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Using Acrylic Glass for pastels

Using museum grade acrylic glass enables fully framed artwork to be sent worldwide.

I feel like I need to stand up and confess a big dark secret...... for many years I have been using acrylic glass for framing pastel artwork and charcoal drawings I send in the post..... I feel so much better now!

I've had a few run ins with other artists who know better than me about it, if you don't want to use acrylic glass, then don't but please don't tell me I need to be educated! I've been using it for 12 years now and have repeat commissions from people who are very happy with their framed pieces.

The secret is to use the right acrylic glass. There are many types and quality of acrylic glass to choose from but get the right one and you'll see it's actually an improvement on ordinary framing glass.




The one I use is Optium Museum Grade Acrylic Glass. it has so many qualities better than plain old framing glass such as

  1. 99% UV protective
  2. Non reflective
  3. Anti static (yes it really is!)
  4. Lightweight
  5. Shatterproof
  6. Scratch resistant
  7. Can be cleaned with standard products.
  8. 3mm thick or even thicker if you want.
  9. No blue tinge on viewing.

The downside is, it's quite expensive however, what is more expensive than glass breaking and cutting into your beautiful artwork as it wends it's way around the globe!

It is on a par with museum grade glass in terms of clarity, some framing glass and acrylic glass leave a blue tinge when viewing and can distort the colours, especially important for human portraits, museum grade acrylic glass eradicates this entirely.

Get my Pastel Artist's Toolkit. Discover my favourite supplies and tools. Packed with plenty of hints and tips about using the fabulous medium of pastel.

Also, us starving artists need to branch out and sell worldwide these days which does mean having to post our work and not every customer wants to deal with framing at their end. Alas unless you book with a specialist art courier it won't be insured and we've all seen those horror videos of the delivery man playing football with and hurling our parcels into the back of vans. With the right packaging and materials  (another blog post in the making) I've sent framed and glazed artwork all the way around the world as far Australia many times including repeat customers who are obviously very happy with being able to hang their artwork on the wall immediately!

The other beauty of this wonderful material is you can have it cut to size. I find it easier to buy unglazed frames from my local framer and buy the acrylic glazing online in bulk. I ensure my artwork is created to a set of standard sizes so I can keep a stock of the glazing and use it as needed with the customer also being able to choose a bespoke frame to match their every whim and need!

Of course all the same principles of framing pastels still apply such as a mount to distance the glass from the artwork, I use Pastelmat which is superb at keeping the pastel locked onto the surface so rarely use a recess but of course you can if you want. Don't hang the artwork above a heat surface or in damp areas, other than that you can treat the framed work the same as any other type of wall art.

So to all those who disagree, feel free to use glass but for me it's been a huge help to my business and means I can offer the finished article to any customer worldwide! What's not to like!

To help you find out even more, here are a few companies who supply museum grade acrylic glass -

Optium Museum Acrylic (wessexpictures.com)

Optium Museum Acrylic® - Tru Vue, Inc (tru-vue.com)

Framing & Museum (plexiglas.com)

Museum Glass and Optium Museum Acrylic Glazing at The Framer's Workshop, Berkeley

Optium Museum Acrylic sheets ® (wessexpictures.com)

LuciteLux™ Museum Grade - LUCITE LUX - Order Online (professionalplastics.com)


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