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Matting and framing is relatively simple, and doing it yourself costs less and is more rewarding than using a framing service. In this course, photographer and professional framer Konrad Eek describes the tools, techniques, and creative decisions involved in matting, framing, and hanging photographs.
The course begins with an overview of framing concepts, terms, and tools and then shows how to choose and work with the various components of a framed print: matboard, frame, glazing, wire hangers, and more. The course also examines the issues and creative options behind hanging an exhibit, whether in a gallery or in a home.
In these next few movies we're going to talk about assembling the different types of frames. We're going to start off with the simplest, which is the Easel Back Frame. I have disassembled it into its component parts, so we have the frame, the easel, the backing board, and the glass. And we have selected this image to frame and one of the first things you'll notice when you take a look at it is window and the size of the image do not match up. Because of this we're going to need to cut it to size, there are a couple of different ways you can do it.
One way is to use the glass itself as a cutting guide, and if you want to do that, you just take the glass, set it over the image and position it carefully, exactly where you want and then get an X-Acto knife with a very sharp blade and make the cuts to match the size of the glass. Notice if I'm going to do that, I have put a little scrap matboard here as a backing board, that way I don't want the risk of cutting into the table surface here, this nice fabric surface. It also gives me a more rigid surface to do the cutting on, that's one way of going about it.
Another way, and the typical way I typically do it is with a little rolling cutter like this. So I'm going to show you how to do with a rolling cutter, but I'm going to use the glass to kind of define where I want to crop it. And so I'm positioning the glass, I like this part of the image showing, so I'm going to take a pencil, and I'm just going to make one little mark outside of the image area with the pencil that I'll use for a reference once I get to the rolling cutter. Now I'm going to set that glass aside, and I won't need the backing board, since I'm using the rolling cutter.
And the way this cutter works, it's got a straight edge that functions as a guide, this is really similar to the production mat cutter we used, where the straight edges held firmly in place, it hinges up to allow you to insert your work and then we actually make the cut, if you apply pressure, it brings the blade into the clicker and the blade cuts through the work to this little rubber backing strip here. So you put in the work, press down and pull it towards you, and that makes the cut.
You can see here it also has a series of, essentially, production marks that you can use to determine the length for your cut. Notice I have a pair of scissors here on the table that I have not made mention of. Scissors are handy for some aspects of the framing process, but when you're cutting the work to size. you only want to use a straight edge and a blade in some combination. Scissors are almost impossible to make an accurate straight-line cut with, so we're just going set those aside. We're going to take the print that we have marked, and I'm going to align that mark up with the cut mark on the rubber backing, that's a real accurate way to determine exactly where the blade is going to come through, because it's come through in that position many times before.
I'm going to bring the blade to the front, press down and draw it towards me, and then the next cut I want to make is just above the top here, I want as much overhead in the crop as I can. So once again I'm going to align that up just inside the cut mark. I'm going to close this down and notice what I'm doing, I'm using the edge here, there is a little recess that allows you to align the paper precisely against that edge. Once again press down and draw it towards me, then we know that our window here, and I'm just going to double-check that, this is a 5x7, so you can double-check the measurement there, and that is 5x7 inches.
So next I am going to use one of the measurement stops here, and I'm going to take it to 5 inches. Align it up and make sure the edge is square, close it down, once again press down and draw it towards myself, and then last we will align it up at 7 inches, close it, press down, draw it towards myself, and now we have cut the work to size. I'll get rid of this scrap. I won't need the cutter anymore, and then the next step, I'll go ahead and put the glove back up, because I'm going to be handling the glass again.
So I have got my gloves on now, I'm going to take the glass, and I'm going to place it back within frame and set the art off to the side there, and then one thing I'm going to do wherever mentioned when we were talking about cutting and cleaning the glazing, that there is sometimes a little bit of dust residue left. In any environment, there is going to be airborne dust that is going to accumulate on the glass surface quickly after you clean it. So one of the last things I do is I use a little compressed air just to blow that dust free of the surface. Now this is just an air hose connected to a compressor with a little spray valve where I just squeeze the trigger, and it blows a jet of air across the glass.
I use the compressor for a lot of other things too. I have got several air tools that I use in other assembly projects. They're kind of expensive, if you don't want to invest in a compressor, you can buy cans of compressed gas that'll accomplish the same thing for you, but some kind of pressurized air to blow off the glass is really key. So we have gotten that last little bit of dust removal done, then I'm going to take the artwork and place it in, and then I'm going to take the backing board and place it in, and at this point I'm just going to hold it down and turn it around, and see if I can see any bits of dust, I don't see any, it looks real clean.
So then the other thing as I flip it over, remember, this is the top, so I want to make sure that the easel goes back in with this part facing down. So I slide the easel in, and this one works by, you center the corner, slide it across and then I have got two little clips. And you can see there is one clip right there and another clip right here, and once those are spun 90 degrees, it locks in place and then you bring your work up, and you have completely assembled an Easel Back Frame.
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