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All Things Ampersand

New Gessobord/FloaterFrame All-In-One Bundles

Just in Time for the Holidays!

Gessobord is the most trusted pre-gessoed wood panel and is the perfect art panel for all painting styles with oil paints, acrylics, and mixed media. Floaterframe is the only do-it-yourself frame specifically designed for wood panels. Put them both together and you have the perfect all-in-one kit for your next artistic masterpiece! Continue Reading >>

Resources for Framing Panels

All Ampersand standard size panels generally fit into pre-made frames. If you are creating a piece of art specifically for a frame, be sure to measure carefully, because frame sizes and rabbet depths may vary.
Download this spec sheet that has a complete listing of profile depths for the entire product line. Framing can enhance the overall presentation of your work in creative ways. Sectional, plein-air, floater, canvas frames, all are viable framing options for panels. Cradled panels, of course, can be hung directly on the wall and need no additional framing. 

A list of online framing suppliers:

  • Dailypaintersframes.com — Specialize in custom frames for panels; two types of frames with  a range of colors and styles.  Easy to order from website directly
  • Metroframe.com — Has all sorts of frames, including floater frames for panels.  Their website contains LOADS of info on framing, including videos on all sorts of substrates, not just paper.
  • Ooks.com — Museum quality hanging hardware
Also note that many art supply retailers will carry framing or hanging supplies, including your local brick & mortar store.  

Below is a video from Linda Sheets on framing Scratchbord in floater frames:


All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Painting on Panel: Cradling and Supports

Cradled panels in the warehouse

In order to give a panel extra support, many artists produce a bracing system (cradling) for their panels. While this is not an option for solid wood panels due to their expansion and contraction over time, manufactured panels are structurally sound enough to be cradled. For panels over 24″ cradling is advised. 

Elaine and Veronica inspecting panels


Cradles are generally a separate unit the size of the panel that is attached to the back using carpenters glue and C-clamps. Larger size cradles will generally have cross-braces, much like stretcher bars for canvas. When choosing a wood for your cradle, it’s best to go with high quality multi-ply plywood, as this will give you the best protection against warping. Solid woods are to be avoided, as they have a uniform grain that will warp over time in a thin strip. Do not nail or screw the cradle onto the panel, or you will have a blemished surface that is certain to deteriorate over time. 

Save yourself the trouble of all this carpentry work by using an Ampersand cradled panel. Only Ampersand builds their cradles by hand with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood for maximum stability and a clean, finished look from edge to edge. Choose from 3/4″, 1.5″ and 2″ Deep, all carefully made by hand in Buda, Texas. 
Ampersand Claybord and Gessobord panels are now available in a new 1.5″ Cradle Profile that offers you more flexibility for hanging and framing your work. Featuring a 1.5″ total depth, this new cradle profile is handcrafted with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood, designed to fit both standard canvas and floater frames. The cradle can easily be painted or stained to complement the artwork or primed with gesso to wrap the image around the edges.

For ideas on how to treat the edges of the cradle, consult this article on hanging and framing.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Panel Painting Tips: Tips on Framing

All of our standard size panels fit into most pre-made and sectional frames. If doing a piece specifically for a frame, be sure to measure it ahead of time as frame sizes may vary. We cut our panels with a 1/16″ tolerance. For an elegant touch, try mounting the finished piece inside linen or silk liners before placing into a frame. For an alternative to framing, try the cradled panels, as they can be hung directly on the wall without having to frame them first.

For a clever and easy framing technique for the 1/8″ flat panels, see this video demonstration by Linda Sheets, Scratchbord™ artist extraordinaire.

 

The Winter Sale is still going on through the end of this month, so save while you can on Gessobord, Claybord, Encausticbord and the Artist Panel at up to 50% off at select retailers.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.