hooray for conservation glass!


Whether it be clear or reflective-free, conservation glass is the perfect choice (at the very least) for any framing project.

Conservation glass blocks a minimum of 97% UV rays and protects against damage and fading caused by UV light, such as florescent lighting or sunlight. Conservation clear glass has a filter on one side of the glass, the side that faces the artwork or object being framed, and that filter blocks harmful UV light. The filter is almost invisible and usually goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. Conservation reflective-free glass has the same filter on one side of the glass, the side that faces the artwork, but it has been etched (washed with acid) on the other side to remove the glare. The etched side of the glass faces away from the artwork.

When conservation glass came on the scene several years ago, it was pricey as is often the case with new technology. But in todayʼs marketplace, the price has dropped significantly making the expense of conservation clear glass vs. plain glass a non-factor in the cost of custom framing. Reflective-free glass, whether plain or conservation, is more expensive than clear glass, but the price of conservation reflective-free glass vs. reflective-free plain glass has also dropped significantly and is quite affordable.

Hereʼs something to consider when choosing between clear glass and reflective-free glass (also referred to as glazing):

If you place reflective-free glass directly against the item being framed (which is not necessarily recommended because ultimately the item could adhere to the glass), it works perfectly and disappears with no reflection. However, when the glass is separated from the artwork by either a spacer or matting, reflective-free glass takes on a foggy, milky look, which can make the artwork appear fuzzy - not quite as sharp and clear, and the color of the artwork can appear to be less intense. The more mats or the deeper the spacer, the more the fogginess prevails. If you stand directly in front of the framed piece, the fogginess is less noticeable than when you step 6 inches to the right or left and view the framed piece. Some people find it very distracting; others would rather look thru fog as opposed to looking at the reflection of the window or lighting.

There is no right answer or a wrong answer - itʼs what you prefer.

Other glass options are available, such as anti-reflective glass; but it does not have the UV protection offered by conservation glass choices. Museum glass is a premium option - it completely disappears from view; but if you want the artist to sign the glass of your framed artwork, as P. Buckley Moss does at all of her shows, the ink will bubble and not adhere to the glass.

So these are things to remember when discussing glazing options with your framing professional. Remember that to protect posters, photographs, prints and keepsakes, at the very least choose conservation glass. And if you have had important things framed in the past before conservation glass was available, consider having the glass replaced on those framing projects.

The Art Loft Gallery, LTD., a locally owned and operated business in Collinsville, Illinois, has been open since 1984. In addition to offering custom picture framing services, The Art Loft Gallery, LTD. is an authorized dealer for renowned artist, Patricia Buckley Moss, and also has a wide variety of antiques and giftware for sale. Come in for a unique shopping experience and enjoy a cup of Starbucks and a cookie while you shop. Contact Us

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