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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.
Earlier I showed you how to mount a photograph using linen hinges. The method we're going to use for the photo exhibition here at Quartz Mountain. Another very effective and reversible way to mount photographs is the use of photo corners. It's a method that's been in use for quite a long time. Here we have the window mat and backing board we cut with the production cutter, and we're going to work with this photograph to show you that alternate mounting technique. I have already assembled the backing board and window mat, the way we showed earlier, and then I'm just going to line up the photograph within the window.
I'm going to place once again the matboard and the brick, there, to hold it in position. Then I'm going to open this back up. And the way we make these photo corners is first cut a piece of just--any acid-free paper will work, you don't want one that is too heavy in weight or one that has much texture. So smooth acid-free paper, and I usually work with two sizes. For larger prints I'll work with this size, which is 1x3 inches. For a smaller print like this, I'll work with a 0.5x2-inch piece of paper, but in order to make it easier to visualize, I'm going to show you how you how I fold it with this large piece.
Just kind of channel your inner paper airplane and fold these two edges over so they meet tightly and create a point and fold that down to creases, and if you turn it over, and you have created a very nice corner piece that's an exact 90 degree angle out of the paper. So I have already done that with these smaller strips to create the exact same corner, and I'll place those on the four corners of the photograph, sliding those two little end strips underneath the photograph, and then I'll go around to the four corners of the photograph with my acid-free tape.
And just tear a small strip of the acid-free tape off and then tape down the photo corner, being very careful not to overlap into the image area. I'm making sure that my tape only comes in contact with the folded piece of paper, and then I'll use my finger to firmly press down that tape, so I know that I get good adhesion. So once again, a small strip of tape, make sure the corner is aligned properly, over the paper corner, never touching the image area of the photograph, and working with all these reversible processes, I really try to avoid having any kind of adhesive ever come in contact with the image itself.
And then on these two, don't worry about making them super tight, I like to give a little wiggle room. And when I say a little, we are thinking fairly precisely here, probably between the 64th and 32nd of an inch is all you need as far as wiggle room. This will allow the photograph to expand and contract slightly if the humidity changes without buckling within the mat. So once again, tape only over the paper, secure it firmly with pressure from your fingertip, and we can remove our brick, fold our mat closed, and you can see the finished result.
Now I want to show you too, for larger works, you may want to consider, you can see how easily this comes out, we're just going to take our fingers and get under it in the center and very carefully kind of fold it up, and you can see it slides right out of the mounts. And if you set the picture to the side, you can see here the little flaps of paper, if you want to reinforce this for a larger work, so it's capable of handling more weight. You can take an additional strip of tape and place it over those two lower parts, and you're essentially doubling the strength of these corners.
You make it much less likely that your adhesive is going to fail and allow the print to shift within its matting at all. This is one of the things I am always sad and every once in while you are looking and see a work of art on the wall, where it's come loose from its mounting, and it's hanging crooked in the mat, and I just, makes we want to go get my tools and fix it. So once again, if you add those four extra strips of tape, you can slide the photograph right back into the corners.
Notice I'm being very careful too, as I handle the photograph, not to put any creases or dings in it. And now I'll spread it back out into the mounts carefully, you can see it's laying completely flat again. We can re-close it, and now we have a mounted photograph in a lovely mat that is ready to take on gale-force winds.
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