Picture Framing and Art Preservation/Sugar icing to be preserved

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Question
We had a wedding cake made and a poem and pictures on the top which could be lifted off and then kept in a frame.all the work is done in sugar icing. How do we preserve it do we have to have it in an air tight frame.thank you

Answer
Hello Jill,

First, congratulations on your marriage! May you two have many years of happiness.

Now, to your question. I'll have to say that any type of food item will be quite problematic. One must consider insects, mold and mildew, and moisture. Fortunately your sugar icing is slightly less of a problem since it is little more than sugar and contains very little moisture, but you should still consider it to be somewhat temporary.

You are correct that the frame should be sealed as much as is practically possible to keep both moisture and insects out. To do so he or she can use a backing material made of fluted polypropylene, commonly known by the brand name Coroplast. I do not know how readily available it is in the UK but there is a backing board with a thin aluminium layer that will do the same sort of job. This will serve as a moisture barrier and insects will not be able to chew through it. Also your framer should seal the gap between the frame and the backing with sturdy tape, preferably one with an aluminium layer.

Additionally the frame should be sealed at the front, between the glass and the frame. Your framer can do this with self-adhesive tape run along the edge of the glass onto the backing, forming a somewhat tight package.

Again, even with these precautions the decorations may not last forever, but you will still be able to enjoy them for some time.  

Picture Framing and Art Preservation

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David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF

Expertise

I can answer questions about all aspects of framing, with special emphasis on preservation framing. Categories of artwork include works of art on paper, needlework, textiles, paintings on canvas and three-dimensional objects. Components of framing includes frames, glass/glazing, mats, mounting, their features and how to select them.

Experience

I have been a professional picture framer and educator in the field since 1994, including framing education for a major franchisor encompassing three brands and the Professional Picture Framers Association, and writing and teaching for DECOR Magazine.

Organizations
Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) > Board member, PPFA > Member, Certification Board > Member, Chapter relations Committee National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR)

Publications
DECOR Magazine, 2005 - 2010 PPFA For Members Only newsletter Member of the PPFA Guidelines task force, assisted in writing PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Canvas, and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Textiles and Needlework. Picture Framing Magazine, 2012

Education/Credentials
Georgia State University, many classes as a student and educator through the Professional Picture Framers Association and DECOR Magazine. Current member of the PPFA guidelines task force and certification board.

Awards and Honors
Earned Certified Picture Framer (CPF) designation in 1996, Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) designation in 2004 and Guild Commended Framer (GCF) status in 2008.

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