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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
Now that I have cut my glass to size, the next step in preparing it to go into the frame is to clean it thoroughly. The workspace I have here, I just took a hollow core door and first wrapped it with felt and stapled that in place and then wrapped it with muslin and stapled that in place. Muslin is inexpensive, I use unbleached muslin, this way as this gets old and worn I can just peel it off and replace it with another piece of fabric, and that's why I stapled the felt separately from the muslin, so the felt layer can stay there.
It provides a little bit of padding, a little bit of give so that it have a lot lower breakage risk on the glass. Also you see we'll use this same table for the assembling of the frames, the big advantage being as when the frame is face down on this table surface you don't run any risk of scratching the frame or causing it any damage. So it's a nice safe working environment. When working with the glass, once again, I do want to glove up just for the extra bit of protection. And here it provides two things, one it protects my hands a little bit, but it also keeps me from leaving nasty little fingerprints on the glass that I'm working so hard to get clean.
For plain glass and for acrylic the only cleaner I recommend is Sprayway Glass Cleaner. It's a non-ammonia glass cleaner and while ammonia does not cause any problems when you are cleaning glass you cannot use ammonia to clean acrylic. If you are using ammonia cleaner on acrylic it will damage it. And so this Sprayway Glass Cleaner I recommend unequivocally you can find it in any grocery store, most hardware stores carry it, and it costs about the same as all the other ammoniated glass cleaners.
So to use we'll shake it up a little bit and spray it directly on the glass. And then the towels I'm using these are flower sack towels, they are pretty easy to find, they are 100% cotton, they are fairly light in weight. And I find that once they have been washed a few times they are virtually lint free. I also always select a white towel because with a white towel you can tell when it gets dirty, and can wash them in hot water with regular laundry detergent. So the wiping motion I use is circular, and I really focus on the edges of the glass.
Dad taught me that when you're having toast with your breakfast, if you butter the edges, the middle will kind of take care of itself. That's really the same way with glass. A lot of times when you are inspecting it, you'll find that the soil that remains is on the edges, and I'm going to flip it over and just repeat the procedure on the other side. Notice too, I'm not concerned about totally covering the glass with the cleaner. That's why I work the cleaner to the edges of the glass with the towel, and you can see I'm holding the glass in place with my gloved hands, and I can keep the glass real stable, it's not moving around at all.
But I don't put any marks on it because I have got my gloves on. Along with keeping your towels clean too, you want to keep your gloves clean. Overtime these will get a little dirty and these I can just fill in the washing machine just like the towels. So after I have cleaned both sides of the glass I'll just hold it up and visually inspect it, and it looks pretty good. There is no more marks on it, there is a few little bits of dust, and we'll clean those away at the very last when we assemble things. The procedure for cleaning acrylic is exactly the same as cleaning glass.
You peel off the other side of the backing and clean both sides of it just like we did with the glass. One pitfall you may run into, with a lot of easel back frames, you can see there is a price sticker right on the frame. Some manufacturers put on stickers that are held in place just by surface tension, but a lot of manufacturers will put a sticker on with some sort of an adhesive, and the ones that make me crazy are the ones that use adhesives that are pretty much permanent adhesive. So you end up having to remove this tag and sometimes there is a glue residue there, which I find really annoying when it's blocking the view of the photograph.
It's just a barrier between your viewer and the enjoyment of the photograph. So to get rid of that sticker I'll open up the pack of the frame, take out the little backing board that they put in there. And then if I just reach underneath and push up I can easily lift the glass out of the frame. I'm just going to set the frame aside and then I am going to feel, okay the sticker is on this side of the glass. Typically I'll work with a single edge razor blade, you can buy these, they are really inexpensive. You can buy boxes of anywhere from about 10 to 100, and they all come packaged with this protective paper around the blade.
And you can see once I remove that the blade is very flat, and I'll just place blade underneath the edge of the sticker and kind of rock it back and forth, so I can get a grip on it and then I'll peel away the rest of the sticker. That one peeled off fairly easily, sometimes when you try to peel the thing will shred but so far we're doing pretty well with it. Then I'll just kind of look, and you can--I don't know if you can see this on camera but there's a little tiny bit of glue residue that's left here. The razor blade is not really the best tool for picking that up, what I'll typically use then is a little Bestine. It's a fairly universal solvent that will dissolve almost all the adhesives that are out there.
The thing you need to be careful of that Bestine is to use it in well-ventilated area and be careful about contact with the skin as well. You can actually absorb it through your skin. So if are going to be doing a lot of this, some rubber gloves or some kind of impermeable gloves rather than cloth gloves would be your best choice. So we're going to open up Bestine. Grab a paper towel, and we're just going to put a little bestine on the paper towel, and wipe down the area where we have that glue residue, then rotate the paper around, because what the bestine does is it kind of dissolves the glue and then we pick it up with a clean part of the towel, put the cap on that. It's pretty strong stuff.
And then once again hold it up and inspect and the glue residue is gone, and at this point I'll proceed with the glass cleaner and clean it the same way I cleaned the previous piece of glass. One thing to remember about your razor blade, you can't use the razor blade on the acrylic, the acrylic is prone to scratching, so you're going to have to rely strictly on solvents when you have adhesive residue on acrylic. Once again, Bestine does not react with the acrylic. If you have got other cleaners I would recommend testing them on a piece of scrap before you use them on the main piece of glazing you're going to put in your work of art.
So we have our glass cleaned, now we were ready to proceed to the next step of assembling the frame.