Mastering the Art of Mounting and Framing

5th Sep 2016

There is an art to mounting and framing a photograph, a painting or other creative work. The goal is to highlight the piece so that the viewer’s eyes are drawn to it. Picture frames are a great way to accomplish this.

As an artist, the right combination of artwork, picture frame, matting options can actually improve sales as people prefer to see an artwork as a finished work, rather than as a plain and unframed piece. In addition, framing your work before selling it allows you more leeway in how you would like to present your piece as a finished artwork. You even have the option to use non-standard sizes, which you can then mount and place in a larger frame. You do not have to be forced to settle for a standard size artwork to fit a standard sized frame.

What’s more, using the proper mounting technique will save you a lot of headaches in the future. Correct mounting will protect the artwork from acid, sun minimize the possibility of damage. For a professional who works with frames, clients will appreciate the extra effort made towards mounting and framing.

Now, how do you mount your pieces into a frame? There are actually a number of options and considerations:

  • Conservation. As an artist, one primary concern is that you would want your work to last so that people are able to appreciate it for years and years to come. This means that you should use conservation mounting techniques that render your mounting and framing reversible. This means that you can take off the piece from the mounting and the frame without risking any damage to the piece. Simply gluing a photo or artwork onto a mounting board is a no-no in conservation. Conservation also makes use of acid-free and conservation materials that prevent acid burn, discoloration and brittling. Some conservation materials that may be used include
  • photo corners and hinging tape.
  • Cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, you need to balance conservation with cost. Of course, you would want to provide a reasonable price for your artwork. If you are a photographer who can reproduce his shots from his digital library, then you only need a low level of conservation in an effort to lower the cost of framing.
  • Mounting technique. There are a number of techniques that you can employ to effectively mount your work onto the frame:
    • Dry mounting. This involves affixing the artwork to a picture frame backing. This makes use of a heat press that gets rid of creases and wrinkles in the work even as it activates the adhesive. This is irreversible and should only be used for posters and photos that can be easily reprinted.
    • Pressure mounting. This uses a pressing technique, as well as a dry adhesive that is only activated once pressure is applied to the artwork. Although this makes use of adhesive, this is not a long-term solution, as the “sticking power” of the adhesive fades over time.
    • Wet mounting technique. As the name suggests, this makes use of wet glue that is applied to the mounting board. The artwork is then attached to the mounting board and framed.
  • Choice of matting and frame. The picture frame and matting (if you opt for it) should draw the viewer to the artwork and not detract from it. There should be an interplay of width and balance, color, texture between the frame and the artwork. InLine Ovals offers a wide selection of quality picture frames that will complement the kind of look you desire.