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Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Mike Labbe, Aug 10, 2004.


General Knowledge of FACTS. (Check all that apply)

  1. Until now I didn’t know what FACTS stood for

  2. I know what FACTS means

  3. I am aware of the FACTS document

  4. I am a paying member of FACTS

  5. I have read the FACTS document

  6. I understand the FACTS document

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    August 10 - September 8, 2004

    This survey has 7 questions and ends on September 8, 2004. There are two polls running together this month. I am posting this survey at the request of WALLY FAY, and discussion is welcomed.

    The purpose of this survey is to help determine the current relationship between FACTS (Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards) and the professional framer. There are several questions about your general knowledge of FACTS and several designed to assess the functional nature of the standards in the workshop.

    I would like you to answer these questions without doing any research into FACTS. If you are unaware or unfamiliar with the standards of FACTS and wish to learn more, please do so after you have completed this survey. www.artfacts.org

    I am also open to suggestions about making FACTS more accessible to the framer. I will be attending the board meetings in Atlanta and will be glad to forward any suggestions to the steering committee. Please respond here if you want your response public, if not email me (fayes3@bellsouth.net).


    [ 08-10-2004, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
  2. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Addendum: It was brought to my attention that the wording on one of the answers was incorrect and I apologize. There are no memberships in FACTS, just donations to FACTS. The standards are available to anyone whether they contribute or not.
  3. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well, I don't know how easy to understand the FACTS document would have to be, to be considered "easy" since I just screwed up one of these questions by not reading it correctly until the vote was already counted!

    (For the record I DO know Jim Miller does a FACTS presentation... :rolleyes: I heard him give a "mini" version of it a KY/TN Chapter meeting...)

  4. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Side Note:

    Nona Powers and I will present the FACTS class at DecorExpo in Atlanta. It is scheduled Sunday, September 12, from 1 pm to 2:30 pm.

    It is free.
  5. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Although FACTS can be an useful tool in the frame shop, it can also be a useful tool in a courtroom, for us, or against us.

    Notice that the document is full of legalese, that is because a lawyer had a hand in preparing it. This also explains why it is so difficult to follow and understand. If you where an attorney, it would be easy for you.

    My main concern with FACTS is who it is really for, the legal profession or the picture framer.

    I have my reservations about the whole project. Once FACTS becomes a common standard in our industry, it will HAVE to be followed, to the letter, to protect yourself from lawsuits.

    I agree, it can also protect you from lawsuits if your shop follows it to the letter, however I don't believe any frame shop other than one owned by a law firm, could possibly understand the intricateness of the document and be able to fully comply with all aspects of it.

    Facts is also turning what was once a hand craft into a complex field of endeavor. I would feel much better about FACTS if it was presented in simple layman's terms, not courtroom terms.

    Whatever we build in our profession will eventually become a part of our profession. This has to fall under the heading of "being really careful about what you want, your just liable to get it".

    As a side note, yes, I have contributed to FACTS. Not necessarily because I am a strong supporter of it, but more that I respect Nona Powers and all the work and effort she has brought to FACTS.

    I just hope, when the dust settles, the project is a lot more benign than I think it is going to be.

  6. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Will FACTS "Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards" have a stand at the show!!! or is it just the meeting on the Sunday!!!

    BTW see you there....

    [ 08-10-2004, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Dermot ]
  7. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree. I used it as a tool. That is to say that Crescent claims that their matboards meets or exceeds FACTS standards for ........, then I say "The matboards we sell meets or exceeds FACTS standards." I make no claims of my framing as I don’t fully understand what the standards are. I have looked at the website. It gave me a headache. I think a paper form might be easier to understand but it is written like a lawbook (not that I have ever seen a lawbook).

    Now if we could just get FACTS to clarify once and for all the correct pronunciation of "FILLET".
  8. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh, Jay,

    It all depends on wither you want a small steak or a full pint at the bar....

    If it was a paper book, I'm with John, I think it would be in a lawyers hands to beat the framers out of business.

    They can't even aggree on what wood species are truly ok to use..... And then you have to throw in WARP, NEMA, and EF..... Black anodized metal with gag mat and back . . . oh gosh, which glass?

  9. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    It could be taken so far that the only way to truly preserve a picture would be to not frame it, but rather keep it in an acid free box, that is stored in a controlled environment. Anything other than that, would make the picture framer liable.

    I can see a whole new industry popping up, art work storage. Controlled environment storage for your collectibles. There could be different packages, based on how often you wish to visit and view your treasures.

    I think our community is divided into several groups. One wants everything standardized and controlled. The other wants things left as they are, a rather loose, up to the individual framer approach, and one that would like to see a combination of the other two.

    Myself, I'm in the second camp, just seems like a lot more enjoyable place to earn a living. It could be that I'm just used to it.

  10. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Every time the subject of FACTS comes up, we get the same, tired objections about how the evil FACTS empire wants to homogenize everything in framing and turn us all into Stepford Wives.

    FACTS is a tool. Sometimes it's useful, sometimes it's not and most times there are at least parts of it that are useful.

    To see it as a threat is just delusional paranoia but, hey, it's a free and open discussion, so have at it. I just did.

    John, with or without FACTS, it will ALWAYS be "up to the individual framer." We're not talking about legislation here.
  11. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    I am not finding fault with your concerns. However do you honestly believe that if there were no FACTS GUIDELINES, Framers in general would be free of liability? Do you belive that FACTS is the only thing that a court or prosecuteing attorney would hold a PROFESSIONAL FRAMER liable for?
    I honestly think nothing can indemnifie us from damageing art/work left in our care and Custody. You in fact paid $3000 to a person for the loss of a piece of art with out any varification.IMHO you must have felt liable without any direction from any guidelines . So to I'd bet you would also respond in kind to a work that was damaged by you or your shop, even if FACTS didn't exist to detremine what you should have done.
    But as Ron so aptly pointed out it is a GUIDELINE the resposibilty lies with the FRAMER working as a knowledgeable PROFESSIONAL,before ,during and after the existance of FACTS.
  12. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think that Ron is wrong again. An industry accepted standard is no longer a toy that Ron can use it or abandon it creatively, at his will. I'd like to see how would he avoid litigations in general, and responsability in particular, once precise standards are being recognized, implemented and referred to throughout the industry. Would he post a sign in his window saying " Certified Professional Picture Framer, Proud PPFA member intermitently loyal to F.A.C.T.S."?

    Sorry, Ron, a tool takes the shape of its purpose and user. If F.A.C.T.S. looks like something that just lawyers may understand and use, chances are that it's ment for their use, not yours. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, does like it... you know it can't be your glass cutter.
    John made a pertinent comment which you can't refute with valid arguments. Labeling his opinion as "paranoia" won't do the job either.
  13. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    PPFA had a lot of discussion years ago about calling things "guidelines" or "standards". PPFA's legal advisor suggested that they use "guidelines" because most aspects of our industry are shades of grey, not black and white. "Standards" are pretty cut and dried. Hence, "PPFA Guidelines For Framing Works of Art on Paper" and "PPFA Guidelines For Framing Works of Art on Canvas" were the end result.

    I would hesitate to utilize a document that contains the phrase: "A general picture framer should be aware of appropriate art care when providing ANY product and/or service to the public and should ALWAYS FULLY INFORM clients of art care considerations."

    Ever try to ALWAYS FULLY INFORM your clients? When I was working on the first "standard guidelines" (as they were called back then), the volunteer legal advisors that I had look them over strongly advised that this phrase be removed.

    I would hesitate to utilize documents that make it the responsibility of the end user of a product to determine if the product meets the FACTS standards and the manufacturers claims.

    Think that the people who have used 3M brown bumpons for years should have done tests to determine that the bumpons wouldn't melt and cause a lawsuit eight or nine years later?

    And shouldn't they have FULLY INFORMED their clients about this possibility?

    Yes, FACTS could be a "tool". So could PPFA, the AIC, and any of a number of organizations that have a hand in making up the products and techniques that we use everyday.

    If it is delusional paronoia to question the resources, quality, appropriateness, terminology, legality, collection, analysis, and disemination of research and data in a "standard setting process", then Ron, you have pegged me!

    But some of those "standards" are better now because a few of us "delusional paradoids" worked our fannies off to have them changed. The "fully inform the client" started out including reference to "PRESENT and FUTURE interactions between the materials used in producing the artwork, the products and services used in the framing, and the environmental conditions that MIGHT affect the artwork once it left the picture framing shop."
  14. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ron, you are the delusional one if you think once FACTS becomes the industry standard that it is a tool for framers. It is plainly a tool for attorneys, period. If you think it can be implemented intermittently, you had better give that thought a little more consideration. Cornel is correct, if it walks like a duck, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for having things spelled out a little plainer for our industry. I am against the full blown legal document that is the current rendition of FACTS.

    There is an old saying about getting rid of the lawyers, FACTS is nothing but lawyer speak.

    If you think Aaron Brothers uses UV glass as a default glass out of the generosity of their hearts, and acid free mats because they are truly a benevolent company, then yes, you should be one hundred percent in favor of FACTS.

    Buddy, that three thousand dollars I paid was settled between me and my customer. Had FACTS and an attorney been involved, it would have been considerably more.

    Our industry is hundreds of years old. It has grown and prospered without FACTS or lawyers. The reason is, it is mostly small entrepreneurs who run it. We are by nature an ethical group of people doing the best we can for our customers. If we screw it up, we will generally come to an agreeable conclusion with our customers.

    Having FACTS in the hands of a lawyer is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. The agreeable settlements we have always been able to work out with our customers, could become a thing of the past.

    Again, I am NOT against the concept, I'm against the presentation. Having a standard guide for our industry makes sense. Having a standard guide for the legal profession makes me nervous.

    The big problem with being for the concept, but against the legalese is, how do you spell out every little detail of our industry without it becoming a legal document?

    It's truly a tough issue with a lot of passion involved. I just wish it never came up in the first place. The cat is out of the bag now, that is for sure.

  15. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Another thought, Buddy, I did not lose a piece of art, I have never lost a piece of customers art or property. We put a 1/4" tear in the bottom border of a 40"X 50" lithograph. The tear was five inches away from the image. The $3000.00 was the amount my customer felt she was due, we paid it.

    A lawyer would have wanted at least ten thousand dollars for the damage. FACTS could possibly have helped him/her achieve that figure. On the other hand, it is possible the customer would have lost or been awarded a much lower figure, either way, once it ends up in a courtroom, the customer is not yours any longer.

    The number was from my customer, not me, not an attorney. The settlement made my customer happy. It is the way things have always been done in our industry, for the most part, AND I kept my customer.


    [ 08-11-2004, 02:08 AM: Message edited by: JRB ]
  16. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Go read the FACTS documents in full(all of them) and then come back and debate whether they are authoritative and legally binding/compulsory documents…..there are many clauses which allow for variations in the work that need to be carried out ….and how it should be carried out ….and for the materials that a framer need to use…..and go check again whether there is a difference between using the word “Standard” or “Guideline”…..if there is….. just about every industry and business in the world is in trouble…..the wording “Industrial Standard or Guidelines” have been used for as long as I can recall and are still used…and I have worked in industries which would have very much more definitive standards than picture framing….go check the GMP Standards (Good Manufacturing Practices) as used by the pharmaceutical or food industries…or another place you can go is to ISO (International Standards Organisation)…..ISO is used by just about every business and industry in the world…….for example have you ever heard of FedEx been sued because thy did not meet the ISO standard that they ascribe to……..Standards and Guidelines are something you ascribe and work to they are never absolute……

    It nonsense to suggest that if you ascribe to and follow FACTS that the lawyers are going to be able to beat you up….

    [ 08-11-2004, 04:27 AM: Message edited by: Dermot ]
  17. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think the comments on this thread will do more "to help determine the current relationship between FACTS (Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards) and the professional framer" than the survey itself. As long as earnest framers are afraid of it, there is little chance that FACTS will become the generally accepted standard in our industry.

    For those who don't like it, it might be useful to know whether you feel the whole project should be chucked or there are specific changes that could be made that would make FACTS more acceptable to you.

    Most everyone who reads The Grumble is comfortable with which matboards are likely to meet FACTS standards even if you've never read the documents. I'd like to see the work continue to develop standards for clear films, adhesives, fomeboards, etc. The goal, as I see it, is not to tell us which materials we MUST use, but to help us make informed decisions in different situations.

    I did not mean to suggest that I apply the standards to my own work according to my whims. If you understand the standards, we expect that you will make intelligent decisions about which may be applicable to a given project. There is nothing abitrary about it. Your decisions will be based on the monetary or sentimental value of the item being framed, the customer's wishes, budgetary contraints and availability of materials. If that sounds familiar, congratulations - you've at least glanced at the standards. I'd be interested in hearing how that might be different from the way you work now.

    Cornel, what do you mean "wrong again?" There was another time? ;)
  18. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    My apologies for getting the facts of that previous post confused John.
    However what you seem to agreeing to is that even though you were able to amicably settle your difficulty with your client on a personal level,the resposibilty for what we do to the property of some one else can and is a personal libility.
    As Dermot mentioned I worked in nother indusrty ( the oil refineing) and the comapny I worked for sought and achieved ISO acceptance. To me FACTS is almost identicle ,it just has deffernt intials.

    But while we were schooled and indocternated about what was expected of us under it's GUIDELINES,we also were taught what each and everyone of us was resposible for PERSONALLY. It didn't become our responsibilty because of ISO .It was always there.We just never thought about ourselves being personally responsile for our action,it was the COMPANY'S PROBLEM. WRONG!
    Each individual is personally liable for there own actions,and especially if they do something of ther own volition.
    It was made abundantly clear that if an error occred each and every person who had a hand in it's comition could and should be held accountable.( aside story was ; our supervisors would call us out for over time and would turn a deaf ear to any excuses.Until it was made clear that if they ignored our telling them that we were incapacitated ( imbibing) and he called us out anyway and we reported and an accident or poor product made .The supervisor could be held accontable personally.Oh how quickly they started listening to our conditions when they called.LOL)

    Point being you are ALWAYS resposible for your personal actions and not because of any guidelins .If you have ever been involved in a Law Suit from an accident the lawyers sue eveyone who had any part in the accident. Not just to get the most they can ,but because if any of the other litigits can prove that it was somee unnamed parties responsibilty the suit will be thrown out. Since you are only liable for your own actions or omissions and not those of anyone else.But this has always been true. I think just as no one can legislate away your personal liability, you are ALWAYS resposible for your actions with or without a clearly defined guideline.

    However with it in place and when you can prove that you have done what is expected of the industry you can also prove that you are not resposible for any errors .This too has always been true but with FACTS you have clearly defined proof that you did what was expected.

    With out it you may indeed be able to come to your own settlements but then again you may not.It's what your action make you resposible for, not a clearly defined list that gives you a problem. Just as no list or law can absolve you.This is true with or without LAWYERS. But make no mistake ther are LAWYERS and they do practice their profession ,even now,
  19. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    There is a big difference between companies that produce products that can affect the health and safety of the population in general and the neighborhood custom picture framer. I totally agree that the companies that affect our safety and health must have iron clad rules for their operational procedures, just makes sense.

    Why do we want to turn our industry into this complex, rule governed, procedure oriented, standardized, whatever?

    I do like it that mat boards and other products that make claims as to their stability and reliability have some sort of standards they must adhere to, so that we, as neighborhood custom picture framers, can sell these products with confidence.

    There is nothing in the FACTS document that I am against or do not agree with, it's the presentation that makes me totally uncomfortable. The FACTS document is written in full blown legalese. The document appears to have been prepared by attorneys, for attorneys, not for picture framers.

    Why on earth do we need every little detail of our industry spelled out in a manner that is second only to a military field manual anyway?
    Just who is it that feels we must have this so called guideline? It looks to me like it is the legal industry, not the picture framing industry.

  20. Flintstone

    Flintstone CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hopefully Ron, you'll never be in this position...but if you are, totally blame it on Dogzilla. If that doesn't work, whip out the picture of the squirrel and run away while the lawyers are doubled-over in laughter. Then hide; hide in the deepest, darkest corner of the framining industry you can find. Wait there for the "all's clear" sign. You'll know it when you see it. ;)
  21. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John, I apologize for my use of the term "delusional paranoia." I don't think you're crazy. (I think Baer is crazy, but I think he's proud of it. [​IMG] )

    I think FACTS is a tool for framers. You (and at least a few others) think it is a potential weapon of mass litigation. That is a discrepancy that we'll have to deal with before FACTS can move forward.
  22. Greg Fremstad

    Greg Fremstad MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Here are some minor but important corrections to these posts.

    FACTS was not written by lawyers. There is not one lawyer affiliated with FACTS in any way - it was written mostly by your fellow framers with some input by interested suppliers for technical stuff. Every sentence was agreed upon by consensus.

    There are several standards - all available FREE on the web at <http://artfacts.orgb> They can be found at the pull-down menu labeled "Standards" Pretty easy to navigate! The most important ones are "Maximum Preservation Framing, "Mat and Paper", and"Glazing". There's lots of other great information there too.

    They are not filled with leagaleese. We followed the ASTM guidelines for writing standards. In fact, ASTM looked over our standards and thought we did a good job. They said that they were a lot cleaner than some of their standards.

    Neither FACTS nor ASTM have "Members" - we have supporters.
    You must pay ASTM to get a copy of their standards - ours are free on the web. You can print them off if you want a paper copy.

    You can still drymount art, frame it up aginst the glass, use acidic mats, and linen hinge tape, etc. You should explain all of these things to your customer. The little FACTS "Exception Stickers" that go on the back of the frame explain that the art was framed to FACTS standard # FRM-2000 with the following exceptions: ...... and then dated. The idea being that you had discussed the exceptions with your customer and noted the exceptions on the back of the frame. The date and standard number cover you in case the standard gets updated after you framed the piece. These stickers (still available from FACTS at cost) were never advertised much because we ran out of steam and money and the folks who put in all the effort got tired of all the fighting, resistance, and criticism.

    It's pretty obvious that many of the posters have never read the standards. Please read the standards before you complain. If you don't understand any part of them or have some corrections that you feel are needed Email the Exec Director at kmegahan@artfacts.org or call me directly at 1-800-227-9934 for FREE

    Sorry for venting

    Greg Fremstad
    Frame Tek, Inc.
    FACTS Trustee
  23. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Buddy makes a great point: We are all responsible for the work we do, whether we follow guidelines or not.

    A big problem is that one framer's idea of "generally accepted practices" may be different from another's. All of us made up our own guidelines in the past, based on what we learned from books and manufacturer's literature.

    FACTS was established for the purpose of determining what standards & guidelines we should follow, publishing them for the whole industry, and keeping them current.

    JRB, standards in all industries are written in a way similar to FACTS documents. They Are designed to be reference documents, not casual reading. That's what the class is about -- helping framers understand how the standards may be applied to build better frames and make better profits in everyday work.

    And if you think following FACTS standards could lead anyone to sue you, then you'd better check your practices. If your work agrees with practices generally accepted in our industry, then you have nothing to worry about -- FACTS or no FACTS.

    I agree with Ron & Dermot; fear of standards seems irrational.
  25. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree that the FACTS documents take some attention to understand. However, I think they've done an awesome job of making them concise (without which they cannot accomplish their purpose) without being any more complicated than they have to be.

    However, they are far from "legalese", at least the legalese that I'm used to - I didn't notice one "herinafter", "party of the first", "heirs, successors or assigns" or "perpetuity" anywhere. I'll admit that I didn't read each one purposely looking for one of those, and I may be wrong, but that's not the kind of duckuments they are (pun intended ;) )

    Unfortunately, I don't believe they will ever become "generally accepted standards". Those among the Grumblers and HitchHikers are some of the most interested in doing the job well and right, and it seems to be the minority that care about FACTS. I think it is far more likely that whatever the BBs do will become standards that may help or hinder you in a lawsuit.

    One further point - ISO and some other standards organizations have been mentioned. I do think it's possible to get successfully sued for not adhering to some of those standards. However, to be in that situation you would have had to first apply for the certification, and then sign a truly legal document and go through lots of testing to prove that you do indeed qualify. Here's a thought - you are probably more likely to get sued for not adhering to the practices taught to acheive a CPF® or MCPF than for FACTS.

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Does facts determine what should be treated with what guide lines? Kids art? Sketch on butcher paper? LE of 50,000? Gelcee' transfer on canvas? What determines how you treat what? Common sense kind of tells me to frame it in nothing less than the quality of the article. Why would you frame a marker {Prismacolor marker} drawing done on manila paper ( acidic wood pulp ) with uv glass rag mat board and backing with a foil line wood frame and a moisture barrier behind it? Did I miss something in facts or does it list every type of paper and media? I think only the Shadow Knows!
    Really what are guide lines? Just information put together that is passed on by one person to another as to what works the best to those peoples knowledge. I see facts as the guy who has been framing for 30 years. It is just compiled information that is valuable. Even though I know some 30 year framers that still only know what they learned the first 5 years in business and have not learned anything since. There is still a lot of judgement to be made when dealing with art and if you don't like it go work in the oil industry or something else.
    I will be retiring soon so everyone else can slug this out. I intend on only doing lectures, and workshops. Whether you like FACTS or not if it is out there and you are framing you should know it by heart.

    PS If anyone knows who the framer for Vermer was I would like to know. So I can trace his family tree down and sue the living relatives for the damage done to a Vermer drawing. Cause by putting it in a wood frame no protective liner and float glass with wood slats on the back. LOL
  27. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    David if your comment is true and CPFs amd MCPFs are more accontable for their work,does that mean that a part time Michaels framer who holds their CERTIFICATION is more answerable than say an experienced framer of many years?

    If so then, does that also mean that 20-30- years of practicle experience doesn't count in a law suit?

    Or could it be that the accquired knowledge and OJT is what makes you answerable for your actions (from day one to your retirement)
    ,just as how you choose to apply or not apply things like FACTS and your Certification (where ever you accquire it from)?
  28. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    A year or so ago on The Grumble, someone stated, I believe it was Nona Powers, that there was indeed an attorney helping to write the FACTS document. I have tried to read it several times, but my eye (only have one) keeps glazing over about the third paragraph. I don't care what you say, it has to be THE most boring "tool" in our industry.

  29. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I just received an e-mail confirming that there absolutely was an attorney who worked extensively with FACTS. It was posted on The Grumble 07/22/2002 at 05:40 PM.

    Greg, do you want to re-think your thoughts on this?

  30. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I said I thought it more likely you get sued, I didn't say anything about accountability or the outcome of the suit. It is only my opinion.

    "Certify - 's&r-t&-"fI - to attest as being true or as represented or as meeting a standard." Merriam-Webster.

    So a CPF®, MCPF or Michaels CF is proclaiming that they have been certified to do work to a certain standard. If they do work that is not to that standard than there could be consequences.

    FACTS is not imposed on anyone, and not likely to be, unlike a set of standards like GAAP. However, if you choose to adopt them and say that you do, you will be held accountable. It's no different than putting up a sign that says "We will match any competitors price". Its a statement that is up to you to maintain. If you don't, you are increasing your liability.

    If FACTS were elevated to the point where you had to be certified to use the name, there would be an additional level of accountability.

    The point of my statement was that I think it so unlikely to get sued as a result of FACTS that it seems more likely you would be sued as a result of your CFR®. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.
  31. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    While it is true that at this point, FACTS is just a wannabe guideline or set of rules for the less creative in our industry to have something to follow, or help them understand and get through a workday. It does not necessarily mean it will remain that way.

    Just like some folks have to have certification to be able to understand their self worth in this craft, some folks must have rules to follow.

    A guideline would state, in the case of felt bumpons, to apply them to the lower corners of the frame after you have applied your paper backing. I have not even looked at the FACTS description of this simple procedure, nor do I care to, but I'll bet it ain't simple, and I will be willing to bet it sounds more like a rule than a guideline.

    Our industry or craft has always been dominated by creative thinking folks who could work their way through various daily problems without referring to a set of guidelines, they just figured it out.

    Bureaucrats and engineers LIVE by their rule books and manuals. Both of those industries are extremely rigid leaving absolutely no room for creative thought. This is the reason San Diego almost burned to the ground last year, there was nothing in the bureaucrats rule books or guidelines to help them determine what agency was supposed to put out the fire. Confusion and finger pointing ensued while San Diego burned.

    Our industry has always been the exact opposite of engineering and bureaucracies. This has made it become appealing to these type of personalities, they want freedom and creativity, so they become picture framers. Then, to their horror, they discover we do not have concise rules and guidelines, they become hopelessly lost and confused.

    So what do they do? the set up committees and come up with FACTS. This is OK at this point, the problem is when their contemporaries who are still employed in bureaucracies get a hold of this set of "guidelines" they will want to turn it into permanent laws and/or regulations. That, plus the legal side of the issue is what makes me uncomfortable with the whole darn thing.

    They need rules, they want our freedom, they are a confused lot of people. I guess we should be helping them, and I have, but I honestly hope the whole thing just goes away.

  32. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I disagree with this point, John.

    Our business is an odd mix of artistic creativity and exacting science.

    I've had a couple of artists working for me. Very good design skills, very creative and fun to work with. One of them, whose work is hanging all over the world, couldn't be bothered with exact measurements and I had to let him go.

    Another would watch me putting wire on a frame and say, "What the **** are you doing?" She was highly amused because I would measure the placement of the hangers and the wire. She would eyeball it and generally get it right anyway. Does that make one of us wrong?

    My feeling is that FACTS isn't going away any time soon, but I doubt it will become the "generally-accepted standards" for our industry and I don't believe it will become a weapon for all those bureaucrats that are out to get us.

    And I still want to know about fomecore and adhesives.
  33. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    David :thanks for the clarification of your point. However Mine apparently wasn't clear either.

    My point is we are all subject to law suits based on our experience and knowledge ,as well as the fact that we are supposed to be PROFESSIONALS.The certification or any "GUIDELINES" ,FACTS,PPFA Or even Michael's, merely says what we should attempt to do.
    In that regaurd I guess someone could say you failed to do artile no.xxxx. But My contention is we are ALL liable for the same expectations and errors. Haveing a list of guidelines could also prove that we have done what is Normally expected by the industry.It isn't nor will it ever be the only thing that ALL FRAMERS can be held accountable for .And the lack of it doesn't excuse faulty workmenship or damage that results from the same .

    I can't begin to imagine a judicial system or a Lawyer who would belive that the likes of a Part time framer who has a mere Michael's "Certification" (even this meets your Webster defenition)is more knowledgeable then a long time (many many years)experienced Framer ,who has decided not to certifie themself or even if FACTS never existed ,and therfoe the Partimer is liable and the old timer is excused (these are obviously extreme examples). I'll bet that we all will be told "IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE" .Just in this case it may mean that you should have known that you are perssonally resposible without any Certificates or references.
  34. nona powers

    nona powers MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I’ve been on vacation, the first real vacation in years, or is it ever? At any rate, people have been busy, busy while I was gone, but now I’m B-A-C-K.

    There is a FACTS meeting called in Atlanta Sunday, Sept 12th room C-211 at 8:00am, World Congress Center. I hope everyone who has posted here will be at that meeting. The Board of Trustees plus the committee chairs will be there to give brief reports and I hope to answer questions. From reading these posts, it should be a lively meeting. Come to Jim and my FACTS class on Sunday at 2:30, it’s free and again, should be lively.

    An attorney appeared at a FACTS panel class in Las Vegas a few years ago where Jim and I also did presentations. The attorney said that anyone can be sued at any time BUT in picture framing, if you frame to the standards of the day, you have a better chance of winning the suit and because our industry has not had standards until FACTS you had very little defense. The one suing simply had to come up with an expert witness who would testify that you did not frame to the standards of the day. With FACTS, we have published standards and I certainly think most of us would recognize they have value just because they are published on the website (www.artfacts.org) and available to everyone at any time. If you really read the Guidelines you will see that they are not too restrictive, (they are written in the language required to be acceptable to other standrd setting organizations and bodies). A framer can follow them and still make a living at their craft. For instance, the method of attaching art to a backing board has to be non-damaging and reversible. It doesn’t say you have to use a particular method or material. In the past the Library of Congress classes I took said that Japanese hinges were all that was acceptable, but now we can use corner pockets, edge strips, and many other ways to attach art as long as the method is non damaging and reversible. The industry is changing so fast with new techniques and materials, as the document is now, it is flexible. My concern is that it not get too restrictive in the future. We are retail framers, not conservators or museums. If you know the materials you use meet preservation standards (do no harm to the art) and FACTS spells out what those standards are, and the manufactures tell us which of their materials meet those standards, it provides protection for us.

    A the moment, all of the FACTS committees have been filled (thanks to everyone who said YES!!) and most of the chairs are framers. FACTS is for art, but without framers using it, it has little value. FACTS is useful to framers because it does give us guidelines, yes, GUIDELINES FOR FRAMING, and it gives us STANDARDS FOR MATERIALS. FACTS is a tool and I can’t see why every framer would not want to support and keep FACTS

    Nona Powers, CPF
    FACTS Steering Committee Chair
  35. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Since no one stating that they frame according to FACTS standards has been sued yet (to our knowledge), FACTS as a line of defense is untested. That brings up a couple of questions of how courts look at "guidelines", "standards", in an industry.

    Are "standards" accepted simply because they are published? Does a court look at what is generally being done in an industry even if it claims that it has guidelines? Does it look at what methods or guidelines are published, look at dates of publication, and distribution of the publications? FACTS draws its information from other sources, and uses its committee members to issue the stamp of approval on that information. If there are previous publications out there that are of an earlier publication date and a wider distribution than a FACTS standard, would the earlier document over ride FACTS in court?

    What if earlier, more broadly distributed publications, perhaps written by other organizations, differ in their recommendations?
    How does a court decide that "A" set of guidelines or standards are the ones to use instead of "B" set of guidelines?

    Any thoughts, anyone?
  36. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Terry ;
    Nona's and my parphrased comment should indicate how the courts may rule and why:

    "if you frame to the standards of the day, you have a better chance of winning the suit"

    This is reenforced by the fact that it was the opinion of a practiceing attorney who was attending Nona and Jim's seminar ,not abias participant in FACTS.

    I think the key words might be;
    "standards of the day" or the most current standards as accepted by your peers and industry leaders.Which is indeed the way FACTS is compiled ,and this statement directly rebuts :"The one suing simply had to come up with an expert witness who would testify that you did not frame to the standards of the day."

    So IMHO it would and has always been the most current opinion of accepted industry experts that the court would use to decide if a FRAMER had done what was expected of such a professional. Therefore the most recent set Of FACTS Guidelines would be accepted as such a testimony,( as Nona had clearly already stated)
  37. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    If you do not have an insurance policy that will pay your way though the court system, it probably does not matter anyway. You are going to be bankrupted, unless you have a law firm that will defend you at no charge, you are pretty much out of luck no matter what standard you follow. Even if you win a court contest, it is highly unlikely you will recover your legal fees, which will start at around $20,000.00

  38. CharlesL

    CharlesL PFG, Picture Framing God

    From 30 years experience with the Fone Company, I KNOW the following:
    If one of our customers wanted a fiber multiplexer, we installed it according to OUR guidelines. We seldom got any complaints.

    If, on the other hand, we told the customer everything we knew or everything there was to know about that mux, they'd worry us to death, reporting superfluous problems, most of which weren't problems at all.

    They'd go out and buy a voltmeter and, according to what they'd been told, check pin J-87, and if the specs called for 1.08VDC, and they read 1.10VDC, they'd call and want it fixed, although they were getting perfectly good, nay, GREAT service.

    We've actually had Utility Commission complaints over .02 of a volt. The whole time, the mux was working fine, and the customer couldn't tell you of ANY problems he was having, other than the .02VDC disparity.

    Educating customers, in some cases, is a good thing, but giving them what they want, a hearty handshake, and helping them carry their work to their car would probably turn out to be the less complicated method. And you could sleep at night, knowing you'd given the customer exactly what they wanted. Isn't that what Fone men and framers are supposed to do?
  39. nona powers

    nona powers MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    A framer around the corner from me, advertised himself as an "expert" in conservation framing on his business card and on a newspaper ad. A customer came in and asked me why the signed numbered print he had just picked up from this framer was rippled across the surface. I took the housing apart, in front of the customer to find that the framer had put the frame right up against the edges of the print, hence the rippling. He had placed it on a 2-ply cotton pulp board over a sheet of regular foamboard. He had taken a piece of 2 ply cotton pulp board, cut it into 4 small triangle shapes, laid them on top of the print on the corners and with masking tape, held them in place. He placed 2 regular mats stripped with the same 2-ply cotton pulp board on the print. That is an example of an “expert”. I could show him the consumer guide to conservation framing our chapter had prepared for just such as occurrence to illustrate how a print “should” be framed. When I chaired the committee that made up that guide, we found it was impossible to get accurate, reliable information about materials and with all the different opinions on technique in the industry, there was no “right” way. All a framer has to do now is refer the customer to the FACTS website and if nothing else the customer will be impressed with the fact that framing is more than just glass and wood. FACTS is now the industry standard and it behooves all framers to know what it is and understand how to use it, for themselves, their customers and the art itself. At least a framer, from a beginner to an “expert” knows how a signed numbered print “should” be frame, if they choose to not frame it that way, so be it, but at least we all know. See the FACTS editorial on TG for a copy of the FACTS synopsis guidelines I posted.

    Nona Powers, CPF
  40. Greg Fremstad

    Greg Fremstad MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I'll stick by my statement that there was never an attorney on any FACTS committee. Please go read any ASTM standard and you will see the format that was followed. OBTW, you'll have to pay to see an ASTM standard because that's how they generate funds to continue. FACTS standards are FREE on the web site.
  41. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Lot of confusion about this attorney issue, first there was, now there was not, must be somewhere in between.

  42. nona powers

    nona powers MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The attorney who appeared on the FACTS panel with Jim and I in Las Vegas was a consultant to Don and donated his time for the panel because he told me so himself. He admired Don a great deal and thought the work FACTS had done was worth supporting. FACTS paid the expenses of the various experts on the panel (a canvas, a paper, I blieve a photography, the attorney, Jim and myself) but no honorarium. (I don't know about Jim but I didn't get paid nor ask for anything)

    When I attended the meeting of experts on paper in, I believe Atlanta, there were all kinds of people in the room. Manufactures, paper mills, individual companies, scientists, framers, lots of people had input and influence. Everything discussed had to be agreed to by the majority, which is called consensus. It was very interesting to watch the process.

    The format of the documents themselves, as has been stated repeatedly, is in line with other kinds of documents and standards. On the panel the attorney was simply explaining why standards would be important to the picture framing industry and why a framer should be aware of them in their work. The standards and guidelines are not a threat they are a tool, a valuable tool for framers and anyone who loves art.

    Nona Powers, CPF
  43. Greg Fremstad

    Greg Fremstad MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I'll still stick by my previous statement." There were never any attorneys involved with writing any FACTS standard". As Nona stated, there was an attorney invited to talk at the LV FACTS presentation because so many framers had questions about the legal ramifactions of standards. So what's the big deal about attorneys anyways?
  44. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Greg, I believe this is John's image of the typical attorney.


    The two conclusions I've reached from this protracted discussion are:

    1) We need a simplified summary of the FACTS standards.

    2) Supporters and detractors would both like more widespread involvement in the process of approving standards for our industry.

    I think we're all starting to get a bit repetitive here so, unless somebody has something new to add, this might be a good time to wrap this up.
  45. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ron, I seems you do not agree with my concerns about FACTS, and that is OK. I am, however, concerned about your holding my position up to ridicule though. Your supposed to be a moderator, not a clown.

  46. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John, it is not my intention to ridicule you or your concerns. If that is not an accurate depiction of your opinion of attorneys, then I apologize, but that's the impression I got from your posts.

    I agree with your concerns about the complexity of the standards. I disagree with your contention that FACTS is a weapon for litigation against framers, but your guess is certainly as valid as mine.

    My views on FACTS have nothing to do with my positions as Grumble moderator or Grumble clown.
  47. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Or Ron's big red nose!
  48. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    Sorry, I'm a little grumpy today, got a bad summer cold. I'll be more tolerant when this darn thing is over and done. ( the cold )

  49. CharlesL

    CharlesL PFG, Picture Framing God

    Oh, to be a moderator on this forum...

    I would delete, yes, delete this thread so fast it'd make your head spin!

    With few exceptions, it has denigrated to school-yard fights. I like Duke. You like Carolina. We get in a big arguement about it, and decide to settle it in the pugilistic way.

    So, we meet on the playground after school, square off, and I kick your butt 'til your breath smells like shoe polish! Ok, I proved I could kick your butt, but does that fact make you suddenly become a Duke fan, and eschew Carolina? Or vice versa?

    Those that support FACTS are going to continue to support it, and those that don't probably never will. Nobody is going to win someone to or away from FACTS with clever repartee.

    Ron, please close this thread. It has become pointless, and is on the verge of becoming rather nasty.

  50. Paul Frederick

    Paul Frederick Grumbler in Training

    Facts is most likely the most invaluable tool a new framer can aquire... and it is free. Too many framers are still getting their education from their grandfathers or the corner do-it-yourself shop. In "care of Paintings" caroline K. Keck advises her readers to have their art framed by a conservator as framers are not aware of preservation methods. This was in 1965. Today many framers could actually advise some conservators. I know, I've done it.

    Fillet is pronounced as if there were only one L but not faylet.

    Paul Frederick

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