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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.
So once you have made a decision on what type of frame you want to use your next choice involves what type of glazing you want to use. Glazing is a term we refer to, used to refer to whatever the first transparent barrier is in front of your work. Placed there to protect it from spills, windborne debris, or whatever. Two basic types are available either acrylic or glass. And there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I typically use acrylic in settings that are commercial in nature. And the advantage of acrylic is it's virtually unbreakable if somebody is in the lobby and bumps in to it, it's not going to cause any damage if it gets knocked off the wall, it typically will not break, where, of course, glass will shatter.
The disadvantage of acrylic is it is prone to being scratched. It has a fairly hard surface, but over time it can pick up scratches particularly in a high traffic commercial application. Acrylic is also a little bit more expensive than glass, both the acrylic and glass surfaces come with a variety of different treatments that afford different kinds of protection just got one piece of acrylic here, that's just regular clear acrylic, you can also get acrylic that has UV protection, you want UV protection, if you're hanging your work in an area where it gets direct sunlight.
The UV protection will help to prevent your work from fading so you need to kind analyze where the work is going to hang. If you're not sure I tend to err on the side of protecting it rather than not. So acrylic also comes in a variety of thicknesses, typically the larger the surface area the thicker you want the acrylic to be. One other advantage of acrylic as compared to glass is it's also lighter in weight, so when you get to very large frame pieces, sometimes if weight is a consideration, you might want to opt for acrylic.
If you're going to go with glass, glass comes packaged by the box as opposed to acrylic which comes by the sheet and typically acrylic, if you buy it from a wholesale source will come in 4x8 foot sheets. Advantage of buying an larger sheets is the price drop is substantial. If you buy thick glass or acrylic cut to size, you're going to pay almost three times as much for it as you would if you bought a wholesale. This is why after we go through this here we're going to talk about different ways to cut it, because the savings are substantial, if you learn to cut your own.
On the 4x8 foot sheets of acrylic however, those are really hard to handle as an individual, so I typically will have my wholesaler cut them either to size, or to smaller sizes, still I'm getting a big savings in that regard. Glass, I'm going to show you couple of the different variety of glass that are available. I can say that comes packed in boxes from most framing things I just use premium, clear glass, but I talked about UV protection conservation glass.
Typically will provide about 97% UV protection, and you can see that there is no evidence of any kind of coding on this, it's still remarkably clear, you can also get conservation glass with a reflection control coating. What reflection control does is it helps eliminate the reflection of lights in the room, the reflection of even you the observer. Disadvantage of reflection control is you can see here it has kind of a milky look to it, and when my hand gets very close to it it's pretty clear, but if you have your work recessed, and if you're floating it further behind the glazing layer, this kind of reflection control is not a very good choice, which leads us to the best glass that's out there is museum glass which has a transparent reflection control coating, you can see here, there is no milkiness to my hand, has 97% UV protection as well.
Disadvantage of museum glass of course is the expense. Museum class typically will cost four to five times as much as plain glazing. So now that we exposed you to some of the different types of glazing you can use. In the next couple movies, we're going to talk about techniques for cutting the glazing to the proper size for your frame.
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