We had a quick chat with Love Widerström (what an amazing name!) from Fotorama, the framing partner for our Stockholm fair, to discuss the tools, tips and tricks of framing, plus why professionally framing artwork is so important to protect your precious works.
How long has Fotorama been around?
I’ve been managing Fotorama for almost four years now together with my girlfriend Victoria. In my family I’m a third generation framer, so the tradition goes back much longer than just four years. My grandfather came to Stockholm in the 40’s and was taught by a framer here in Vasastan. Later on, he took over the studio and taught my father, who in turn taught me.
If you want to become a framer, how do you go about it?
It’s one of those craftsmanship jobs that is usually passed down from one generation to another as in my own case. However, there are a few educational programs that offer internships and on-the-job practice. Technique, material, aesthetics and knowledge of different artistic styles is often what determines how you frame a work and that is hard to teach in school, so its really important to have a passion for art and an aesthetic eye.
Tell us more about the craftsmanship of framing an artwork?
First you cut the wooden frame in a 45° angle, which you do with a special machine in order to get an accurate cut. The next step is to glue together the frame and then create a passpartout or mount to fit. When this is complete you can move on to the glass, which we cut by hand using a special knife and this step really puts your skills to the test. When you have all your different pieces - the strip, passpartout and glass, you assemble them on a large mounting table where it is very important to keep out all small particles of dust. All material, including the tape, need to be acid free to secure the lasting effects of the frame and the artwork.
How hard would it be to frame your own artwork at home?
Well, you could do it, but as I mentioned, you would need a some fairly specialist tools and the space to work in. It would be quite difficult to keep all of the materials free of acid, plus dust can be tricky in the home environment!
What kind of glass do you use?
Usually you use picture glass which is a couple of millimeters thick. There are of course other options, the most common being ’art glass’ which is a reflex reducing glass with UV-protection to help preserve the artwork even better than picture glass.
Why do all art collectors opt for a professional frame rather than a store bought one?
A frame from somewhere like IKEA is usually made with plastic or a composite and not real wood, and in limited colours. The glass is in most cases is also plastic or poor quality glass and off the shelf frames only come in standard measurements. An original artworks deserves a real frame and not a ’cheap’ option - it will both protect and present the artwork to its best light, using complimentary colours and quality materials.
Have you seen any framing trends over the years?
It seems like people have framed their artworks for as long as we’ve had paintings in our homes. In modern times, framing trends have come and gone, same as in any industry. However, over the past hundred years there has been a clear move away from artistic and highly ornamented frames to more discreet frames highlighting the beauty of the artworks and not stealing it’s thunder.
And finally, how many works of art do you think you have framed over the years?
I did my first solo framing when I was 19 and since then I have framed over ten thousands pieces, and hopefully with many more to come in the future!
We're so enamoured with Love's love (pun intended) for the craftsmanship and tradition in his work as a framer. For the second year in a row, Fotorama will be on site at the fair in Stockholm to make sure your precious new artworks go home protected and looking fabulous. Fotorama can professionally frame your artwork in just 30 minutes on site, and even better - they will be offering all Affordable Art Fair purchasers a 20% discount at the fair! Find them next to the wrapping desk in the entrance hallway at Nacka Strandsmässan.
To find the perfect artwork for your future frame, join us at Affordable Art Fair Stockholm, 11 – 14 October.
Main Image from Affordable Art Fair Stockholm 2017
Featured art from first to last:
A selection of frames from Fotorama Happy art purchasers at the Affordable Art Fair.
Featured art from first to last: