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Glass Considerations in Framing Your Artwork

Ken Kegney of Neptune Camera.
Ken Kegney of Neptune Camera.
When you have a watercolor, drawing or print framed at a reputable framer, glass is an important consideration to protect the artwork.   Ken Kegney of Neptune Camera on Seventh Street in Garden City and Greg Schnoor of Barnes Galleries in Garden City South are framing experts and they added comments about the visual glazing choices:   
1. Regular glass- Nominal cost to protect the work from contamination, but it has glare.   According to Schnoor, "Regular glass naturally blocks 45 percent of ultraviolet (UV) light hitting the artwork, which means in approximately five years you will see some fading of original colors."    
2. Anti-glare glass/ Non- glare glass- It has a frosted appearance since it's etched on either side. Although it doesn't have glare like regular glass, it does create distortion and fuzziness with the artwork underneath. It also blocks about 45 percent of UV light.   However, new glass products have come to the market in the last 20 years or so. 
They are Water White Glass, Conservation Clear and Museum Glass. Schnoor said they are great for family heirlooms and special artwork.  
3. "Water White Glass"- A new product which has anti-glare coating and filters out about 65 percent of UV rays, so some fading doesn't occur for nine years. The advantage is that it is so clear that it also transmits almost all light and it is less than half of the museum glass price.     
4. "Conservation Clear" and "Conservation Non-Glare"- Both block 98- 99 percent of UV rays, which makes artwork colors last 12 years before some fading occurs. Although the glass makes all the artwork look sharply defined, it does have glare and is double regular glass prices.   Kegney remarked, "I recommend Conservation Clear all the time."    
5. Museum glass- Has great UV protection for preserving colors and prevention of fading, but it is very expensive. It filters out about 98- 99 percent of all UV rays like the Conservation Clear and Conservation Non- Glare. The extra benefit is that it is virtually invisible. Framers have to handle the museum glass carefully in the shop since it has a coating that scratches. The coating is put on the inside, not the outside of the frame, so cleaning is not a problem.   Schnoor said, "My preference is Museum Glass. The UV protection is at its best and it's close to Water White, so you're getting the best of both."       
6. Acrylic or Plexiglas- Helpful for artwork that is very large, to decrease weight while hanging. Do not use plexiglas with pastels since it creates static electricity and pulls the pastel particles away from the paper. It's also hard to clean.   Kegney said, "Plexiglas...is better than it used to be, with less yellowing. The negative is that it's easily scratched."    
"I've used plexiglas for artwork I've framed for the Long Island Children's Museum to protect the children," Schnoor stated.  Artificial lighting in your house causes fading too. Florescent bulbs are more damaging to artwork under glass than incandescent light bulbs. 
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries October 01, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Disappointing to find Sunflower Fine Art Galleries, Mirrors & Picture Framing omitted from this article! Continuously cited among 'Long Island's Top Art Galleries', located right on The Seventh Street Shopping District, Village many residents have enjoyed creative, quality framing for over seven years now. Indeed, with over 3000 framing options (the largest on LI) and an exclusive lifetime exchange/repair/replace policy- discerning folks travel from across the Tri-State area for Sunflower marvelous custom framing. While thousands of readers presently and exclusively entrust Sunflower with their custom framing, mirrors, art, shadowbox and memorabilia framing...confident many of the Village's prospective framers would also have enjoyed Sunflower's, expertise, insights, and fine comprehensive offerings included in the piece. PS. Sunflower offers TEN glass options !
Sizzle Chest October 01, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Sure. I'll go a to a camera store for important advisement regarding my picture framing. Right after I visit a florist for a wheel alignment.
Suzie Alvey October 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Hi Drew Art Guy, When I went to your store to see if you wanted to contribute to the article, the doors were locked on a non- Monday. You would have been included if you were open. Perhaps next time. Hi Sizzle Chest, If you go to Neptune Camera, you will see a wonderful framing department. I can recommend it.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries October 04, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Sorry we missed you Mrs. Alvey. On rare occasion we may step out of the gallery for 10 minutes or so to grab a bite for lunch. We apologize. FYI, we are open 6 days a week (including Mondays) from 11am to 6pm. Many nights we're here later. In December, for your Christmas shopping, we open 7 days right up until the big day!
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries October 04, 2012 at 01:55 PM
As for Sissle Chest's comment- thought was funny. Been to Neptune, many times, when you stop in our gallery believe you'll be impressed by the vast differences. For while others my boast of a framing "department", a little section set aside to add a few extra bucks in the register, here, @ Sunflower, its our CORE business! We are an ART GALLERY and FRAME SHOP. The best on Long Island. We don't sell cameras, telescopes, computers... etc. Not even even ready-made frames. Our clients, (hopefully you'll be among them soon) trust us to provide brilliant museum quality framing, massive selections, unparalleled experience in framing design, and reasonable pricing.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries October 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM
And Sunflower Fine Art Galleries, Mirrors and Picture framing backs everything we do with a straightforward, lifetime: exchange, repair or replace policy. We're not happy until you are delighted. Period.
Drew Art Guy @ Sunflower Fine Art Galleries October 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
One more point. Sunflower Fine Art always, always, has huge jar of lollipops for children to enjoy.. We love & welcome children. Our competitors have nothing for the little ones. Makes us wonder.