Do you have stacks of photos waiting to be displayed? Do you have old boxes of children’s artwork and memories sitting around, just waiting to be looked through? What about those family heirlooms that gather dust in the attic?
At Book ‘N’ Brush in Chehalis, Sherry Nickerson has been framing since 2011. For over 20 years, at various establishments throughout the South Sound, framing specialist Sherry has worked with customers to best preserve their memories. You too can have those memories turned into eye-catching displays and works of art for your home.
One of the few custom framer shops in Lewis County, Book ‘N’ Brush stands apart because of its hands-on approach with customers. Unlike chain stores, who often take orders and then send the items off to be framed, Book ’N’ Brush works in-house with clients to ensure a quick and accurate process.
“You may get somebody who can pay attention to what you want, but they aren’t often the ones doing the work,” said Sherry.
While it is convenient to go to the store and pick up a simple frame for your photos, it does not always guarantee the best preservation of your photos or artwork. The art of framing is a complex technique that takes into consideration the item’s color, size, texture, intended location and overall aesthetic.
“I like to treat the images presented to me as if they are a piece of furniture. The frame and mat need to enhance the image as well as their placement in the home or office. It should feel at home in it’s new surroundings,” said Sherry.
In the art of professional framing, four elements need to be taken into consideration: the mat, the mounting board, the glaze (glass) and the frame itself.
To compliment the artwork and draw the viewer’s eye into the focal point, the frame’s mat also provides space between the artwork and the glass to prevent them from sticking together. The grade, or quality, of this element is crucial, because the acidity (pH value) of the piece being framed affects how it will deteriorate over time. If you are preserving a temporary project, for example, you can use a basic, decorative wood-pulp mat that can lasts 5-7 years. However, if you are preserving a historical piece for a museum, then high-quality mats made from 100% cotton would best suit your needs. The amount of mats needed and the space between the glass and the object is also crucial, because there needs to be enough room for moisture or gases to release within the frame. For instance, according to Sherry, pastel paintings need a good amount of distance from the glass to accommodate the fine pigment particles that are loosely adhered to the surface.
The second element is the mounting board, used to support the work within the frame.
Although the least expensive ones are made from cardboard, the acidity of the material could quickly yellow the image, so it’s advisable to use a mounting board with wood pulp for low acidity, or opt for an acid-free version for long-term preservation. You can also select an adhesive mounting board, on which the image is directly transferred.
Glaze is the third element that protects your artwork. Typically glass or Plexiglas is used, which will control the intrusion of dust, help regulate temperature and moisture, and prevent harsh lighting from damaging your artwork and collectables. As an added service, Book ‘N’ Brush can arrange for images to be transferred onto canvas or aluminum sheets, which is a wonderful option for posters or newspaper articles that avoids risk of deterioration.
Finally, the fourth element is of course a frame to complete your work. Whether it’s metal or wood, thick or thin, Book ‘N’ Brush has an entire wall of colorful frames in varying sizes to fit your aesthetic needs. For formal pieces, such as historical photos and diplomas, a rich wood frame might compliment the pieces nicely, while a sleek, edgy black-and-white photo might look better in a thin metal frame. If you’re unsure of how you want an item framed, Sherry specializes in high-conservation work for museums and displays and has a keen eye for knowing the needs of each piece.
“Bringing your images to Book ‘N’ Brush means a lot more personal attention and care, at a very competitive price,” added Sherry.
During her six years at Book ‘N’ Brush, Sherry has framed a wide variety of items in many mediums, from framed kimonos, childhood keepsakes in shadow boxes, war memorabilia displays and several pieces for the Southwest Washington Fair.
The average piece takes 2 to 3 weeks to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the order. In the meantime, feel free to check in with Book ‘N’ Brush and pick up a good book, sign up for an art class, or strike up a conversation with their friendly and knowledgeable staff.