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Manual

You've joined the elite rank of collectors. Now display and protect your artworks with the right supports and frame. Susmita Saha tells you how.

Susmita Saha        Print Edition: March 6, 2011

The frame game

Protect artworks with the right supports and frame.
Protect artworks with the right supports and frame.
Here's the skinny on the best frames and conservation techniques for your artworks:

Frame finds: An integral part of décor, picture mouldings come in a variety of styles, materials and designs. The flat picture frame is the most popular style while other options include the photo cube (a frame with several display surfaces depicting numerous artworks or photographs) and the shadow box (a box-shaped structure fronted by a transparent sheet to exhibit three-dimensional objects).

Perfect pairing: Scout for mouldings that help your prized paintings stand out. Oil and acrylic canvases with rich textured surfaces need a slim frame so that their rich grains are visible. Similarly, a small oil painting can make a statement if skirted with a bold, wide frame.

Colour code: While framing warm subjects like landscapes and paintings splashed with red, brown and gold shades, go for warm wood frames as they offset portraits and still life. Paintings flaunting stark hues like grey and indigo look best in dark-toned wooden frames. You can frame antique works with gold mouldings but it's best to steer clear of shine if your interiors are minimalist.

Material matters: Plain, metal frames complement marvels of modern art like serigraphs and buff-coloured prints. A basic colour palette of black, gold or silver can work wonders for metal. Besides wood and metal, other materials that are spicing up the frame space are aluminium, plastic and polystyrene.

The mat effect: Inside the frame, the mat is the paperbased material that accentuates the artwork. It separates the painting from its glass enclosure, offering protection from water damage, mould and mildew. A mat should offset the artwork. While medium and deep-toned mats go well with canvases that depict a human connection, earthy green ones suit seascapes.

A glass act: Stay away from regular glass. Ultraviolet protective glass casing should top your shopping list as it offers 98 per cent protection against sun damage, thereby preventing paper discolouring and embrittlement. Providing a glass shield for watercolours is a must since these are not durable enough. But acrylics, which are water-proof in nature, and oil paintings, which need their breathing space, can do without the protection.

Diet tips for the long-distance flyer

Tips for frequent fliers
Tips for frequent fliers
Mumbai nutritionist Naini Setalvad knows how tough the frequent flyer's life is. Not only is there a chance of being hit by deepvein thrombosis, suffering from motion sickness and dehydration is quite common. Here are Setalvad's tips on easing the burden:

  • Airlines are always stingy with water. But our body needs at least one litre more in the air than on ground. So carry a big bottle or two of water with you and finish them before landing. Stay away from aerated beverages, alcohol, wine, coffee and tea as they cause dehydration. Avoid juices too since they just add excess calories without fibre.
  • If you have a long flight, it's best to order healthy, low-calorie meals and carry your own fruits to supplement them when you get hungry. Get plenty of sleep before boarding since fatigue encourages overeating.
  • If you can organise it, carrying your own food is best. Here's what you should have if you're going to be on a flight all day. Down two glasses of water and a fruit before boarding.
  • Mid morning (in-flight), have 20 almonds or 50 pistas with a couple of fruits and at least a litre of water.
  • For lunch, have one vegetable sandwich plus a fruit, three dried figs and water. Mid-afternoon, snack on a handful of raisins or 5/6 dates or prunes or figs or apricots and a wholegrain granola bar. Have some fruit if you're still hungry.
  • For dinner on landing, have a plate of salad, vegetables or vegetable soup, two rotis/ two idlis or dosas/two wholewheat toasts or a bowl of rice with a bowl of dahi or one piece of grilled fish or chicken.
The hop-step-jump of ordering wine in a restaurant

Ordering red wine no more a daunting task.
Indian executives rate ordering a red wine in a restaurant as a daunting task, especially when surrounded by associates. Shital Kakkar Mehra of Soft Skills International lays out a three-step process for you to follow:

1. Selecting the wine: Consider your budget before you start. It's safe to assume that you will need one bottle for every two winedrinkers at the table. If you're unsure about what to order, play it safe by discreetly indicating your price range to the sommelier and asking him for his opinion. But don't leave the final say to him or to your savvy guests. Their choice may set you back by an amount of money that you can ill afford.

2. Playing host: When the sommelier hands over the wine to you, check the name and vintage on the label to ensure that it is what you chose. If yes, acknowledge with a smile and a polite nod. The sommelier will now open the bottle and hand the cork to you. Touch it to check for moistness and red stain as wine and cork contact shows correct storage. Sniff the cork next. If it smells of the wine, nod politely. If it smells "off", tell your server so.

3. Pouring the wine: The sommelier will now pour a small sip into your glass. Swirl, sniff and sip! Nod your third approval, if it tastes fine. The wine will now be served to your guests and finally to you. Slainte.

Combat AMS

Dealing with acute mountain sickness
The human body needs to be acclimatised beyond the rough altitude of 3,000 m or 10,000 feet, which have low atmospheric pressure and thinning air. In its mildest form, AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) manifests itself in headaches, nausea, lack of appetite and breathlessness. But that's not all. The higher one goes, the slower one's motor skills become and things that take just a minute to do at sea level take 10-15 to achieve. Here's how to beat AMS by acclimatising right:

Keep things fluid: One of the key harbingers of AMS is dehydration. While walking, remember to drink lots of water and other fluids, and take in salts in liquid form. Climb high, sleep low: If your day's walk takes you to a higher altitude, arrange it so that you climb down to the camp while it's still daylight. After some rest, climb up another hundred feet or so, before returning to the camp for hot food and sleep.

Know when to stop: If you see any AMS symptoms coming on, stop and rest. If they persist, descend to a lower altitude. Avoid medication dependency: Although some medicines do help in minimising the effects of AMS, use them only to complement your acclimatising routine.

Moonlight photography basics

Clicking moonlight pictures
Travel photographer Jyothy Karat gives you a lowdown on taking pictures in moonlight:

  • Go location scouting before you do your actual shoot. This will help you understand how the light works.
  • You need to carry a sturdy tripod, torchlight, a magnetic compass and a shutter release cable. I like using Velvia film. It is positive and transparent and brings out the colours.
  • Shooting at midnight, when the moonlight is at its zenith, is best. But you also get amazing results at moonrise or just before dawn.
  • For moonlight photography, you can get a 30-sec exposure at 1600 ISO. But a 30-min (or more) exposure is pretty standard at 100 ISO.
  • Including people in your pictures is not a good idea unless you want to go in for a 'ghost' effect or have a a source of artificial light to illuminate the person in your subject

The Italian Experiment

Creamy risotto with red peppers
At San Maurizio Canavese, not far from Torino airport in Italy, lies La Credenza-a gem which has been awarded a Michelin star. Igor Macchia, co-owner of the restaurant, recently visited Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, to share his knowledge of the culinary arts. Here is his recipe for creamy risotto with red peppers, parsley sauce and anchovies- his signature dish.

MAIN INGREDIENTS
  • 4 red peppers
  • 240 g carnaroli rice
  • 500 g chicken stock
  • White wine
  • Butter
  • Parsley
  • Xantana
  • Parmesan
  • Anchovies filets

METHOD
  • Roast red pepper in oven at 180 degree C for about 20 minutes. Leave cool, skin and make a purée.
  • Prepare a classic risotto by lightly frying the carnaroli rice with onions, garlic and celery, and cook it in the chicken stock for 15 minutes.
  • At the end, season with the puree, olive oil, butter, parmesan, salt and pepper.
  • Plate it and finish with a few drops of parsley sauce and pieces of anchovies. Bon Appetit.


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