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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.
Our challenge here is to mount a photograph in this space that will exactly mirror the photograph we have already hung on the other side. It's made more difficult by the fact that in this old house the floor and the ceilings aren't always level, and the art needs to be. So I don't have a reference point to work from. That brings us to one of our most helpful tools, the laser level. You have seen me use this tool before, most particularly as we were hanging the exhibition at Quartz Mountain. It was what enabled me to go down my whole length of that wall covering about 30 feet with the exhibit, and have everything exactly even along both the top and the bottom rows.
I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little bit more about exactly what this tool does and how much of a help it can be for you. This particular one has two functions, it works as a stud finder and a laser level. The stud finding feature may be handy if you're ever hanging something extremely heavy. You make a selection as to whether you're working for wood or metal studs, and then you hold it against the wall and press this button on the right, and you'll get a test tone while it sort of establishes what's there, and then you just slide it until you come across a stud.
And it gives you that big bright indicator, and a beep to let you know you found a stud. That function could be handy if you need to find studs. The one I use this the most for is actually finding a level line along the wall. And the way that works, place it against the wall and flip the switch, and you can see this laser projects down the wall. It swings a little bit when you first turn it on because the laser is very precisely weighted on gimbals, so it will find a precise level. You can see when you move it, it starts shaking again.
But once again, once it settles, it becomes level. The kit also comes with this tool steel pin. And the tool steel pin can be used to affix the level in place while you're making marks. This allows you to find a position for the laser level, and then free your hands to do other tasks. So, what I want to do is slide this level up, and you can see the laser beam projects behind the break front, and so I can see the laser actually striking the picture frame on the other side of the break front.
So I'm just going to raise this level until it precisely lines up with the very top of that frame. And then, I'm going to insert my pin to this hole in the center, and then I can release the level, and I will get my pencil and use the pencil to make the mark that will be my starting point for the vertical positioning of the photograph. Once I have made my mark, I can turn the level off, pull the pin, and bring it back down.
These are available with lots of different bells and whistles, but the level part is really all you need, and you should be able to find one at a hardware store in the $50 price range. The amount of time it can save you when you're hanging work is priceless. So, I strongly recommend adding this to your toolkit for hanging your work.
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