High-Resolution Scanning Service

We acquired a WideTek 25 (follow link for specific details on the scanner) high-resolution scanner in 2022 and have been testing it on photographs, documents, and original artwork for several months. We are pleased that it offers a very efficient process for converting print media into digital format. Because it is color calibrated, it simplifies the process of color matching and improves the workflow from scan to proof to print.

We are offering scanning services at the estimated costs provided in the poster shown. Actual costs will be determined at job completion. Best estimates will be given based on initial review of complexity and time that is likely to complete the job.

Commercial Use Scans – any scan of material(s) that will be used to sell, whether the scan itself or a derivative of the scanned image. These are typically scanned at 600 or 1200 dpi (3D lighting scans are limited to 300 dpi), and use the reproduction quality scan setting. Minor touch-ups (such as cropping, deskewing, and removal of minor surface blemishes) is included.

Non-Commercial Use Scans – any scan for personal use, or strictly internal to an organization or business. The material may not be used directly or indirectly for generating monetary gain. These are typically scanned at 300 to 600 dpi. The type of scan setting is based on the source material (photography and art, newspapers, monochrome, etc.). Source size and quality, intended purpose (to create a digital archive vs. make it print ready), touch-ups, etc. influence the final cost. The reference cost is $60/hour.

Stitching – if the source material is too large for the bed (18.5 x 25″) stitching multiple scans is an option. This will incur additional cost.

Right of Refusal – we reserve the right to refuse and/or we may require proof of copyright ownership for any source material. Inappropriate materials in our discretion may be refused.

Customer Operation – please inquire if you are interested in scanning a large quantity of source material and would like to “rent” (on premises) the scanner. Personal, non-commercial use only.

Note: We do not have the backlight option.


Mounting and Fitting for Easier Art Changes

Here is a way to design mounting and fitting of art to allow relatively easy change of the displayed piece inside the frame. This can be useful for those things you want to display, but perhaps not necessarily forever. These might be things like your personal photographs, school pictures, children’s art projects, and so on. Or you might have some prints but don’t necessarily want to custom frame every single one.

If the pieces to be changed out are the same size (easiest) or similar in size, here is a way to combine custom framing with the ability to change out the art without bringing it back to the shop. You could purchase a handful of high quality frames and use them repeatedly.

(Note that because this method does not seal the back, the environment is considered “open” and therefore, is not up to conservation standards.)

This is a matte white custom frame (15×12) with a 8-ply white mat cut to display a 13×10 size photo. It does use a conservation glass in front, so it will block 99+% of UV light.

The mat, art, and backing board package is held in by turn buttons, easily loosened by unscrewing. Again, because the back is not sealed, air, environmental pollutants, dust, and humidity may affect the art.

It is easy to switch in a different photograph of the same size. The photo is held in place by four acrylic corner mounts. The mat/backing board is hinge mounted so that they stay in place and aligned with the corner mounts.

Installed and ready to fit back into the frame.

Just a few minutes and voila! Completely different look.

This is a different mat package with a smaller opening. The outside is still 15×12 but the opening is now cut to display 10×8 sized art.

The same 15×12 frame is displaying a smaller image, with a completely different mat design.

One way of accomplishing the art changes is to have a single mat/mounting package into which different art is installed. This works when the new art is the same size as the one being replaced.

The second way of accomplishing art changes is having multiple mat/mounting packages. This allows different sized art pieces to be used with a single frame. You might also have multiple packages with different mat color designs to better match the art pieces.

A third way, a little more costly, but far easier is to create individual installation packages for each piece. So if you have ten photos, you would have ten separate mat/backing board packages of the same size. At the time of this writing, each 15×12 sized package is estimated to run $30 to $50 depending on number and type of mat boards used. It is easier to store multiple mat packages out of the frame than the same number of framed pieces.

This is not meant to replace framing for artwork that has any kind of value: monetary, sentimental, etc. that you want to preserve. This is meant more as a way to allow you to change a room’s decor with temporary installations.

Refurbishing an old art piece

I (Mark) have an old watercolor art from my grandfather. It was framed in Japan, I’m guessing, about 20 years ago. After bringing home another art piece where I used Museum Glass, I felt that this really needed a glass upgrade.

When I took it down and examined the glass, I noticed there was a small crack in it, so at this point there was no question that I would need to replace it. And it would be a chance to examine how the piece was framed.

As I’ve worked on older pieces that customers have brought it from time to time, I’ve found it interesting and educational to learn how they were framed. And now I was about to do it with one of my own pieces.

I begin with before and after photos comparing how Museum Glass almost entirely eliminates reflections. And then I have a series of photos during the refurbishing process and some brief notes about my observations.

Before, with regular glass and a distracting amount of reflections

After, with museum glass

Standard glass – don’t think it was UV blocking

Hanging hardware was cotton twine

Art fit into the plastic pieces, “mat” was cloth on wood

The “fillet” as actually just the plastic

There was indeed UV caused fading (next photo might show it better)

All the parts, disassembled

Reassembled, with museum glass

Dust blocking paper on the back, and new hanging hardware

Let’s Talk Framing – Part 4

Earlier installments here:

  • Part 1 – General framing benefits
  • Part 2 – Value framing packages
  • Part 3 – standard mat design options

Putting the “Custom” into Custom Framing

Up to this point we’ve discussed the more typical framing designs that are selected – a frame and some mats, or no mat at all. These offer beautiful, elegant designs appropriate for nearly all types of art and destination spaces.

But what if you are looking for something different and unique?

That’s where the “custom” in custom framing shines. The only limits are the creativity and imagination of the customer and the designer, equipment available and skills of the framer, and the customer’s budget.

Here are a few examples of design options that we’ve put together.


Fillets (pronounced fi’-lets, not fi-lay‘ like the fish) can be an alternative to a second mat. It is installed around the top mat and creates a separation between the art and the mat. The fillet matches or complements the outside frame. The photo at the top of the page shows one example. Below is another.


Canvas and Metal Print Framing

In addition to framing the more common types of art, we can also frame canvas (that is already installed in stretcher bars) and metal prints. Frames can add a unique touch and enhance the beauty of the piece.

This example of a framed canvas piece covers the edge. We have other frame styles where the canvas is “floated” inside the frame to show the edges. This is appropriate for canvas art where the painting goes around the edge.


Here is an example where a metal print was framed in a rustic wood style frame. It complements the tree and adds a “finish” feeling to the piece. Depending on what kind of hanging hardware comes pre-installed, we may not be able to place another frame on it, or frames choices may be limited.


Float Mounting

Float mounting is a design style that allows all of the art to be displayed, including its edges. It was briefly mentioned during the canvas example, but its use can be extended to other types of art.

This example is an original sketch. The drawing came too close to the edges to allow it to be mat-mounted without looking overcrowded and awkward. Instead we chose to float the sketchbook page with the torn edge visible and then installed a double mat with a gap. There are spacers around the edge to float the mat above the art. The sketch is mounted directly to the backing board.


The next example is a photograph printed edge to edge. The photograph itself is floated above the bottom mat or backing board with some spacer boards. The border mat is another elevation above the photograph. Together with the gap between the mat and the photograph, this design offers a sense of depth not achievable with standard matting design.


This third example is another photograph floated above the bottom mat. In this example we chose to not use a floating border mat. Instead we cut a closed V-groove to add another border element.


Open V Groove

We’ve already shown a couple examples that use closed V grooves. Another option is to use an open V groove to show more of a second mat color. An example is shown below. This example is a bit non-standard for an open V groove since the red reveal is actually a third mat installed inside the second layer (same level as the grey).


“Shadow Box” Style

This next example is a “shadow box” style mount. It isn’t a true shadow box since since they are typically used to mount and frame 3D objects inside. But what is common is that the deep, inside edge of the frame is a vital component of the overall design.

In this example the print extended nearly all the way to the edge of the frame. It could have been framed without a mat but it felt like something was missing when we tried it that way. Adding a splash of color through the use of narrow strips of matboard to line the edge of the frame and mount the art at the bottom gave it what it was originally missing.


Lights, Custom Cuts, and More

This final example is our most complicated and involved design to-date. It is kind of a reverse shadow box. The most unique element is the backlight installed to allow the transparencies to be visible. We lined the inside edge and back with white foamboard to increase the light reflection and diffusion. The lights are provided by LED strips so temperature and bulb-life should not be an issue. We placed UV blocking glass on both sides of the art layer.

There are three mat layers used, although only one is visible. The top layer has three openings, the second layer has two (for the film strips), and the third layer to secure the inside glass sheet. This is an example of multiple openings and also an example of custom corner cuts on every opening. The top mat is suede.


In Conclusion

This concludes our four-part survey and discussion of custom framing and some of the options we offer at FireLight Gallery & Framing. We hope that this has been instructive and also sparking inspiration about how you might want to see your art framed.

Let’s Talk Framing – Part 3

If you missed earlier installments, follow these links to learn more:

Standard Matting Options

Matting provides both functional and aesthetic benefits to the framed art piece or photograph.

Functional Benefits

One of the key benefits is that matting places a space between the glazing (usually glass) and the art. For long-term conservation, it is usually best to not have the art in direct contact with the glass. Matting provides this function.

Another function of matting is to help hold the art in place. The art is mounted to a backing board of some kind, but the addition of a mat in front can help in better securing all the sides through pressure and friction.

Aesthetic Benefits

Aside from all the functional benefits given, the most obvious benefit is aesthetics.

First, matting offers a negative-space separation between the frame and the art, allowing the art to stand out from the frame.

Secondly, the colors chosen for the mat(s) can complement and highlight portions of the artwork. The colors can help bring together multiple pieces under a theme. They can be incorporated into an overall interior design of a room.

When there are multiple mats incorporated into a matting design, each of the mats showing under the top mat is called a “reveal.” The overall design of the number of mats, the colors, and the size of each of the reveals can create a visual focal point in an art piece.


Double Mat

Here are a few examples of the more common matting options. Pictured at the top of the page is probably the most common type of matting: a double mat. This particular example uses a white top mat to match the white background of the print, but then incorporates a red, color-core black mat reveal to highlight both the black and the red in the print.


Here is another double mat example. This one uses a suede brown top mat to evoke the impression of swirling coffee to complement the coffee art. The bottom mat with the light cream colored reveal also seeks to evoke a “latte” look.

_DSC4842_smallSingle Mat

Here is a single mat example. Single mats are clean and simple. In this example the color was selected to match the forest theme of the art.

Single mats are often used in office settings and with neutral colors such as white, black, grey, and beige.

Mat Pricing

This is a good time to talk about costs associated with matting. The customer pays for the full outer size of each mat that is used (we have a framing order software that computes all the costs). So a two-mat design will be double that of a single mat (assuming same type of mat is used for both).

Different types of mats have different costs associated with them. A basic 4-ply paper mat is the least expensive. More costly mats include ones that are cotton rag, color and black cores, suede, specialty textures and finishes, and linen.

No Mat


Here is an example of art framed without a mat. We place spacers around the edge of the glass to keep the art from touching the glass. The benefits of no mats is a lower cost and can potentially fit into spaces where the extra width and height of matting might cause the piece to become too large.


Here is another example of a piece framed without a mat. In this case the glazing is acrylic and for many types of mediums the art can be placed in direct contact with the acrylic. This allows for pressure to mount the piece directly to the surface of the glazing.

Triple Mat

_DSC4838_small _DSC4817_small

Here are a couple of examples with three mats. The typical design is a smaller bottom reveal and a slightly wider top reveal, although it doesn’t have to be that way. Triple mats add an elegance and refinement to the presentation of the art. The design process may take longer because there is now three colors that have to work together with the frame to enhance the art, but the end result is worth it.

The left example uses a white top mat to give the photography a clean look, but uses the orange and blue to highlight the complementary colors of the sunrise.

The right example uses the dark blue-grey top mat to echo the forest, the white middle reveal to highlight the snow caps, and the narrow pink bottom reveal to highlight the sky. This design also incorporates a closed V-groove to further direct the focus to the art.

More Options

This installment discussed matting options and features that are most commonly requested and used. These will work for a large range of art pieces. But there are times when a piece calls for more creative and unique treatments. In the next installment we will discuss more exotic mounting and matting examples.

Let’s Talk Framing – Part 2

In Part One we discussed custom framing generally and some of the most common features and benefits.

In this installment we discuss a few of the ways we are offering local customers a way to receive many of the benefits of custom framing for a lower cost and faster turnaround time.

Time and Cost

A custom framing job where the customer and the designer choose and size every component results in a wonderful piece of art to hang in the home or office. But we realize that not every piece of art or memorabilia needs such extensive treatment. And sometimes you don’t have the two weeks or so that it might take to get the components ordered, shipped, assembled, and finished.


We also have a dilemma to solve: what to do with remnants of custom framing jobs, especially mat boards. A custom framing customer pays for the portion of the mat board that is used for their job, but we end up with the remainder. Sometimes it is a large amount that we can use for another job, but often it ends up too small or oddly sized to be useful on another custom job.

Value Packages

As a result of some brainstorming and suggestions from patrons, we decided to order a stock of (unassembled) frames in a couple of set sizes that we could have on hand. These would be offered with mat options pulled from ones we already have on hand — the remnants. Because we aren’t ordering new stock and the costs associated with shipping them in, we are able to offer the packages at approximately 30-40% less than what the same order might cost otherwise. Since these are also using existing stock, turnaround time can be as little as a day.

No Compromises

The frames are from the same supplier that we use for regular custom framing orders. They are a selection of the more economical choices available, and they are simple in design and color choices are limited. But the quality is the same.

The mat boards are what other customers have ordered and used for their projects. They are the same conservation grade boards.

The glass, too, is the same 99% UV blocking glass.

We assemble and finish with the same backing board, dust cover, and hanging hardware.

Just because the price to you is lower doesn’t mean we are compromising on the quality of materials used.


Here are the options and recommendations, where applicable.



We offer two sizes: 9×11 and 12×15.

The 9×11 is good for smaller art, photos, and documents. It can frame a piece as large as 8×10 but we recommend 7×9 or smaller for this frame.

The 12×15 is good for 8×10 to about 10×13. It can accommodate 11×14.

Frame Colors

The 9×11 is offered in four colors: black, white, natural, and walnut.

The 12×15 is offered in three colors: black, white, and natural.


Here is the bottom line.


  • Single Mat – $49
  • Double Mat – $59


  • Single Mat – $69
  • Double Mat – $79

Other Options

Other mounting and framing variations may be possible, within reason, and for additional cost. If you have an idea of how you want your piece framed with these packages, come in and discuss it with us. We’ll let you know if it can be done.

Next Time

In our next installment we will discuss some of the variations on matting and give examples of each.

Let’s Talk Framing – Part 1

Custom Framing

What makes custom framing different from simply purchasing a ready-made frame is that we partner with you, the customer, to create a framing design that fits you, the art, and the display location. You aren’t limited to standard frame sizes and mat openings. The design fits around the art, not vice versa.

The materials and supplies are custom ordered from our suppliers once a frame design is finalized and the customer places the order with us. Materials typically arrive in about a week, although it might take longer depending on how the supplier ships and other factors beyond our immediate control. Most framing orders are started in about a week and finished within two weeks of placing the order.


Custom Framing can help protect your art, photographs, and memorabilia in ways that off-the-shelf frames typically cannot.

One of the most important parts in a framing job is the glazing (the glass or acrylic that covers the art). All our glazing is 99% UV blocking, meaning the work inside is protected from light that can fade and damage the art. Glazing can also protect the work from accidental physical damage such as something hitting it or splashing onto it. The glazing takes the damage, limiting what reaches the art. Glazing can also reduce the amount of dust and harmful environmental pollution from contacting the art.

For larger pieces where weight is a concern, or for pieces that hang where broken glass may become a concern (impact or vibrations causing art to drop, for example), acrylic glazing may be an option to consider.

A custom framed piece is typically matted or spacers placed around the edge to prevent the art itself from contacting the glazing. Prolonged direct contact may lead to damage of the art and by placing a gap, we are able to prevent this type of damage from occurring.

We use conservation backing boards and place dust protection paper on the back of most framed pieces (we don’t do it for metal frames and most canvas pieces). This additional step helps improve the protection and longevity of your art. (Side note: when you use off-the-shelf frames, please replace any cardboard you find with acid-free materials!)


Not surprisingly, custom framing is not inexpensive. A smaller piece, such as an 8×10, matted and framed typically begins at just over $100 using less expensive frame and mat choices.

Frame selection is the greatest determinant of cost. A simple, fairly narrow and shallow, flat-profile frame is less costly than one that uses lots of wood and/or features ornamentation. Metal frames typically run about the same price as wood frames.

Glazing type can also have a huge effect on cost. We offer the following glazing choices (from most economical to most costly): Conservation Clear Glass, Conservation Reflection Control Glass, Museum Glass, Conservation Acrylic, Conservation Reflection Control Acrylic, and Museum Grade Acrylic.

There are numerous types of mats available. Standard 4-ply conservation grade paper mats are the most economical. Additional cost can purchase textured mats, suede mats, 8-ply thick mats, linen mats, and more.

As much as we would like to offer lower prices, shipping materials up to Alaska is a costly proposition, especially for large and heavy items such as glazing and matboards. We hope you understand.

Future Installments

Next time we will discuss our value priced package which can bring many of the features of custom framing discussed above at a more economical price point.

And in subsequent installments we will discuss other features we can offer you to highlight the artwork you have.

Policy for Sale & Resale of Items

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

From time to time we are asked by individuals about selling their art items in our gallery. Some of these are original works created by the person asking us. Others ask about reselling pre-owned art items.

We want to clarify our position on accepting items for sale and resale, consignment or wholesale, solicited and unsolicited.

Consignment, Sale, and Resale Policy

  1. Preference is given to original work created by the artist/consignor.
  2. Any items not created by the artist/consignor may be considered for sale or resale at the sole discretion of FireLight Gallery & Framing.
    1. The consignor warrants that they hold legal title/ownership of the item for consideration.
    2. The consignor accepts any liabilities associated with the consignment and sale of said item.
  3. Only items in new or excellent condition will generally be considered for sale or resale. FireLight Gallery & Framing makes determination of condition. Exceptions may be granted for unique, historical, or other qualifiers at the sole discretion of FireLight Gallery & Framing.
  4. FireLight Gallery & Framing will evaluate any items offered for consideration and provide notice within a week of decision on items that are and are not accepted for consignment/sale/resale.
    1. Items not accepted for sale, resale, or consignment will be returned to the offering person or persons and it is expected that they will retrieve their items in a timely manner.
    2. Items accepted for consignment will be held until sold, until the offering party requests their return, or for a period not less than three months. After three months, FireLight Gallery & Framing may request the offering party to accept returns of any unsold items.
  5. FireLight Gallery & Framing reserves the right to refuse acceptance of any item for sale, resale, and consignment.

Carvings and Sculptures

We are pleased to announce that we are now carrying works by two artists new to our gallery.

Joan Kautzer


Joan is a Petersburg artist creating sculpture works in metal and polymer. The “Romeo” sculpture we have is one of just five that she has created. We are delighted to represent her in Petersburg.

Ravendancer Creations (William Bolton)


Ravendancer Creations comes to us from Metlakatla. We currently have a few of his smaller pieces. Not only does he create works in wood and other material mediums, but William is also a performance artist and teacher.