Re: alternatives to matte board in framing?

From: Dennis Moser ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/15/04-01:10:27 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Jon (et alia),

Since you used the magic words ("archival properties of the print"), I
felt obliged to comment as an ex-framer, rare books conservator, AND
archivist (I've had to wear a lot of different hats over the years!), so
here goes:

You say that it is a "standard fibre" print which I hope means
paper-based. May I suggest avoiding having the frame or brass shims
touching the print? One trick that I haven't seen done often (largely
because it's a bit of a P I T A...) is to hinge the print to an archival
matte board so that it "floats." This is done all the time with other
"print" media such as lithographs, intaglio work, and serigraphs. We
just don't see the technique used on photographs, usually because a lot
of people's prints aren't terribly flat. But medium weight fibre-base
should be capable of being flattened sufficiently. I've done this
technique with single-weight POP before.

The effect is that of the print floating on the board...this allows you
to use a frame that is either deep enough to use the afore-mentioned
spacers (and there are several varieties available or a framer can
fabricate them for you) or to use what used to be called a #55
Nielsen...a frame that had a channel for the glass that provided an
airspace away from the art work.

If you float the print and trim the backing matte carefully and
appropriately, size the frame to JUST cover the backing matte, you can
have the effect of the print being adjacent to the frame. But it IS a
fidget and it might take a bit of work to get it right.

Hope this helps,

Dennis Moser

Jon Danforth wrote:

> I have a couple of standard fibre warmtone prints that I'd like to frame but
> I'm just not happy with their appearance when matted (mostly that I dont
> like the look of black, white, or other colors next to the print). I've
> frequently wanted to imitate the appearance of paintings when framed (in
> that the edge of the artwork is directly adjacent to the frame). With
> prints, I can't seem to figure out a way to do that.
> I have to separate the print surface from the glass, obviously, but could I
> use, for instance, a brass shim instead of matte board?
> Can anyone comment on the reactivity of brass or the effect on the archival
> properties of the print when brass is used it this manner?
> Thanks,
> Jon

"That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief
danger of the time"
--John Stuart Mill (1806-73)
Received on Thu Jul 15 13:11:37 2004

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