Which Glass Should I Use?
Recently I have been getting alot of questions about framing glass and which is the best one to use. In my opinion, glass fits each situation, what the customer wants and how much you are consider spending.
Premium clear glass is a economical solution to most framing projects. It is a higher quality of glass than window glass. Clear glass tends to have a 'mirror' quality which may be distracting under some indoor lighting.
Reflection control glass offers an alternative when you don't want your glass to have a reflective mirrored surface. The effect is created by etching the glass to give a matte like non glare quality to one side that will reduce reflective light. The slight downside of this glass is that the image can have a slight visual distoration, especially the furthur the glass is away from the image.
Conservation glass comes in conservation clear, conservation reflection control, and museum glass. To make this special glass which filters UV harmful effects is that the glass is baked after the application an UV solution to one side. It claims to block nearly 99% of UV light that can cause fading, brittleness or discoluration.
Museum Glass is the top of the line and the difference from the other conservation glass is the nearly invisible finish, allowing framed pieces remain clearer and brighter. Both conservation and museum are much more expenisive, for obvious reasons, than premium clear or reflection control glass.
Many ask if the conservation glass is worth the extra expense? Personally, I can only offer you the options as the customer must decide on the value of the work and how much to spend.
Conservation glass might be worth the expense if the item is archivial, antique or valuable. The same prinicpal applies to a giclee print or reproduction poster. Reproduction prints have only have a thin layer of offset or printer ink that tends to fade over time. If the reproduction has some value to you, then by all means add a conservation glass to your project. In most cases, posters cost a only few dollars and then you must consider using glass that could be five times or more expensive than the artwork. In that case you use clear or reflection control glass and be conscious of where you are hanging it. The choice is yours on which glass you decide to add to your project.
The best framing practices can only go so far in keeping your works safe from fading, damage and harm. When chosing a place to hang an artwork, keep it in mind that materials will be effected by humidity, drastic temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight, even with UV filtering glass.