Studio Tips part 5 Framing
This is the last post on studio setups for a while. I may revisit it again later if I think of something more to say or my setups change drastically.
Framing will always be an artist’s largest expense. Because of that I recommend a couple of things to help alleviate the financial pain. If you are represented by galleries make sure you have a stipulation in your contract about framing. Use consignment sheets when you work with a gallery or retail space and make sure you not only note the paintings you consign but also the frames.
Galleries can be very sloppy with taking care of frames so you have to hold them to a higher standard. If a gallery damages a frame then they must replace or repair it don’t let them get away with dumping it back in your lap to worry about. Once you consign a piece of art, the gallery is responsible for it and the frame you put on it, until it is sold or returned.
I buy my frames and supplies in bulk to cut down on cost and shipping. For my frames I use lots of different sources depending on type and quality of frame needed. All my supplies come from United Manufacturers
; I find them inexpensive and reliable. When I enter shows I use Airfloat
reusable containers to ship my paintings.
I know how many paintings I sell a year and I make sure to have enough frames just to get me through each year so that at the end when I do my taxes I do not have to carry over a frame surplus. To buy in bulk it is important to get a resale license to not have to pay sales tax on the items purchased.
I have a separate area in my studio for framing; in it I have utility shelves to store packing material and the frames themselves. The cats think I built it for them to play on and I’m not telling them anything to the contrary. I also keep stretcher bars for making canvases.
For panels I use Sourcetek panels; to see how to make panels you can read about it here. I have a cabinet for the hardware. To see how I frame a painting you can read this here. I have a cabinet organized for framing hardware and shipping supplies, a workbench and desk.
By keeping things organized and ordering in bulk I maximize my time for painting. More painting time allows me to expand my markets and explore motifs outside my comfort zone and that flexibility creates greater opportunities for my work.