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Notes on Framing Solid GroundTM Panels

Framing Solid Ground Panels is easy, and many options are available.
As with any painting (and especially panel paintings), a strong frame
is the best way to protect the painting and ensure that it stays flat.
With Solid Ground in particular, the panel wants to stay flat, and
a frame is always preferable (from a conservation standpoint)
to any sort of bracing in that regard, in all but a few circumstances.
Keeping in mind some basic information should be helpful.

We make our panels with a rather narrow tolerance of size deviation.
We aim for a deviation from the dimensions ordered of no more than
+0" / -3/32", with 95% or better falling between +0" / -1/16".
We try for as close as possible to the ordered dimension or less,
because even a bit oversized can mean that the panel won't fit into
a tight frame. We have never received a complaint about a panel that
would not fit a frame!

Like virtually any material, Solid Ground panels will expand and contract
with changes in temperature, and the greater the temperature change
and the larger the overall size, the greater will be the total size change.
The rate of change is similar to most hardwoods (actually just
a slight bit less). Unlike wood, the change is almost even across
the length and width as there is no significant "grain" to the panel.
When framing a very large panel
, potential differences in the
expansion / contraction rates of the panel and the framing material
should be taken into consideration, and adequate leeway should be given,
especially where the installation may be subject to significant temperature
fluctuations. Solid Ground panels do not expand and contract
with changes in humidity
, as wood does, but extensive swelling
of a wooden frame due to humidity could still apply unwanted stress
to the panel. Try not to frame too tightly!

Framing of Artist Panels

Paintings on Artist Panels can be framed in almost any way that you would
frame a stretched canvas. They are relatively light weight panels, and
should not be a burden to any but the most delicate or flimsy of frames.

Small brads or tiny screws can be put into the edges of the panels when
needed, but the practice would be looked down upon by an archival
framer or conservator.

Framing of Pastel Panels

The framing of pastels on panels deserves special consideration. Many
good options are available, and I will try to outline some of them here.
Solid Ground holds pastel extraordinarily well, and works done on our
panels are often left with little or no fixative. While the panel can
build up a static-electric charge, it is usually an attractive charge
and tends to pull the pastel dust to the panel rather than repelling it.

Using a "float" frame, with the entire panel (including the edges) visible
makes a striking appearance, and showing the work to be a panel painting
emphasizes its uncommon value as such. This is easily achieved by
mounting the panel on an oversize backing board or backing strips,
and using a deep frame of larger dimension than the panel. The
"background" can have a linen, paper, or painted surface. The panel
can be mounted flush to the backing, or be made to "hover" by separating
them with a spacer. See the discussion of mounting panels for more information.

A linen liner, of the type used for oil paintings, is a particularly elegant
way to display a pastel on panel while allowing space between the
surface of the piece and the glass. It's also a good way to distinguish
the piece from your other works on paper.

Nowhere is it written that pastel paintings must be set off with a border.
Works on panels are very easily framed using a frame of the same
dimensions as the panel, as you might do with an oil or other painting.
Just be sure to use a thin spacer strip within the lip of the frame to
separate the pastel from the glass. This can look very good with either
a broad traditional moulding or a more modern style.

Basic overmatting techniques are also easily adaptable to panels.
Mount the panel on a backing board, and simply use a 1/4"cardboard
spacer to keep the overmat flush with the face of the work.
Again, see my discussion on mounting panels for more information.


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