Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs
Illustration by Richard Downs

Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs

with Konrad Eek

Video: Exploring troubleshooting techniques

The last thing you want to do in your matting process is just look over the finished work and see if there's any little flaws or problems that need to be fixed. The first place I usually start is look to the corners. It's very common when you cut a mat, no matter how well you have your production cutter aligned, or how much practice you have had with your handheld cutter, that your over cut will be a little bit bigger than it needs to be in order to create the bevel. So they usually will be a little cut line at the corners that goes beyond the area it should.
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  1. 6m 2s
    1. Welcome
      1m 49s
    2. Using this course
      1m 19s
    3. Understanding why we frame
      2m 54s
  2. 25m 31s
    1. Visiting a professional framing studio
      6m 22s
    2. Working with a framer's vocabulary
      4m 16s
    3. Conversing with a framer
      14m 53s
  3. 50m 36s
    1. Selecting a mat
      5m 13s
    2. Deciding on the window size
      9m 27s
    3. Understanding standard vs. custom mats
      1m 46s
    4. Using a handheld mat cutter
      4m 11s
    5. Using a production mat cutter
      8m 37s
    6. Assembling the mat
      2m 5s
    7. Mounting art in a mat
      3m 25s
    8. Mounting the art with photo corners
      4m 51s
    9. Mounting the art with repositionable mounting adhesive (RPMA)
      6m 52s
    10. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      4m 9s
  4. 32m 11s
    1. Selecting a frame
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding the kinds of glazing
      4m 14s
    3. Cutting glass
      7m 15s
    4. Scoring acrylic
      3m 52s
    5. Sawing acrylic
      4m 42s
    6. Keeping the glass clean
      6m 53s
  5. 46m 10s
    1. Assembling an easel back frame
      6m 21s
    2. Assembling a metal frame
      8m 33s
    3. Using a V-nailer to assemble a chopped frame
      7m 49s
    4. Putting the frame, glazing, mat, and art together
      12m 4s
    5. Using a band clamp for assembly
      6m 10s
    6. Reviewing alternative hanging devices
      5m 13s
  6. 13m 21s
    1. Prepping the show
      2m 26s
    2. Using a wall as a canvas
      6m 46s
    3. Hanging the show
      4m 9s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Introduction to hanging tools
      8m 2s
    2. Using lasers for precision
      3m 18s
    3. Hanging on plaster and lath
      6m 42s
    4. Hanging on either drywall or panelling
      6m 56s
    5. Hanging on brick, stone, or steel
      7m 35s
    6. Lighting your work
      3m 29s
  8. 54s
    1. Goodbye
      54s

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Watch the Online Video Course Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs
3h 30m Beginner Sep 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Conversing with a framer
  • Selecting a mat and a frame
  • Deciding on window size
  • Using a handheld or production mat cutter
  • Mounting art
  • Cutting glass
  • Assembling frames
  • Hanging photographs in groups
  • Hanging photographs on different surfaces
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Konrad Eek

Exploring troubleshooting techniques

The last thing you want to do in your matting process is just look over the finished work and see if there's any little flaws or problems that need to be fixed. The first place I usually start is look to the corners. It's very common when you cut a mat, no matter how well you have your production cutter aligned, or how much practice you have had with your handheld cutter, that your over cut will be a little bit bigger than it needs to be in order to create the bevel. So they usually will be a little cut line at the corners that goes beyond the area it should.

You probably can't pick it up on camera, but it's fairly easy to see with the naked eye, and for it in order to fix that we use a tool called the Burnishing Bone, and put pressure on that little over cut and rub it in a circular motion. So I'm going to start on this corner here, and I just see this little over cut, and basically what we're doing is flattening the paper surface back out from where the pressure of the blade kind of bowed away a little bit, and so I'll just go to the four corners, and it's just a real tight circular motion.

A little bit of pressure, you don't want to apply too much pressure because you can actually create a depression in the matboard, that they would be more noticeable than a slight over cut. So we have smoothed those down a little bit. The next thing I'll look for is I will inspect the edges of the bevel. Occasionally, particularly if you allow your blade to get dull or if you use the same piece of backing board for too long on your beveled cut, your cut won't be as clean as it needs to be. You can get little bits of pilling, you'll see little rough spots.

If they're not too bad, you can use an emery board to clean that up. And so I see this one little area here, there's a little bit of a pill. I'm going to go in and just lightly sand that away with the fine side of an emery board. If you can't find an emery board they will be usually in the beauty section of your local grocery store. They're easy to find. I like these large black ones because since they're a little bit wider, they make it easier to go on real smoothly. And what I try to do is go ahead at an angle that is less than the angle of the bevel.

That way I don't run the risk of creating any odd marks in the bevel, and that smoothed out very nicely. The last thing I'll look for is just inspect the mat and see if there is any dirt or smudges, and over here I see a little bit of a smudge. It could be from something that was on the mat cutter or something that was on my work surface. The first eraser I have started with is always an art gum. It's a real soft, noninvasive eraser, and I'll just go to the spot and try to make that go away, that worked pretty effectively. Another spot right there, and that got it taken care of.

If an art gum doesn't work, a polymer eraser may work. I also don't have one here, but I keep a brush around that I use for brushing things off. It's a natural fiber brush that allows you to get all these little bits of debris away, and you want to always to be sure when you're using your eraser to get all that eraser to be out of your workstation. The cleaner is better when you're putting these things together. Occasionally too you'll find flaws in your matboard, there may be a little something that's embedded in it that won't go away with an eraser, you can't seem to figure out what to do with it, and you have got all this time and energy invested in a mat.

If it's going to go under glass, you can usually get away with actually etching the surface slightly to remove a little imperfection. Perhaps a pencil mark that penetrated a little more deeply into the surface of the board. You literally just go in with the tip of the blade and very gently pick little bits of the board away. I try to do this very gently, tiny little bits and only working around the spot where the little flaw is and then go back with the Burnishing Bone, and you can smooth it out. And generally, if it's going to be under glass, if you're going to put it in a frame with glass over it, nobody will ever notice that it's there.

So now we have gotten to the point, we have got our work mounted in the mat, the mat is pristine perfection, and we're ready to move on to the next part of the framing process.

There are currently no FAQs about Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs.

 
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