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PPFA Matboard Standards now available!

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The new press release goes something like this...

The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) has released this week an 8-page booklet “Comparative Standards for Matboards – a Comprehensive Guide of Classifications and Specifications.”

The PPFA Guidelines Task Force spearheaded this project, with input from matboard manufacturers, paper mills, preservation and conservation experts, and industry consultants.

This is the first in a PPFA “Comparative Standards” series, describing and categorizing materials and methods to help framing practitioners determine which selections are most appropriate for any given framing project.

The authors categorized matboards into four classes:

Class I - for highest quality preservation framing

Class II - for high quality preservation framing

Class III for moderate quality decorative framing

Class IV - for low quality decorative, short-term framing.

The booklet also includes an extensive A to Z glossary of terminology relating to matboards.

Several suppliers should have supplies of the booklet available at WCAF and the PPFA Convention. Suppliers are welcome to email PPFA for an order form. For more information, call 800-762-9287 or email ppfa@ppfa.com.
 
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Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Hi Jim-

Is there a publication with cross referencing to the FATG standards? Is there any correlation with the FATG Standards or are these stand alone for the "American/Australian" market?
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
The FATG has 3 standards -

Cotton Museum Board
Conservation Board
Standard Mountboard

I don't see why the PPFA and the FATG can't just keep it simple - like it's either preservation/conservation standard or it's not! It's been done for glass - why can't glass have 3 or 4 levels?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Is there any correlation with the FATG Standards or are these stand alone for the "American/Australian" market?
The PPFA standards are primarily for the North American market, just as the FATG standards are primarily for the UK/Euro market. I believe the Australians use more North American boards than European boards.

The FATG standards were written in UK English and the PPFA standards were written in American English, but they both say essentially the same thing about equivalent board types. There are few notable differences in the actual specifications, because most of the matboard manufacturers of our acquaintance make competitive products. However, PPFA has given more definition to what FATG calls "standard" boards. Only Class I and Class II are suitable for preservation framing, but for decorative framing, Class III boards are significantly better quality than Class IV.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
... There are few notable differences in the actual specifications...
I have been asked to be more specific. The PPFA standards are bit tighter regarding fiber and color content. For example, the PPFA Class I and Class II standards specify pigments only, and minimum values for both fadometer and Blue Wool Scale. The FATG standards do not.

Please note that PPFA is not interested in dictating specifications or attempting to police the manufacturers of matboard. In each of the four classes, the specifications speak for themselves, and enforcement of the standards rests with the framing practitioners who buy the boards. That would be us.

Why bother with PPFA matboard standards now? Because, as the matboard industry evolves, new offshore manufacturers may be entering the North American market with misleading claims of quality. For example, it is true that "White core" mats are made with alpha cellulose fiber, but that does not mean they meet any preservation standard. In fact, they do not.

Informed framers are the ones who know what matters and what to look for in the specifications. Our purpose is to give them the information they need in order to ask the right questions and make sure they don't end up buying matboards of lower quality than they thought. Now, more than ever before, matboard standards matter.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Informed framers are the ones who know what matters and what to look for in the specifications.
Absolutely, Jim - and being a member of PPFA means one has access to not only the information, but classes/articles/access to education to understand what the specifications mean.
 

stcstc

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
the nice thing about the FATG way is manufacturers have a series of logos to use for different standards

it makes it much easier for framers to be able to understand
 

Keith L Hewitt

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jim,

Interesting - so USA now has 4 levels of mat board

I wonder how Crescent will adapt, as in Europe they cleverly have 3 levels.
They describe their boards in a way that framers can readily understand, and which I admire for its simplicity ;)

Good = Standard boards
Better = Conservation
Best = Cotton

Look forward to getting my hands on a copy of this PPFA booklet.

Having been involved in the world wide sales of mat board all my life I wish somehow we could have a worldwide agreement. I had better wait and see what the PPFA has come up with before commenting further.

Rob Markoff refers to the PPFA being stand alone for the Australian market!!!.Rob you need to spend more time there! In Australia boards from France, 3 brands from UK, as well as USA and Chinese boards are sold. That perhaps explains why I see a need for worldwide agreement.
 

Lance E

Member
Is there any classification or specification which determines a difference between cotton board with and without buffers?
 

Miranda Smith

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jim,

I wish somehow we could have a worldwide agreement.
What a great idea Keith. As one of the Australian framers that has mat boards from North America, UK and France, I cannot agree more. But I won't hold my breath.

Will be interesting to see the PPFA booklet when I come to Las Vegas.

Many thanks to the PPFA team who put their time and effort into compiling this. All these things help in elevating the framing standards.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The four major North American matboard makers were invited to be involved with development of the PPFA standards, monitored progress, and provided valuable input throughout the process.

I wonder how Crescent will adapt, as in Europe they cleverly have 3 levels.
They describe their boards in a way that framers can readily understand, and which I admire for its simplicity ;)

Good = Standard boards
Better = Conservation
Best = Cotton
Yes, from a manufacturer's marketing standpoint, the Good-Better-Best concept works nicely. But if you want to know what separates one of those levels from another, the detailed information is readily available in the Comparative Standards.

Simplicity is a good thing, except when it fosters a mistaken impression that details do not matter. The Devil is in the details, and framers ought to know exactly what they're selling to their customers. When an ill-informed local sales rep says with complete confidence, "All matboards that are made with alpha cellulose fibers are good for preservation framing", how many of his framing customers would know that he is dead wrong?

Having been involved in the world wide sales of mat board all my life I wish somehow we could have a worldwide agreement.
The focus of this discussion is on matboard, but our trade association is considering the whole range of framing materials and methods. I'm not sure worldwide agreement is important for any framing product or procedure, since different markets have different expectations. That is, the OEM market cares not about the matboard qualities having to do with chemical stability, fade resistance, or longevity. On the other hand, the museum/conservation markets in most countries embrace consistently well-informed, high-quality standards, albeit with some differences. Conversely, regional markets for consumer/retail custom framing are quite inconsistent in their practices and material-quality expectations, and local standards would always take priority over worldwide standards.

In all cases, I think the variations among products and procedures are OK. We don't all need to follow the same standards. So long as we and our customers know what we are buying and selling, it's all good. And that's what the standards are about - informing framers so they can make informed choices - in this case, about matboards. The PPFA and FATG standards have some differences, but they both serve that purpose.

Keith, I hope we have an opportunity to continue this discussion in Las Vegas, after you acquire a copy of the PPFA standards. At least one (and probably more) of the matboard makers will be giving away copies of the standards in their [strike]booth[/strike] stand.
 

Cornered One

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Good = Standard boards
Better = Conservation
Best = Cotton

I wonder how you can call a pulp board that turns brown a "Good" board or how you can even mention it in the same sentence as conservation and cotton?
 

Cornered One

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I hope framers can see the new PPFA standards soon. They may be the best to date! I am sorry to say that I always found the Fine Art Trade Guild standards a little vague in areas and weak when it came to fade specs. If I remember from reading it years ago they use the Blue Wool scale and the fade spec of a board can be anything as long as you state what it is on the BWS. It seemed odd to me at the time. As I said that was a number of years ago and maybe they fixed it.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Good = Standard boards
Better = Conservation
Best = Cotton

I wonder how you can call a pulp board that turns brown a "Good" board or how you can even mention it in the same sentence as conservation and cotton?
As some have said, the devil is in the details, and how it is to be used.

For example if you are doing decorative framing that will only be up for a short time (eg a week or two up to 2 years) the standard board would be good. Some companies change out their artwork every year (or less) , to correspond with their advertising campaigns. They don't care about longevity. The pulp board you mention is perfect for this.
 

Cornered One

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Russ
I agree that in this case a board being called "Good" is fine when used on disposable art and I understand what the word "Good " means in this context. I am in my fourth decade of framing so I have had time to sift through the marketing hype. I think what Jim Miller is talking about is the fact that framers don't always get all the info they need and the fact that a board is called "Good" can be very misleading. After all if a major manufacturer says a board is "Good" what more do I need to know? Maybe "Utility or Economy" would be better suited for a pulp board's use and name.
Jim is showing us that there is more we need to know if we are to do our jobs properly. Good work Jim. I can't wait to see a copy.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Good = Standard boards
Better = Conservation
Best = Cotton

I wonder how you can call a pulp board that turns brown a "Good" board or how you can even mention it in the same sentence as conservation and cotton?
I hope nobody knowledgeable refers to buffered-woodpulp boards as "good". Yes, they will turn brown over time. The only worse-quality boards are plain, unbuffered woodpulp, but I don't know of any North American source still offering those.

Somebody may call White Core boards "good", because they will not turn brown. However, they generally contain recycled fiber of unknown origin, with chemistry that may be reactive and unstable, and they usually have dyed colors, not pigmented (except from one maker). They are OK for decorative framing and can look good for a long time, but they are not suitable for any level of preservation.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
...Jim is showing us that there is more we need to know if we are to do our jobs properly. Good work Jim. I can't wait to see a copy.
Thanks, Russ. I appreciate the kind words.

Contact your favorite matboard manufacturers and their distributors and request a copy. The first printing of the standards will be delivered straight to the show in Las Vegas.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
So Jim, it looks to me like the PPFA guidelines take into account the low quality wood boards and the FATG guidelines ignore them?

So, for the EU market the PPFA could be written as

Best, Better, Good, and NFW board (No ......... way) and use the standards of the FATG :)


How do others mentally pronounce FATG? I say fatguy in my pointed little knoggin :)
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The four major North American matboard makers were invited to be involved with development of the PPFA standards, monitored progress, and provided valuable input throughout the process.

Simplicity is a good thing, except when it fosters a mistaken impression that details do not matter. The Devil is in the details, and framers ought to know exactly what they're selling to their customers. When an ill-informed local sales rep says with complete confidence, "All matboards that are made with alpha cellulose fibers are good for preservation framing", how many of his framing customers would know that he is dead wrong?
At least the 4 major North American mat board makers are not going to have to be concerned with competition from a small upstart company or international company - cost and time to get a mat board rated with these standards would probably not be worth the hassle especially when competing with the 4 major companies.

Jim, believe it or not, most competent framers today are intelligent enough to know when a sales rep is packing their ears with bs and other foreign materials. I don't believe we need these standard and it is just another way to make our job more difficult.

I believe we need the simplicity, our customers understand simplicity, framers understand simplicity, and IMO don't need to know or want to know about number of pigments and woodpulp and the other technical words that go into these standard. Our customers want to know the Good, Better, & Best, which are or can be conservation, archival, & standard because that is what they and us understand. It is our job as a framer to know the difference and to sell the customer what they want and expect and by putting more confusing standard out there is going to help us . I know that myself, as a competent framer, don't want a mess of other confusing long winded standards that doesn't mean anything more than the simple down to earth easy to understand standards we already have.
Just my $0.02 Joe B
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
At least the 4 major North American mat board makers are not going to have to be concerned with competition from a small upstart company or international company - cost and time to get a mat board rated with these standards would probably not be worth the hassle especially when competing with the 4 major companies.

Jim, believe it or not, most competent framers today are intelligent enough to know when a sales rep is packing their ears with bs and other foreign materials. I don't believe we need these standard and it is just another way to make our job more difficult.

I believe we need the simplicity, our customers understand simplicity, framers understand simplicity, and IMO don't need to know or want to know about number of pigments and woodpulp and the other technical words that go into these standard. Our customers want to know the Good, Better, & Best, which are or can be conservation, archival, & standard because that is what they and us understand. It is our job as a framer to know the difference and to sell the customer what they want and expect and by putting more confusing standard out there is going to help us . I know that myself, as a competent framer, don't want a mess of other confusing long winded standards that doesn't mean anything more than the simple down to earth easy to understand standards we already have.
Just my $0.02 Joe B
I believe the new standards guidelines will be good. However before I critique them, good or bad, I will need to look at what they are.

Looking forward to getting a copy at the WCAF.
 

Lance E

Member
I absolutely understand your point Joe, however it is a standard and that will help! Turning the information into something that makes marketing sense has never been the strong point of industry orgs (for any industry really) and that part falls onto you and your business. If I used "Good, Better, Best" my customers would call me a condescending so & so and not put their cash on the counter (that does not mean I can not use the standards as created by FATG, just use better terms that apply to my customer base). Standards like this create a foundation
 

FramerDave

PFG, Picture Framing God
At least the 4 major North American mat board makers are not going to have to be concerned with competition from a small upstart company or international company - cost and time to get a mat board rated with these standards would probably not be worth the hassle especially when competing with the 4 major companies.
The only cost and time involved would be that needed to manufacture matboards to meet certain criteria, and this is an expense that would be incurred regardless. The task force involved in creating the standards took great care to make them descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words they say that a matboard in a certain class has characteristics X, Y and Z. They do not set benchmarks that anyone must meet. And I'll also point out that these standards are completely voluntary; if a manufacturer chooses to support them or promote them is completely up to them.

Jim, believe it or not, most competent framers today are intelligent enough to know when a sales rep is packing their ears with bs and other foreign materials. I don't believe we need these standard and it is just another way to make our job more difficult.
I'd like to think so, but is there really a problem with giving a framer more knowledge and information with which to arm themselves? I counter that it makes our job easier. Instead of wading through vague or even misleading terms like archival, museum quality and acid-free we can point to a few criteria and ask where the mat in question falls in regards to the standards.

I believe we need the simplicity, our customers understand simplicity, framers understand simplicity, and IMO don't need to know or want to know about number of pigments and woodpulp and the other technical words that go into these standard. Our customers want to know the Good, Better, & Best, which are or can be conservation, archival, & standard because that is what they and us understand. It is our job as a framer to know the difference and to sell the customer what they want and expect and by putting more confusing standard out there is going to help us . I know that myself, as a competent framer, don't want a mess of other confusing long winded standards that doesn't mean anything more than the simple down to earth easy to understand standards we already have.
Just my $0.02 Joe B
The standards are a whole eight pages long. Of those three pages are the actual standards with the remaining pages being the cover, intro, glossary, and so forth. If a professional framer can't be bothered to look at three pages of information that could have a direct bearing on his or her livelihood, well I really don't know what to say to that.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dave, My contention is that 99% of the customers that walk in the door are not concerned about those standards. They are mostly concerned about:

1st. - Color
2nd. - Number if mats to use
3rd. - Border width
& 4th. - is the mat "Acid Free"
the other 1% may ask a question about "Conservation" framing. I have never had a customer mention "Archival".

I carry boards from the main 4 companies and all the information I need for my customer is written on the back of the board or on their information sheets and/or specifier card. It is very simple that way.

Again, my contention is that any competent framer knows the product she/he are selling. If they aren't competent then they may not know the difference and if they do know don't really care.

Yes, I believe we should all be knowledgeable about our products and I'm not saying that we shouldn't have a standard. Like I said, what we have works well, why do we have to muddy the water by adding a long winded mess of words to something that that is now adequate and simple?

Just my thoughts, Joe B
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
... 99% of the customers that walk in the door are not concerned about those standards.
Of course they aren't. They rely on their framers to know the differences among the choices and how to apply them, which is why the standards have been created.

...my contention is that any competent framer knows the product she/he are selling.
That is probably true, but we know that many framers do not understand the content of the matboards they buy. Presuming that a framer wants to become competent, written standards only make that easier and help avoid misunderstandings.

Yes, I believe we should all be knowledgeable about our products and I'm not saying that we shouldn't have a standard.
Agreed. And now we do.
 

Susan May

Gone.
I have never had a customer mention "Archival". .... If they aren't competent then they may not know the difference and if they do know don't really care.


Joe, this is a sad statement about the quality of customer you have. While I have been out of framing for eight years, I fondly remember talking to my customers about the quality of supplies we used. But, I must admit that I had some customers who worked jobs that gave them an inside track to our type of business. I did framing for people who worked for the Library of Congress, and paper manufacturing companies. I also did framing for people who worked for the Justice Department, and they were told to "Do it right!"

When you have an educated customer, who will hold you to high ideals, it makes you seek information. If for no other reason than to surprise them. A booklet like this would have been good when I first started framing for the lady who worked for the Library of Congress. She worked in their preservation department.

Archival was a term I heard from my customers daily. And let me just inform you... my frame shop was in a craft store. We were known for our quality framing, especially our needlework framing. We treated every piece as though it was precious, and why not, if it is worth framing, then it is precious to the person getting it framed.


Also, if I had a customer who didn't know the difference, I would teach them. It is OUR responsibility to teach our customers about better materials.
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
What's the tech-spec for 'archival'? There isn't one - it's about as much use a term as 'acid free'
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have been almost "grilled" by some customers who seem to have "some" knowledge of archival and conservation framing methods.
("some" knowledge can be almost worse than no knowledge) :icon11:

They have read something somewhere and they want to try to test your knowledge.
I'm OK with that. I've been framing for a while and I am confident in what I do.
I can stand on my record.

Not every piece that comes in the door needs to be encapsulated or sent to a conservator.
It is our knowledge and experience that can lead us to use the proper and appropriate treatment for each circumstance.
It has also taught us to know that "When in doubt, Do Nothing!"
Consult an expert in that particular field.
 

mbboston

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
It was about time, a mat board booklet is great news. Thanks!

PS. I haven't seen it but a guideline booklets should have a warning about Swiss Clips (if you use Swiss Clips the artwork will have to be restored sooner or later regardless of the mat board you use)
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Kudos to the group who donated their time for this project.

I've been framing for a decade and am still confused by the science and terminology of mat boards. One easy way to simplify life in the frame shop would be only show and sell Class I, II & III mat boards.

It's OK for us framers to "say-it-like-it-is" but I would change the description a bit when speaking to a customer.

More like this:
Class I - for highest quality preservation framing
Class II - for quality preservation framing
Class III for quality decorative framing
Class IV - for decorative, short-term framing.
I wouldn't use the words moderate or poor.

Doug
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joe, this is a sad statement about the quality of customer you have.
I can pretty much guarantee you the quality of my customer is just as good as any that you ever had. Now as my final statement on the Grumble - not you, especially as a moderator, or any other person should ever have the right to make a derogatory remark about another persons customers, no matter how it is made. This isn't the 1st time this has happened here but it definitely is the last for me.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
...../I have never had a customer mention "Archival".......
Joe, this is a sad statement about the quality of customer you have. While I have been out of framing for eight years, .......... Archival was a term I heard from my customers daily......... And let me just inform you... my frame shop was in a craft store. We were known for our quality framing, especially our needlework framing. We treated every piece as though it was precious, and why not, if it is worth framing, then it is precious to the person getting it framed.........Also, if I had a customer who didn't know the difference, I would teach them. It is OUR responsibility to teach our customers about better materials.
Susan,

That was a cheap shot and a misunderstanding of the point Joe was trying to make.

FWIW.... I have a sophisticated customer base and like Joe I never hear the word Archival. I also think the fastest way to send a customer running is to be preachy and overly high minded about what we do.

That doesn't mean I don't like the groups work on mat board standards because I do.

Doug
 

EllenAtHowards

PFG, Picture Framing God
Owning a store that sells art supplies as well as framing, I can assure you that "archival" is in the vocabulary of a lot of folks. I sell pens that say "archival" as well as tape (I know... saying 'archival' don't make it so) and other items. 'Archival' has replaced 'acid free' in many venues, but one means as much as the other. Of course, it takes away one of my favorite lines : Ammonia is technically 'acid free'. (but then, ammonia isn't archival either, but you know what I mean...)
 

Pat Kotnour

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joe, this is a sad statement about the quality of customer you have. While I have been out of framing for eight years, I fondly remember talking to my customers about the quality of supplies we used. But, I must admit that I had some customers who worked jobs that gave them an inside track to our type of business. I did framing for people who worked for the Library of Congress, and paper manufacturing companies. I also did framing for people who worked for the Justice Department, and they were told to "Do it right!"
Also, if I had a customer who didn't know the difference, I would teach them. It is OUR responsibility to teach our customers about better materials.
The quality of customer he has? In my book all customers "are" quality customers and should be treated as such. Most frame shops couldn't survive without the less archival standard framing jobs that we all depend on to keep the cash flowing.

Susan, a lot has changed in 8 years, but the one thing that never changes is why framers are in the business. Most of them are trying to make a living and don't have the time to educate the customer about standards that they could care less about. Time is money and design time is often a problem with customers who can't make up their minds because of the huge amount of choices. Now add in the time to teach them about archival standards that will add a few more choices? It's a little like having them ask for the time, but teaching them how to build a clock instead. I think the term KISS is in order here. Good, Better, Best................done!

Yes, there are times when it is necessary to educate a customer, but for the most part when someone has a budget that might mean compromising the design to give them the best materials inside the picture, I will opt for design on the outside and what the customer can see, every time. Let's face it, how often do we get referrals because of what is on the inside of a picture? In my 21+ years I have had lots of referrals because of design and workmanship, but never once because of what materials were used on the inside.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
How did this turn into a frame-design conversation?

Framing standards are primarily for the benefit of framers, not consumers. Yes, there are occasions when comparative standards could be a useful reference guide at the design counter, but most consumers rely on framers to make the right recommendations. Standards help framers understand exactly what they are buying and selling, so they can confidently recommend the most-appropriate choices for every framing project, whether preservation is involved, or not.

Standards also help framers avoid being misinformed. For example, distributor sales reps are not always experts on the products they sell. If one says to you, "These matboards are made of alpha cellulose and will never turn brown, so they are good for conservation framing", how would you respond?

Most of the matboards from North American suppliers appear to be of similar quality when they are new, but the differences show up over time in a frame, especially if it is exposed to extreme light, heat, or moisture.
 

Susan May

Gone.
I have sent a private message to Joe.

I am also apologizing here.

I did not intend to offend Joe. All I meant is that as framers it is our job to teach our customers about archival materials and techniques. Once they know that there is a choice, the words become part of their vocabulary, and they ask for better choices. Anyone who knows me knows that I would never want to offend anyone.

Our customers expect us to know what is right for their art, but it is also our job to inform them what is right too. As a customer, don't you prefer a salesperson who teaches you the difference between quality levels in your purchases? I certainly do. I prefer a salesperson who talks to me on an equal level, not as though I was a child who didn't know anything.



Pat, you asked how many times we get referrals on what was on the inside. Personally, I got quite a few. Many of my stitchery customers were involved in competitions, and they had to have things framed so the judges could see the back. The quality of the inside was VERY important to them, and they would send their friends to me because of the quality inside the frame. It does happen. Perhaps not all that often. But don't underestimate the intelligence of your customers, they just might surprise you... if you give them a chance.

In fact, one year after we closed our shop, one of my customers contacted me to help her find a framer who would mount her stitchery the same way I did. The quality of the inside was important to her and she wanted to insure that her hard work was properly taken care of. (She had the added difficulty of being deaf, and needed me to interpret the first time she went to the new framer.)
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Sue, for what it is worth, I saw no "intended" insult to Joe's customers in your comment. As one who fumbles his words often I think your comment could have been worded differently to more accurately convey your intended message, but I do not think that you in any way were trying to insult his customers.

FWIW I think you were trying to address his interpretation of his customers knowledge and desires. When I read his post that elicited your response I saw it as him insulting his customers knowledge. That he was saying since his customers "didn't know any better" it was not his duty to do any better than he "had" to. It felt to me like he was justifying being a "lazy framer" and that you were calling him out on that attitude, before I had a chance to do so.

I, as a consumer, do not know the difference in grades of meat. But when I go to a butcher and ask for a recommendation I am hoping that I do not end up with low quality food for my guests, and if I find out that they sold me food labelled unfit for human consumption knowingly then I am going to sue that butcher. When I go to a mechanic and get my car serviced I am hoping that they use parts that are suitable for the long life of my car, and if I find out that they are using substandard parts that are damaging my car I am going to sue that person. And if I bring a valued family heirloom to a frameshop I am under the impression that that heirloom is going to be treated with utmost care and framed with material that will do no harm. I was told to treat every object I get in as if it belonged in a museum, as I have no way of knowing the value of an object.

Just because someone left something in my hands does not mean that it has no value. Quite the opposite in my mind, I try to look at everything as if I was entrusted with something they value and I need to treat it with as much respect and care as I know how to employ at the time that they left it with me. As the Grumble keeps me informed my level of care I can give to the artwork entrusted to me grows, and as the standards for mats change I appreciate learning of those changes. There is so much that goes into custom framing that the customer does not know about, I for one do not take advantage of their lack of knowledge by using materials that I know to be substandard...

So Jim Miller, thank you for sharing that new standards for mats are becoming available. I look forward to learning more about the advances in glazing, fome core and in joining.
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sometimes words typed on a forum don't come out the way we intended them and sometimes people read words and get an impression that wasn't intended. Whatever the case is, we all have to remember that no-one is perfect and if we think we are perfect, then we have proof that we are not!

When a framer says that no customer has ever said any particular word relating to high quality/preservation framing, then the conclusion I would draw is that those customers may need some education and maybe the framer should be educating them? The proviso with that is, that the framer needs as much up to date education themselves.

Having retired just before Christmas and having turned away a number of customers, I know that when they seek out another framer, most of them will know what questions to ask to ensure that their precious items will be framed to preservation standard. They will know that 'acid free' just doesn't cut it. They will know that MDF has no place in preservation framing. They will know that masking tape, packaging tape, etc are not to be used for 'hinging' and they will know many other things that are important.
They just didn't absorb that information out of thin air.

I highly recommend that framers educate their customers!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I for one would like a copy of those Mat board Standards.

I think it is a bit silly discussing all this without anyone actually having seen the 'book'. Sorry, 8 pages is not a true book of course! ;)

I would say that 99% of my new customers have never thought that some things can and need to be preserved. It is my job to educate them so they can make a decision.
The number of times I have heard 'but my previous framer never told me' or 'oh, there is a choice in glass/quality of matboard' and so on.

People like to make well informed decisions, if you give them a chance. After they are informed, then they can tell me that they either want the full treatment or 'do something with it I don't care' kinda thing.

I like reading new things, learning new things. Doesn't mean I will use everything, or agree with everything, but at least, I've heard it, seen it, know about it.
 

Keith L Hewitt

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I highly recommend that framers educate their customers!
Ormond,
Spot on! But to educate their customers they too need to be educated !

I once wrote an article in PROFILE, your framing magazine entitled " An educated framer is a more profitable framer"

It was all about the Seminars at WCAF show :D
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Ormond,
Spot on! But to educate their customers they too need to be educated !
Yep, I did say that in that post, Keith!

I once wrote an article in PROFILE, your framing magazine entitled " An educated framer is a more profitable framer"

It was all about the Seminars at WCAF show :D
I remember reading that article Keith!
Another one for you - "An educated framer will destroy less artwork!"

It seems that a lot of framers never go to conventions/seminars. A local framer who invented his own methods and employed the theory that anything that was flat and thin was perfectly suitable to use as a backing, once said to me "what could I learn at a framing convention?" I was stunned and speechless!
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
A local framer who invented his own methods...once said to me "what could I learn at a framing convention?"
Ormond, I've heard similar remarks from framers at trade events. One memorable version of the same mindset is, "If I don't already know it after all these years, then it isn't worth knowing." Those who already know everything frighten me.

I was stunned and speechless![/QUOTE] I used to have that same reaction. Now, instead of just looking stunned, I recite this quote, which makes some of them think - at least for a moment:

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."
by Ralph W. Sockman

(Incidentally, I first saw that quote on a roadside sign in suburban Sydney)
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Ormond, I've heard similar remarks from framers at trade events. One memorable version of the same mindset is, "If I don't already know it after all these years, then it isn't worth knowing." Those who already know everything frighten me.

I was stunned and speechless!
I used to have that same reaction. Now, instead of just looking stunned, I recite this quote, which makes some of them think - at least for a moment:

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."
by Ralph W. Sockman

(Incidentally, I first saw that quote on a roadside sign in suburban Sydney)[/QUOTE]
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

I have no idea who W. Sockman is/was, but it appears he's onto something there! I like it!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Not just in the framing world, it seems people are overall afraid of learning. OR admitting there might be something they don't know.

I like learning. I hope I'll never be done learning either. What's the fun in knowing everything already??? Besides, my close friends and family already know I'm always right. ;)
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Not just in the framing world, it seems people are overall afraid of learning. OR admitting there might be something they don't know.

I like learning. I hope I'll never be done learning either. What's the fun in knowing everything already??? Besides, my close friends and family already know I'm always right. ;)
I'm a 44 year framer and I still love to learn.
You can use your brain or lose your brain.:shutup:
I've always been the kind of person who, when I turn on a light switch, I want to know how the switch is connected to the light fixture.
Then I want to know how the switch works and who made the switch and the light bulb.:cool:

I'm always right as well!
It's good to be right.:thumbsup:
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Susan May sent a very nice PM explaining her post. I gladly accept what she said as being humble and truthful and very much appreciate her taking the time to send me the pm - thank you.

Now for me, I am also sorry for not being able to filter my emotions and responses. To better explain myself, I am a homebased famer that values and respects every one of my customers. It is very hard for me to, first, get them to walk through the door and second, for them to take me as a serious & knowledgeable framer because I am homebased. I do extensive promoting that my competitors do not do and spend unlimited hours getting customers into my shop. I consider myself a competent & knowledgeable framer but I also know there is so much more for me to learn. I have taken every workshop offered from the Minnesota Art Institute concerning conservation and Paper Care that they have offered that I know of. Minnesota Art Institute is rated as 1 of the top Art Institutes in the US. I have also been to the WCAF as many times as possible considering I am a very, very, busy 1 man shop. I take my business seriously and am not afraid to learn and in fact am more than willing to learn when ever possible.

Now to the point I was trying to make about the Mat Board Standards. We now have a very good explanation on our corner samples and specifications sheets that is straight forward and simple. I personally am OTO that adding different, but the same, standards with different and more identifications to what is already on the corners and specifications sheets, just makes it harder for us to understand. Each company and product is different so IMO there is no way possible to make the new standards, as explained in this post, totally accurate. Or, what happens when there is a new upstart company or a new importer that doesn't notify us that they are within these standards or worse yet, falsifies these standards? Now, if they do not have the information on the corner sample, I simply don't carry the mat board and the corner sample is disposed of. I do not carry any sample or board that does not meet standards of Conservation or FATG - if it isn't identified on the sample it is put in file 13!! I DO NOT TAKE MY SALEPERSON/COMPANY REP'S WORD AS TRUTH - I CHECK IT OUT - THE MAJORITY OF THEM HAVE WAY TO MANY PRODUCTS TO BE TOTALLY ACCUATE WITH EVERY ITEM, NO MATTER HOW HONEST THEY ARE!!

My feeling is that all mats, no matter if Rag, Select, Conservation, ArtCare, or whatever should have the pertinent information on the sample corner - as is today. By adding additional numbers, qualifications, or what ever you want to call it, just Muddies the Water and making it harder for us to understand, and the framers that don't want to take the time to learn will have another reason not to. IMHO, these new standards are making it difficult to understand what a competent framer should already know by the information already contained on his/her individual corner sample and spec sheet. I AM IN NO WAY opposed to moving forward with the technology and standards and I want to tell the people that were involved, I appreciate the time you spent to make these standards. IMHO, I think that what we have is simple, straight forward, and IN MY HAND explanation when trying to explain the quality of the mat to my customer.

Sorry, but this is my opinion about different standards, I respect the opinion of all of you and please respond because I learn from every last response.

Joe B
 

Lance E

Member
We now have a very good explanation on our corner samples and specifications sheets that is straight forward and simple.
Pardon my rekwest, but would you mind posting a photo of the information on the back of which you speak? Waaay down here I am not sure we have the same info on the back of samples, when new corner samples arrive it normally takes about 2 days to find the first discontinued ones so I'm guessing we're yet to receive the latest out of date new samples. Nice description of your point of view btw.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
IMG_3316.JPGIMG_3314r.jpgIMG_3325_1r.jpgIMG_3320.JPGIMG_3317r.jpg

Hello Lance, I hope these come through ok - I'm not very good at this. You will find both corner samples descriptions and spec sheet descriptions. Hope this helps. Joe B
 
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