Framing services also include reattaching artwork that has slipped out of place, replacing broken glass, and rejoining corners of broken frames as long as too much damage has not occurred.
I especially enjoy working with antique pieces.
I have been fortunate to have framed numerous antiques including such things as: a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair clipped from his head on his deathbed (provenance included); an 1855 mortician’s cane and a cane housing a very rare 39-star American flag; a Victorian family hair album, as well as Victorian hair pictures; hand-made laces; Christening gowns and baby shoes, and piece of the black fabric that drapped President Kennedy’s funeral bier.
I ship my custom framing all over the country from California, to Texas, to Maryland, to North Carolina and other locales in between. I’ve been schooled in proper framing techniques and continue to take education classes regarding framing methods. With more than 400 frame samples from which to choose, hundreds of colors of mats, personal service and fair pricing, The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. is the place to go for custom framing.
why custom framing?
So you may be asking: “Why should I do custom framing when it’s so easy to select a ready-made frame?” That is a valid question because custom framing can be expensive; but in my experience, it is only slightly more expensive, and the service you receive more than makes up for the difference in cost.
When a customer wants to frame a degree, I often hear they want just a cheap frame. No mats. Nothing special. But think about it: it takes four years of education to get a degree; to get a master’s degree or to enter a profession, a minimum of an additional two years of study is usually required. And how much was tuition? I understand wanting to save the money; but that degree has been earned with a lot of work and long, late hours studying. You have earned that degree and the right to have it framed properly and to display proudly.
Mats not only offer a compliment to the artwork being framed, but they also serve a very important function. A mat protects the artwork from the glass. Artwork and photographs that rest against the glass will at some point adhere to the glass, usually causing irreparable damage.
All that being said, it’s important for you to understand the different types of mat: paper mats, acid-free mats, conservation mats, and the list goes on. What is needed for your project?
The ability to choose matting that compliments not only your artwork but particular colors within your home or office is invaluable - and it makes that piece of artwork personally YOURS.
Having a framer at your side to talk to you about mat color and texture, how changes in the color and texture affect the final look of the artwork, as well as how it will appear on the wall once completed, is a valuable service that offers you insight that you may have never considered. In my experience, you can
frame the same image one hundred times, and each time the mat color changes, the entire image changes.
How wide should your mats be? - not only to compliment the artwork but for the space in which you are hanging the item once the framing has been completed. Custom-cut mats are sized exclusively for your artwork. Readymade mats often coverup part of an image. Or trying to fit a print or poster into a readymade frame size often results in uneven matting around the artwork - a dead give-away to “I just didn’t want to spend a lot of money to frame this.”
Let’s look at the backside of the completed product. Was your framed piece protected with a “dust cover”? If it’s a readymade frame it isn’t. What keeps the dust out? What keeps the bugs out to prevent them from nibbling away on the art or fabric or peeing on the artwork and forever staining it? You got it: the dust cover.
Do not overlook the bumpon pads located on the back in the lower corners of the framed piece. Are you aware that they are placed there because they serve a very important function? Many readymades don’t have them.
What type of hanging system is good? Sawtooth hangers may be fine for a small piece, but are they sufficiently strong enough to hold the weight of your framed art? Would picture wire and strap hangers offer more security? If the piece is quite wide and heavy, would a bar hanger be more safe?
Are the proper size pictures hangers included as a courtesy with readymades? Or do you have to go to the kiosk and look at the various sizes and guess which one is proper for your project? An experienced framer intuitively knows what is needed for your project, will wire your piece appropriately, and will attach the proper hangers for your needs. It’s all part of the service of custom picture framing.