Picture Framing Glossary Part 2

18th Mar 2016

This two out of three part article highlights the terminology commonly used when framing pictures. This may include convex glass frames, oval picture frames, antique oval picture frames and many more.

  • Canvas Floater Frame – A type of frame used to display a gallery wrap canvas. This frame allows the entire front surface of the canvas to be visible. Any color applied to the canvas wrapping the sides of the stretcher bars will be somewhat visible in the ‘float’ space.
  • Canvas Transfer – A print or poster image that has been transferred and fixed to a canvas surface.
  • Components – A term used to describe the contents of a picture frame and includes mat board, glazing and/or mount board.
  • Conservation Framing – A type of framing that keeps the artwork as unaltered as possible while using materials which minimize the artwork’s deterioration by environmental factors.
  • Conservation Grade Framing Materials – Materials such as mat board, mount board, glass and acrylic that are designed to minimize the artwork’s deterioration by environmental factors.
  • Conservator – A professional who specializes in the restoration and conservation of artifacts such as photographs, artwork, and documents. Conservators examine artifacts, determine their condition, suggest methods for treating them and recommend preventive conservation techniques to their owners.
  • Core – In matboard, the central or innermost part; the material between the face paper and the backing paper. Less expensive paper mats may have a cream color core; some mats have a white or black core; high end rag mats have a core the same as the top and bottom.
  • Cotton Rag Paper – A high-quality paper made from cotton fibers. It is primarily used for art, important documents, and money. Cotton rag paper holds pigments and inks better than wood-based papers.
  • Crazing – Tiny, hair-like cracks on the surface of an acrylic sheet resulting from high internal stress. The effect results from chemical exposure in combination with mechanical forces or impact.
  • Double Mat – Consists of two (2) mat boards (top and bottom). The window (opening) of the bottom mat surrounds the image. The top mat covers the bottom mat. It has a larger window, which allows a small border of the bottom mat, called the reveal, to be shown.
  • Dry-Mounting – The application of artwork to a substrate, such as foam core, using heat-activated adhesives in a heat press.
  • Dust Cover – A liner paper adhered to the back of a frame. The dust cover keeps dust and insects out of the frame package. It also helps reduce fluctuations in humidity, limits the infiltration of environmental gases, and gives your framed artwork a professional look.
  • Ephemera – Items, normally made of paper, created for a specific, limited purpose. Some examples of ephemera include advertisements, tickets, brochures and receipts. People often collect ephemera because of their association with a person, place, event or subject.
  • Erasability – In matting the ability of a surface to withstand the removal of light pencil lines with a rubber or gum eraser.
  • Euro Hanger – A device for hanging pictures. Two hangers are needed to hang a picture - one on each side. The hangers are normally positioned 1/3 of the way down the from the top of the frame. A screw driver is used to tighten the set screw. The hanging wire is threaded through the eyelet.
  • Fading – A gradual change in the color of a paper. It is usually applied to the change produced by light.
  • Fillet – Also called enhancers or slips, fillets are thin, decorative pieces of picture frame moulding. Fillets are often placed inside a larger frame or in between mat boards.
  • Finger-Jointed Wood – Many picture frame mouldings are made with finger-jointed wood. Finger jointing is a process where short lengths of timber are bonded together to produce longer lengths. Finger jointing reduces wood waste by utilizing shorts to create a dimensionally stable and environmentally friendly product.
  • Flat File – A cabinet specifically designed for flat items such as drawings, prints, maps and large documents.
  • Flat Head Screwdriver – A screwdriver that is designed to fit into slotted screws.
  • Float Mount – A mounting technique where the edges of the artwork are left uncovered by a mat board. With this application, the artwork appears to be floating within the frame or mat board window. Artwork can also be float-mounted on a piece of black or white foam core without a mat.
  • Floater Frame – See Canvas Floater Frame
  • Frame Size – See Picture Frame Size
  • Glare – Bright and dazzling reflected light.
  • Glass – A type of glazing used in picture framing. Glass is commonly composed of sodium carbonate, lime and silica (sand).
  • Glazing – The generic term for the glass or acrylic used to cover and protect artwork in a picture frame.
  • Glue – Adhesive of animal origin, composed of complex protein structures. In modern usage, the terms, "glue" and "adhesive" are used interchangeably and may also include petrochemical adhesives.
  • Hanging Kit – Contains the components necessary to hang an assembled picture frame.
  • Hardware – The hangers, brackets, screw eyes and other materials used to assemble a metal picture frame.
  • Hinging – A term for adhering the components of a picture frame together including: hinging the mat board to the mount board, hinging the picture to the mat board, or hinging the picture to the mount board.
  • Mat Board – A material that covers and protects the image. Mat boards have a window (also known as the exact mat opening) cut in the center through which the image can be viewed. In addition to protecting the image, mat boards are available in many different styles and colors for the purpose of enhancing artwork.