Earlier this month I was in a frame shop in Raleigh NC operated by an artist who is also a certified professional framer.  She has lots of award ribbons to attest to her achievements in both fields.  Turning over several of the works on display, I was very relieved to find "D rings" and vinyl coated wire on the larger pieces, but a strange black clip and cord method used on smaller frames.  New one for me!  So I asked some questions.

They used the same sizes of "D rings" that I have been putting on my frames, and enclosed the rear of all frames with acid-free paper.  This is consistent with the articles in the Artist Magazine a couple years ago that were written by another certified framer.  The two local framers are self taught and while OK, leave a lot to be desired.  If one were to put their finished pieces upside down on a table, along with one from a certified framer, there would be no doubt as to who did what.  When selling your art, this difference can make a big impression; the job looks professional regardless of who did it. 

The black hardware used on the smaller pieces are made of a Kevlar (brand name!) look alike, and have the same properties; light weight, strong, and the cord is very flexible and easy on the hands.  This is a product of Acorn Art Systems and I only found one distributor online.  You can order direct at basically the same prices.  This system has been in use for 20 years and shown no problems or degeneration.

While they do have heavier weights, their Quick Clip Jr and Light Weight Miracle Cord will support up to 20 lbs and work especially well with narrow frames, requiring only one screw per clip.  The blackened screws come with the Clips.  The clips have a slot on the rear side; a simple knot is made on the cord and inserted into this slot. 

Using a wire-based system on relatively small frames is not nearly as easy, and appears to have no benefits over the Quick Clip, which is much easier to use.  I don't usually plug one product over another, but this one was previously unknown to me and probably many of the rest of our members as well.  Perhaps we can call it continuing education?

I will be placing an order for these two items this week.  It may be seen as a lot of money, but on a per-frame basis, it is actually quite cheap (less than $1.00 for a 9x12 frame).  This is almost identical to the cost of my "D ring" and wire method currently in use.

< acornartsystems.com >

4470  Quick Clip Jr                 200/ $25.45

4467  Lt Duty Cord            1200 ft/ $38.90

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Thanks for the info Charles! Very helpful.

The new system arrived and has been tried out.  Works very well!  I have attached two photos, one comparing the D-ring and wire fastener with the Quick Clip, and the other is the reverse side of the piece being hung - a matted and framed cross stitch that my wife did for our daughter.

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