Why are Picture Frames and Matting Boards so Expensive!?!?!

General art-related discussion.

Postby michaelmillichamp on Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:00 am

Why is this still going on?
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Postby REL1203 on Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:19 am

I currently am posted in Kuwait (I am American working for the US State Dept) and custom framing here is about the only thing that is dirt cheap.

Here is an example, my Olly Moss Miyazaki Regular's, all Double Matted, custom framed with Reg glass.
Image

In the states, these easily would have been $280-$300 each if not more i think is safe to say. Here, because the skilled labor hourly rate is about $10/hr max (All skilled labors are expats from places like India, Pakistan, Sri Laka, Philippines). Getting this set professionally done was $250 total for all 3... I wouldn't think the wood for the frame, or the matting is much cheaper here, its just the labor they charge in the US.

I think a huge part of the price for custom framing stateside is the expected $100+/hr for skilled labor. I have friends that run Framing shops in the states where i got my stuff done when I was stateside, and I know what they use to calculate prices as their rates for certain jobs. I get it, their trained but they are soon gonna start loosing business as their hourly rates keep climbing.

I take my prints to our framers here, and within 24hours they are done, look amazing and done right... I am gonna get EVERYTHING i possible can framed here before I PCS out in 1.5 years.
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Postby fribhey on Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:24 am

virtualj wrote:
KingOfNothing wrote:
fribhey wrote:
KingOfNothing wrote:Supply vs. demand. Like a stripper lap dancing in Vegas on Super Bowl weekend.

it has nothing to do with supply and demand.

- materials cost money (preservation/archival quality materials are very expensive, especially museum glass)
- tools cost money
- knowledge and craftsmanship costs money
- time to do the job it costs money

if you want it cheaper then do it yourself. go out, buy the tools, materials, etc and frame the artwork you have. do you think an electrician will only change you $20 to come to your house to change an outlet or light switch because of supply and demand or because a switch/outlet only costs $10-15 at home depot? electricians, plumbers or any kind of skilled craftsmen are not going to charge you less because there are more customers, if anything, the more in demand you, which usually is a result of the quality of work you do, are the higher your costs are going to be. there's no difference to hiring a professional framer, who uses professional materials and professional tools and the knowledge to use them than hiring an electrician to replace an outlet or light switch for you. you can either change that switch/outlet at cost yourself (or frame the art/print yourself) or higher someone to do it for you.

until you learn a craft, or get an education, about something you no nothing about, stop dictating the value of someone else's knowledge, craft/skills and time. if you think a CUSTOM frame should be less than a $40 print then good luck finding it, museum glass alone costs a hell of a lot more than that. if you do find a cheap ass framer then don't come here in a few years when you try to take the print out and find that it's either drymounted or severely sun damaged... you get what you pay for.


Oh, ok son, I'll presume you were referring to me? Says the person who can't lead off a sentence with proper capitalization. Get an education? Ok, check! Learn a craft? Let me look, yup, 25+ years and going strong, check! I'm not claiming to be the framing master that you supposedly are, my opinion isn't meant to be taken as gospel like yours apparently is. Mine was more of an overall generalization sprinkled with a little tongue and cheek humor, especially my last sentence. I apologize for speaking out of turn/giving an opinion without first checking in with you. Next time I will, I can guarantee that. Or maybe not, yeah, I'm probably lying there. So you can push your glasses back up on your nose and take a deep breath. Relax Francis, you can breathe now. Ahhh, that feels good doesn't it?

From your response I'll put your age range at somewhere in your early to mid-thirties. Some knowledge under your belt but not quite there yet. You're argument is craftsmanship, and you'll always pay a premium for that, I don't disagree ok? But if everyone and there mother were buying frames/glass/archival material everyday 24/7/365 and demanding frame-ups, you would for sure see a rise in people providing that service - and along with it - undercutting rates competing for business, hence, costs go down. You see how that works? Sure, you'll have those "true" craftsmen like in every single industry, who will charge accordingly. You're paying for the experience not the materials in that case. There's an ecosystem in place. And high quality frames are costing a premium because it's not like there's a mad dash for college graduates to jump in the "super lucrative" field of custom framing. I'm being completely sarcastic. So no need to get upset and correct me on the fact that "most framers do it for the love of the craft and most live paycheck to paycheck." That's blatantly obvious already. There, I finished your sentence for you.

I wish I could prove my point "supply vs. demand" in a simplified way that you could understand. Put it this way, if there were custom frame shops on every street corner alongside every McDonald's and Starbucks but not just monopolies, legitimate competition like Taco Bell and Del taco price would come down all across the board. Suppliers would be cranking out material, its not like all archival material is made from some extinct "archive tree" in the Amazon where rarity dictates price.

I'm going to slowly back out of this thread now... so if I don't respond anymore it's because I lost interest and have moved on.

Good day!

Holy drymounting fudge are you an asshole. Learn how to use the right version of "your" or "their".
The only part that was referring to him was the fact that supply and demand does not apply to CUSTOM work since there is no "supply" of something that is made to order. The rest of the post, just like every other post in this thread was in response to the original poster. He's wrong about my age, and my education, but I'll let those slide since his original assumption was wrong as well. If he has no problem coming across like an ass then kudos to him.
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Postby tweetick on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:01 pm

Depending upon where you live, you might call local framers and ask if they offer DIY classes or know of anyone who does. Years ago, a friend recommended I check out the Framer's Workshop in Berkeley. That shop will give you a break on the price of the frame job if you do the labor yourself. The staff provide the instruction and supervise you as you go, but you have to do the work. It's a great way to learn framing basics. I now do most of my own framing (I don't yet know how to float) with archival materials I source online. Just a thought.
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Postby Bspaz020 on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:47 am

I have a couple questions along the framing process....

1) How do you fix print to core board when you aren't using a mat?
-----What about frame spacers? seems like the print would buckle when setting on 1/8 inch spacer

2) How do you sandwich everything together so there is no movement? Drive pins on the back of the frame? pressure and just sandwich everything together?

I am looking for these tips as I found this the most difficult when trying DIY framing. Any help or advice is appreciated!
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Postby Chris217h on Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:17 pm

tweetick wrote:Depending upon where you live, you might call local framers and ask if they offer DIY classes or know of anyone who does. Years ago, a friend recommended I check out the Framer's Workshop in Berkeley. That shop will give you a break on the price of the frame job if you do the labor yourself. The staff provide the instruction and supervise you as you go, but you have to do the work. It's a great way to learn framing basics. I now do most of my own framing (I don't yet know how to float) with archival materials I source online. Just a thought.


Now that my rants over that sounds like a damn good idea. I'll have to look into that around my area.
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Postby maddoghoek100 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:25 am

Dont take this the wrong way, but you have a lot more than a couple of questions if you are asking these. Hop on youtube and google "float mounting" and "framing hinge mount" there are some very good series of videos out there if you are serious. You are going to be asking about about wheat paste, and number of hinge points and the list goes on.

Bspaz020 wrote:I have a couple questions along the framing process....

1) How do you fix print to core board when you aren't using a mat?
-----What about frame spacers? seems like the print would buckle when setting on 1/8 inch spacer

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Postby soupysound on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:06 am

maddoghoek100 wrote:
Bspaz020 wrote:I have a couple questions along the framing process....

1) How do you fix print to core board when you aren't using a mat?
-----What about frame spacers? seems like the print would buckle when setting on 1/8 inch spacer

Dont take this the wrong way, but you have a lot more than a couple of questions if you are asking these. Hop on youtube and google "float mounting" and "framing hinge mount" there are some very good series of videos out there if you are serious. You are going to be asking about about wheat paste, and number of hinge points and the list goes on.


i think he was referring to framing with only spacers (not float mounting). but maddog is correct.... google/youtube is the way to go. in general, you don't really want/need to fix the print to the core board (unless floating). you can use photo corners to assist... but you attach the spacers to the acrylic/glass and then lay that on the print. you should be able to have enough pressure to hold the print in place.
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Postby john38103 on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:18 am

Dropped off a print at my preferred framer over the weekend. It'll cost $440 all-in with museum glass. It's expensive because it'll be worth it when it's done.
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Postby CHR1S on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:05 pm

soupysound wrote:
maddoghoek100 wrote:
Bspaz020 wrote:I have a couple questions along the framing process....

1) How do you fix print to core board when you aren't using a mat?
-----What about frame spacers? seems like the print would buckle when setting on 1/8 inch spacer

Dont take this the wrong way, but you have a lot more than a couple of questions if you are asking these. Hop on youtube and google "float mounting" and "framing hinge mount" there are some very good series of videos out there if you are serious. You are going to be asking about about wheat paste, and number of hinge points and the list goes on.


i think he was referring to framing with only spacers (not float mounting). but maddog is correct.... google/youtube is the way to go. in general, you don't really want/need to fix the print to the core board (unless floating). you can use photo corners to assist... but you attach the spacers to the acrylic/glass and then lay that on the print. you should be able to have enough pressure to hold the print in place.


You should still mount the art to the backing. Using pressure from the spacers is not the way to hold a print in place. By doing this you don't allow the paper to shrink or contract. And putting too much pressure on the paper (with the spacers) could put a compacted dent around the outer edge.
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Postby mexicoisfun on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:59 pm

CHR1S wrote:
soupysound wrote:
maddoghoek100 wrote:
Bspaz020 wrote:I have a couple questions along the framing process....

1) How do you fix print to core board when you aren't using a mat?
-----What about frame spacers? seems like the print would buckle when setting on 1/8 inch spacer

Dont take this the wrong way, but you have a lot more than a couple of questions if you are asking these. Hop on youtube and google "float mounting" and "framing hinge mount" there are some very good series of videos out there if you are serious. You are going to be asking about about wheat paste, and number of hinge points and the list goes on.


i think he was referring to framing with only spacers (not float mounting). but maddog is correct.... google/youtube is the way to go. in general, you don't really want/need to fix the print to the core board (unless floating). you can use photo corners to assist... but you attach the spacers to the acrylic/glass and then lay that on the print. you should be able to have enough pressure to hold the print in place.


You should still mount the art to the backing. Using pressure from the spacers is not the way to hold a print in place. By doing this you don't allow the paper to shrink or contract. And putting too much pressure on the paper (with the spacers) could put a compacted dent around the outer edge.


Wouldn't photo corners take care of the mount to the backing? I have a few prints that are framed without matting and I recently swapped one out that was in a frame for 2 years and it didn't have any dents on the edges from spacers. I also have no idea what method was used for the actual framing, but I do know spacers were used.

I have two other frame ups that I'm quite curious as to how they achieved the frame job. There is a fillet around the print and instead of mat board, I went with a black velvet frame, and then another frame around that. The black velvet frame was actually cheaper than mat board since the mat board had to be oversized.
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Postby padelimike on Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:11 pm

I was told a big part of the consumer price of mat board comes from shipping, because it has to stay flat.
I found it cost about the same to buy 20 pieces of oversize board as it did to get two.
So I got 40.
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Postby Codeblue on Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:54 pm

chaeldub wrote:Image

Image
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RupertPupkin wrote:I live by this rule and this rule alone: people are drymounting idiots.

Postby Jasper73 on Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:05 pm

:D :D :D
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