Custom Framing

Framing starts with good design. A well-designed frame completes your picture, leading the eye to the centre of attention without overpowering it. Style is part of the package; there are as many ways to approach design as there are people! Your framing can be a highly individualized expression of you. Your preference can be for classic or contemporary, funky or vintage, rustic or minimal; your frame can be designed for the office or for a particular place in your home.

Custom-framed Mirrors are very popular. Frames can compliment furniture, as well as wood, stone metal and other custom features in your home. Mirrors are available flat or custom beveled and in custom sizes. We also provide hanging systems.

Lighting and rail hanging systems for art can be ordered.

Concerto Artisan Frames

We carry a line of handmade frames designed by Larson Juhl’s studio in northern France, Senelar. These designs represent a range of styles and profiles dating from the 15th through 20th centuries from France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United States. They are the result of historical research and are authentic to their locations and periods. Profiles range from ornate favourites of the Spanish court through Italian sgraffito. They include the the dark Dutch frames favoured by the likes of Rembrandt and frames reflecting the elegant simplicity preferred in the 20th century.

Traditional finishes include 22K gold and 12K white gold leaf and rich black. The Contemporary line includes several natural woods: walnut, maple and cherry. These solid wood frames are joined with old-fashioned spline corners and have modern minimalist lines.

These Artisan frames are a natural fit for a wide range of original art, including paintings, etchings, drawings and photographs. They make an exquisite finish for modern work and add authenticity to older works. These are fine art frames that reflect the inter-related history of frames and art that goes back to the beginning of easel painting.

Stop by our shop to see samples of the Concerto line and catalogue of designs. These frames are made to order and sent from France to Toronto for gilding and all other finishing. Be advised that this takes about 6 weeks.

The “Green” Side of Custom Picture Framing

When you choose to have your picture framed with quality, long-lasting materials, you are framing for the long haul. If you choose to have “archival” (cotton or alpha-cellulose) mats, reversible mounting techniques, quality wood or metal frames and other ”preservation” techniques, your choices can last you a lifetime. By framing with materials that last, we are not buying in to the throwaway society, and we reduce our impact on nature’s resources.

Wood moulding, in comparison to plastic or poly, is biodegradable. Aluminum frames can be recycled. Matboards made to Library of Congress standards are long-lasting, and the scraps sent to recycling are of high quality.

In Europe, picture frame moulding manufacturers have to actively engage in reforestation. (This includes the Larson Juhl and Roma factories in Europe.) There was a time that Canadian moulding manufacturers used their own wood lots. We are hoping that public pressure will bring this level of responsibility back to our country again.

Preservation Framing

This is the PPFA (Professional Picture Framers Association) preferred name for framing that takes longevity into account. The materials used in the framing package should not cause your framed item to deteriorate. Materials need to be at least “acid-free” (cotton rag or purified alpha-cellulose are better components). Tapes and mounting materials should be of good quality and should not stain your picture.

Ideally framing is “reversible”: the picture can be removed from the frame without damaging it. Sometime in the future your picture may need to be removed from its frame. You may want to change the colour of the mat. Or some damage may occur; a flood causes water damage or the glass is broken in a move. We see these problems more often than you might think!

Sometimes a picture is being framed for purely decorative reasons. There may be no concerns for longevity or potential resale value. In this case, non-reversible techniques can be used, such as dry mounting and plaque mounting, or framing without a mat or spacers which are used to keep the glass from touching original art.

* Note that the term “acid-free” means only that a paper product is acid-free at the time of manufacture. It can become acidic with age, sometimes quite quickly, so the term is not an indicator of how long paper or mats will actually last or if they will cause deterioration to items in contact with them.

**Note that the commonly used expression “archival” actually has no internationally recognized definition. It is used by manufacturers only to imply that their products will last a long time. How long is anyone’s guess.