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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.
- Conversing with a framer
- Selecting a mat and a frame
- Deciding on window size
- Using a handheld or production mat cutter
- Mounting art
- Cutting glass
- Assembling frames
- Hanging photographs in groups
- Hanging photographs on different surfaces
Skill Level Beginner
The next technique I'd like to share with you is how to assemble a metal sectional frame. The work we are going to use for this demonstration is one of the student pieces that was selected for the "Tour de Quartz" exhibition. A touring show, the best of the student work from the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. This particular piece is called the Safe Room by Amber Griffith. A metal sectional frame comes in two sets of two legs, we are framing this to a standard 11x14 size. So I have two 14-inch legs and two 11-inch legs, and then each frame will come with hardware kit like this, and in that kit you'll have a series of spring clips.
These clips are made out of spring steel and they are used to actually hold the work in place within the frame. You can see as I bend it, it returns to its original shape, and this will apply pressure from behind, hold the work where it belongs. These clips here, these pair of clips, these are used to attach the wire they screw in at the back of the frames and then these four pairs of pieces here are the corner braces. You have got one that's flat, that goes underneath and then on top of it goes one that contains two sections of threaded rod that have a groove in the top for using a slotted screwdriver to tighten them in the corners.
So to assemble the frame, we will start off with one of the 11-inch legs, and we will put it upside-down on our work surface, and we will get a pair of these brackets, and we will slide them in. If you look at this, you will notice there's a channel here, and this small channel is where the braces, this corner braces fit, the large channel here is where the artwork goes. So we are going to slide these two pieces flat one, and one with the threaded rods in the corner, and we are going to take one of the 14 inch legs, and we are going to slide it together.
And once I have got that tight, we are going to hold the corner in position, put in our slotted screwdriver and screw those two components tightly together. And you can see too on my screwdriver, it's a fairly narrow bladed slotted screwdriver. The narrow blade is important, a broad bladed screwdriver, sometimes won't allow you to get these as tight as they need to be. So once again, we are going to take two of the corner braces, we are going to put a 14-inch leg upside-down, we are going to slide those two corner braces into that leg and then slide those two together.
We are going to pull that corner tight and while we are holding it tight, we are going to put in the screw driver and tighten it down. Then we are going to take the remaining leg and our remaining two sets of brackets and put both of those brackets into the open ends of our last leg of the frame. Once I have done that, I am going to set that leg aside and then I am going to take, once again, use the compressor, a little pressurized air, I am going to blow any surface dust off the mat and the glazing, and then I am going to glove up for this part, because I am going to be handling the glass again, and I am going to take the glass and place the surface of the glass, I just blew the dust off against the surface of the mat and then I am going to inspect it carefully to make sure I don't have anything trapped between the two layers.
Then I am going to turn it over and slide it in to the slot within the metal frames, and then I am going to take my remaining leg with brackets attached and slide those into the groves, and I had to lift my glass package a little bit just to make sure that it seated all the way and then once again holding it tight, I am going to tighten the screws on those corners.
And so now we have the mat and glass package within the frame, but it's still loose, if you can see here, here it moves around, I am going to flip it over once again, make a final inspection for dust or imperfections, it looks good. So now I use these spring clips and at this point I am done handling with glass, so I don't need gloves anymore, and it's little bit easier to handle these clips when you don't have gloves. So I am going to take one end of the clip, I am going to place it under, I am sliding it in between the metal frame in the mat package and press down and push the other into cross.
Once again, that's taking the tip under, pressing down the other side of the spring clip and sliding it into place. So the first thing I will do is put these in on all four corners. Once again tip under, press down, slide it in, tip under, press down slide it in and then I am going to add additional clips in the center of each leg and what this does is it just makes the image much more secure within the frame and since the show is going to be traveling around the state, we want to make sure that it works durable enough to take multiple hangings and removals from the different gallery spaces where it's going to hang.
Okay now I have got all eight clips in place, then I am going to double-check my orientation and make sure I know which is the top, and this is the top, so I am going to have the top side facing towards me, I am going to take these clips for the wiring and they just slide in, if you watch, it just goes in and slides over and then by tightening this screw here, you can secure it firmly in place. Okay, I am going to take the other clip, line them up and notice this is about 25% of the way down from the top. That's typically where I'll mount my wire clips.
So I hold it in place, screwing it down tightly and then the wire I am going to use is a braided steel wire, it's coated with a plastic coating, it's called soft strand. The reason I use the soft strand, you can may be see the sheen of the plastic on that. The reason I use the soft strand is the plain braided wire, if you do a lot of this work, it tends to be a little bit rough on my fingers, and I found the soft strands a lot more user-friendly. So I will stretch out some of it from a spool and then the knot that we use is pretty important.
What I want to do is come up from underneath, so I am bringing a piece of wire through the hole, and I will pull them about 4 inches through, and I am going to bend that down, go underneath the wire that I started with and then take it and go back down through the hole and then take that loose end and feed it through the loop that I just created and pull it tight. And once I have got that tight, so I have got the strand, let's go to the other side in this loose end, and I want to take this and make five turns, staying tight against the knot and doing the double loop that we started with, combined with the five turns, ensures that this will never slip and become loose.
So I have got that knot done, come over to the other side, get myself a little bit of slack to work with and cut the wire, and once again on the knot, I come up from underneath and then on this one I need to make sure I have got the right amount of slack in the wire, so you can hang it easily. You need a little bit of room there, so you can get your hand behind it to guide it on to whatever hanger you are using. So I will pull that there, I will make a tight bend to establish the slack amount, once again, go under, through from the top and out of the loop we are creating and pull it tight with loose end of the wire, so we don't change the angle we have there, then once again five turns, pulling it tight, notice applying a little downward pressure pulling it towards the knot every time I make a loop, that helps ensure really neat work.
And then once I made my five turns, I will take my wire cutters again and make two cuts clipping the wire off very close to the crosswire. You don't want to have loose ends of this wire hanging around, because they can be sharp, and you can actually cut yourself on them. So now we have wired the clips in place, it's secured, and this piece is ready for hanging.