You’ve put in all the hard yards.

The design, materials and technique mesh together to achieve their desired outcome, wowing the viewer and gaining their attention.

So, why oh why not think about the finish?

This is often replayed when I teach.  Great ideas were let down because no consideration was given to finishing.

And by finishing I mean how the work is ended neatly and how the work will be displayed.

It’s fantastic to begin new work, but thought and care must be given to how to finish and display the work too.

These two major considerations are often left until the end when, in reality, they are integral parts of the design process.


Both could impact the design, the materials and the techniques used – not to mention the hanging systems required for display and photography.

Finishing is part of the design process, not an adjunct to be considered when it comes to hand.

Design encompasses the entire process and finishing and display should be a major factor from the beginning of the process – yes, ideas can change, but why make your life harder by not including them from the outset?

It’s great to create new work, but why go through all the angst of having no idea what to do with it,

During the design process, consider the appropriateness of the finish. Things like:

  • Is it achievable?
  • Dealing with embroidered edges and other finishing techniques
  • Will the work have a neat squared finish or will the edges be organic and wavy?
  • Will the finishing enhance or detract from the work?
  • Does the work require a rod pocket or other hanging device?
  • Will it be unseen?
  • Will colour be involved (as in frames or plinths)?
  • Will the work be under glass?
  • Will the work be hung, draped or standing?

There are so many considerations for final finishing and display that could affect your design – that could make your work stronger and even more eye-catching, which is the whole objective.

Conversely, not giving due consideration to these matters from the outset could detract from the success of your artwork.

And horror of horrors – you don’t want your work to fall from the wall (if it’s wall-hung), so it must be well done.

So design with the end in mind and give finishing its due.

And make your work sing.


All views and opinions expressed are my own, except where acknowledged information is included from other sources.