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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 this next movie I'd like to talk to you about how to hang your photographs on brick, stone, or steel, arguably some of the most difficult surfaces to mount your work on. We're working with a brick surface here for the demonstration, and we have got an interesting situation. We had a decorative piece hanging here, and we have removed it and these were the screws that were mounting it. The new piece that we are replacing it with will cover those screws. So I am not going to bother removing them. If you did need to remove those screws, it is really the question of backing the screws out, getting a pair of needle-nose pliers, and pulling up the screw anchors and then filling the hole with an appropriately colored putty.
Since we are going to cover them, I am not going to worry about that. Also, we may choose to go back to the decorative piece at a different point in time. The piece we are going to be using is this gelatin silver print of a pinhole photograph that was made by Martha Casanave. It's a lovely image of cormorants on the rocks on the coast of California. The matting is a very simple, double mat in white, and then the frame molding we picked is a fairly simple wood molding in red hue that works well with the tones of the brick.
One of the things I find when you are working with wood molding, wood tends to go with wood well, and wood and stone also tend to go well together. The thing that you want to be sure of is it's fine to have different tones of wood, but avoid clashing tones of wood, and that's fairly easy to do. So our next step here. We know what we want to hang. We are going to do our measuring to get ready to hang this. A couple of aesthetics involved here, where this sits in the room, there is a chair that sits in front of this that faces away from it.
So we are hanging this really for the pleasure of the people on the other side of the room rather than this side of the room, but they'll be seeing it over a seated person. So we will probably take it a little higher up on the wall than normal. The other consideration, too, when hanging on brick, bricks really limit you because of the mortar lines, and I tend to avoid having the edge of the frame fall within the line of the mortar. And it usually looks a little bit better if the edge of the frame comes in the midst of the line of brick. That way you get the line a little bit more broken up.
You don't get this strong linear feel to the top of the image. So this is our target for height is about right here. To make my measurements, this particular space is a little challenging, because the measurements we need to make are all a little bit offline. We first look at the width of the space, and we have got 41 inches, but once again, it's complicated by the switch plate cover here that's on a lower plane. So I am going to come down and measure that, and that edge is 6 inches in. So I am really dealing with a space about 35 inches wide.
So if I go look at half of that 35 inches, that gives me 17 & 1/2 inches. If you look at that 17 & 1/2 inches, it comes right on the edge of the brick and the mortar, and that's a really difficult place to drill accurately. So what I am going to do is I am going to make that dimension 18 full inches. The slight shift to the left will still be okay. We are not going to run into the switch plate cover, and we still accomplish the aesthetic of that slight rightward shift. So I am going to make a pencil mark there at 18 inches.
So this is my mark for horizontal placement. Next I am going to determine my vertical placement, and remember we wanted the top of the print to be in the middle of this line of brick. So I am going to do the same thing I did before to measure the drop from the wire. I am going to measure up to the back of the frame, stretching it tight, and that gives me 3 & 1/2 inches. So we will start there. We will line up on our 18-inch mark.
We will start in the center of that brick and come down 3 & 1/2 inches, and we are going to make our crosshairs, and that's our mark for where we want to drill our hole. We are going to drill the hole using a Hammer Drill, which is a very messy tool. So I am going to set the artwork out of the way, and when you are doing this, if you're doing a lot of drilling, you may want to put down a drop cloth. You certainly want to get things out of the way, because of the dust involved. Hammer Drills also--because you're drilling into a very, very hard surface, little chips of the brick or stone can fly away. I have got on shatterproof glasses.
If you don't have those or doing quite a bit of this work, I'd recommend safety goggles. I would also recommend if you're doing a lot some kind of a breathing filter, because the stone dust, brick dust, if it gets in your lungs, it's not a good thing. What we're going to use for drilling is a Hammer Drill, and it's the same drill I'd use for drilling in either brick, stone, or steel. In steel I'd have it set in just its standard drill mode at low speed, and the reason I'd want this for steel is it's a substantial piece of equipment, it's powerful, and it's just got this extra grip handle to make it easier to hold onto.
Since for drilling on brick, I want to change it over to its Hammer function and increase the speed to High. Sometimes when you turn the speed thing, you have got to twist the chuck a little bit just to make the gears align. So I am set in high speed in the Hammer mode, and I have made my mark on the wall, I am going to get a secured grip on the drill, I am going to put it on a starting point, and I want to warn you, this is going to be loud, and once again, I am making sure I am going straight into the wall. Everything else we have done, we have taken our nails in at an angle, but in this case working with an anchor we are going straight in.
You notice it jumped a little bit at the start there. I always just give it a few little goose just trying to hold it in place to get the right starting hole, and now that I have got the right starting hole we are going to go ahead and drill along through, like a hot knife through butter. That's a Hammer Drill. That was a joyous sound, wasn't it? Okay, so what we have done is we have done the small hole here, and in that hole I am going to take one of these little screw anchors.
This is just a little plastic sleeve that we'll pound into the hole, and then we'll drive the screw right into the center of it. And you can see I just pound that into the brick. So there is the anchor, and then I have got the hook from a Wall-Dog, and on the Wall-Dog packaging it says you can use their screws for light-duty masonry anchors, but I feel much more secure with this hanging method.
Then I am going to take a 1.25-inch fine-thread drywall screw, and I am going to use the Wall-Dog hook, line them up, and then just get my regular drill with a Phillips screwdriver bit in it, and drive that home. So my Wall-Dog is there and ready to go. I am going to take this lovely photograph, and there you go.
So now we have it mounted nicely on the brick. We have been through all the different surfaces you will probably have to deal with in mounting, and now it's time to turn to the next consideration which would be lighting the work.
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