A Clear View: Present, Protect & Preserve Your Artwork with the Right Glazing

November 24, 2016

When you think of finishing a piece of artwork, what comes to mind? For many artists and art buyers, the final touch is the selection of a frame to accent the piece. In addition to providing a beautiful presentation, framing also offers protection from the elements. With the right materials, it can ensure your piece lasts a lifetime.

For works on paper, such as drawings, watercolours, and photographs, glazing is vital component of the frame. It provides a physical barrier from the elements while offering a clear view of the art within. While regular picture glass is standard in most readymade frames, there are many options available in both glass and acrylic. This allows you to select something to fit the look and size of the framed piece, the materials it was made with, and the environment in which it will be displayed.

At Opus, we offer standard sized pre-cut options including Regular Glass, UV Glass, and Plexiglass. You’ll also find several more glazing options such as Non-Glare, Anti-Reflective, and Museum Glass through our DIY Custom Framing Service. Each option carries different levels of protection, but all offer a barrier between your piece and dust, oil, moisture, air pollutants, and light.

Regular Glass naturally filters out up to 45% of UV light, a key element to help preserve colours, and comes with an economical price point. Move up to a Non-Glare Glass if you’d like to reduce the reflective quality of this type of glazing. Both are ideal for less precious pieces or reproductions that can easily be replaced.

If you are framing a special piece or hanging work in an area where it may have more light exposure, look to Anti-Reflective Glass, UV Glass, and Museum Glass to provide additional light protection. Anti-Reflective blocks up to 78% of damaging UV rays, while UV and Museum offer up to 98% protection. This dramatically increases their ability to sustain colour saturation and prevent fading for far longer than Regular Glass.

An alternative to glass is acrylic glazing, commonly referred to as Plexiglass. Our Pre-Cut Plexiglass has similar UV protection to Regular and Non-Glare Glass. The Museum Plexiglass filters out 99% UV rays and looks almost identical to standard or museum glass. Plexiglass is the best option for large works, offering a lighter weight than glass and safety too as it won’t shatter if dropped. This makes it a great choice when framing works that will be in high-traffic areas, or where safety is of concern. While it is a strong material, it is more susceptible to scratches and marks than glass. When cleaning plexi, avoid paper towel and products with abrasives, as well as those that contain ammonia or alcohol as they can eat into the surface.

Consider how the right glazing will impact the presentation and the life of your next framed work.

We invite you to visit us to see the options in person and to allow our staff to help you select the clear winner for your artwork.