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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.
There's one more mounting technique that I'd like to demonstrate for you that has occasional application when mounting photographs. The reason I don't recommend it unequivocally is because it is a nonreversible mounting technique. That being said there may be occasion to use this, say you have a photograph that you want to trim to the exact edge of the photograph and show the backing board inside the window mat, or if you wanted to surface mount a photograph and just float it recessed in a deep frame, this would be the material I would recommend for doing that.
Old-school methodology, we used to use a heat and pressure method called Dry Mounting. Once again, it was nonreversible. Another way to do the same thing is with a spray adhesive, spray mount, there are a lot of different brands out there. Those are solvent born things that scatter a lot of adhesive around wherever we use them, I don't recommend those either. So if you want an adhesive based mount, this is what I would suggest, it's a product called Repositionable Mounting Adhesive or RPMA. I'm going to set the artwork aside here.
What I did, I went to the one we just finished in photo corners, and because it was reversible, I just pulled the same photograph out. I'm using the same window we cut with the production cutter, and I just put a fresh backing board there. This is the RPMA, it comes in rolls of different sizes. I think this is the smallest width roll they make. And here you have got a backing paper, and it's got adhesive on one side. It's essentially in a lot of ways just like a great big roll of double stick tape.
And so what I'm going to do is roll out a little bit and then I'm going to take my photograph. And I'm going to line up the edge, and I want to kind of get to the corner here, so I don't waste much of the material. You can see, this sticks to the backing, and then I'm going to take my straight edge and just cut this precisely on the black edge of the image.
I'm using, once again, an X-Acto knife with a number 11 blade, and I have got a very sharp blade working. And one of the things I always try to do when I'm cutting a work of art, remember I talked earlier about the foam backing on this straight edge I'm using. It protects the surface of the art, so I'm not going to do any damage to it and by putting the ruler over the art, if I slip with the knife, I can't slip into the surface of the art. So if I make a mistake, if the dog bumps into me while I am trying to work, if I hear a scream in an adjoining room, if an earthquake happens--those of you working in California-- you won't damage the art, it's very key.
So I keep rotating this around, so that I can keep my ruler positioned over the art, draw the blade towards myself, and I'm going to make this cut just a little bit farther. I didn't go all the way to the edge, I'm going to take it all the way to the edge. That way I can just get this out of the way. Oops! I just lost something I'll need in a minute, I'll grab that, okay, and then I'm going to make my last cut.
Okay now I'm just going to stop and inspect and make sure that I like the way I made all my cuts, and I can see on this end I left a little tiny sliver of white. So I'm going to go back in and just take off the nearest hint of the edge of this paper. Because I don't want, I want to see that uniform black edge, okay. I have cleaned that up now, so I have got clean black edges all the way around.
So I'm going to get my mat back, and so you can see this will float nicely in the center here. And so in order to position this, since now, remember I had cut this window, exposing an eighth of an inch of the white paper all the way around, well, I have cut away all the white paper, but that still leaves me with an eighth of an inch of clear white. So what I'm going to do is actually position this while the mat is closed, there is no reason for me to open it up. And I'm going to lift this up, and you can see we have here the adhesive side has been stuck to the photograph, and there's a backing paper that I'm just going to carefully peel away, and it's not adhering as well to the papers I'd like, so I'm going to lay this face down, I'm going to use this little tool that comes with the RPMA, and I'm just going to apply a little pressure.
Okay, so now I know the RPMA is very well stuck to the photograph. And I'm going to take the backing board away, and it's coming away much more cleanly now. I'm a much happier man. So I peel the backing paper completely away, and then holding down the upper mat I'm going to very carefully align this, and notice that I didn't get it quite right the first time. They call it RPMA, because its initial tack is not so great that you can't lift it and move it to correct its position.
This is really key, particularly in the early learning stages, you should get practice in properly aligning and placing these things. So I have got that, placed where I want, and I'm going to open up the mat. I'm going to grab what I dropped. This is a paper that comes with it that you can lay over the image, and then once again we go back to the little tool that they gave us. This keeps us from scratching the surface of the image as we put pressure on with this tool. And I'm just making sure that I work my way around the image, kind of working from the center to be outer edges in order to firmly affix the image to the board.
And then we'll close this, and you can see how cleanly and neatly that is affixed to the board. You can see the backing board that is exposed around the edge, and if you look closely you can also see right at the edge a little bit of the depth of the paper. This is a particularly effective mounting tool if you're working with heavy papers, perhaps some alternative works where the paper may have a little bit of extra thickness to it, it's a good solid adhesive. My one complaint about it once again is that it is nonreversible.
Once it's on here, it is on here.
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