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Old 04-24-2013, 02:01 PM
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Pantherinae Pantherinae is offline
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Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

I've been displaying my boards matted under glass from the beginning I'm starting to see more boards framed (with or without glass) without a mat and I'm starting to wonder if that might be preferable. I don't know if I might share the same prejudice as some clients but I think I unconcsiously associate mats with photos or less expensive works on paper. Might framing without a mat subtely elevate scratchboard in the eyes of clients? Just wondering what everyone else does and why and if you have any thoughts to share from your experience with buys and galleries.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:30 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

There's an entire thread that discusses glass/no glass and mats: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=589190

Some of it is personal preference, but it's also about perception. It also depends on the destination for the work. I'm finding more and more though, that in addition to the tradition of not putting oil/acrylic paintings under glass, other mediums are going glass-less too (watercolors on canvas, for example). So I think this bodes well for scratchboard also.

Personally, I'm really happy to be able to frame a piece of art without mats/glass, but on the flip side, there's the risk of getting a good, protective coat of varnish on a board without mucking it up.

One thing glass does is protect mats and keep them from warping, so if you have a really nice mat job, you pretty much have to use glass.
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Last edited by PaintDog : 04-24-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:42 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Thanks Ann, I had seen that thread ages ago, for some reason it didn't occur to me to reference it again. For those who do frame without glass, does anyone put at least some sort of "buffer" between the board and the rabbit? It seems to me that the board would be prone to scuffing where it meets the wood of the frame. Even if it is only superficial on the varnish and never mars the board itself do you do anything to prevent that? Does it even matter?
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:23 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Ok, so for those of you who frame without glass, do you put anything between the board and the rabbit of the frame? It seems to me that there would be a risk of abrasion on the surface of the artwork from the wood of the frame. Or are your layers of varnish sufficient? I have noticed though that the varnish can be scratched and made ugly, even if the actual art surface isn't affected...
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:52 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

My frame is made to size... the board doesn't wobble around in the frame. I do use a lot of layers of sealer - which has helped get me out of a jamb before. I tell the new owners that it can be messed up like any other piece of art. The only thing I mat and use glass on is pastel, watercolor, graphite and photography.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:21 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

I never mat or use glass. I only had one issue with the frame hurting the surface when I didn't let the fixative completely dry before framing it.

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Old 05-06-2013, 01:42 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

I've been mounting my boards to another board the next frame size up. For example, I mount a 5 x 7 onto an 8 x 10. For the mounting board, I use an Ampersand Gessobord that I've painted or airbrushed black or some other color.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:21 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

I always frame under glass. My board is placed on top of the mat and spacers are used to keep the glass off the scratchboard.
When I see the marks on the backing board (on the back of the completed frame work) after having been in a show, I hate to think how the artwork would end up if not protected. Here are pics of just a couple of my framed pieces.




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Old 05-06-2013, 09:17 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Ann, so you basically have your work floating in the frame? Is that correct?

I really want to frame without glass, because even with using museum glass, it still loses something having that glass in front of the work. I'm just scared!
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:30 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Yes, it's a float mount. The scratched board is glued to the larger board and it's the larger board that is secured into the frame. It's not the greatest photo, but you can see the effect. The white line is around the edge of the 5 x 7 board.



You can also see it here: http://www.annran.com/pages/images/h...faceframed.jpg

I started with a solid black backing board for that one, but I wasn't able to get a smooth coat, so I took some steel wool to it and just played around until I got an effect I liked.

If you go with a float mount, be sure the frame is thick enough so that when the back board is in place, the scratched board sets down a little from the front surface of the frame. So that it doesn't stick out beyond the frame - that helps protect it too.
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Last edited by PaintDog : 05-13-2013 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:06 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Something that came up with the 2014 ISSA show that's worth pointing out:

If you put a board directly in a frame (not mounted to a larger board), make sure it has shims of some sort to keep it from shifting back and forth in the frame. That shifting has, at minimum, the potential to scuff/scratch the edges of the board where it rubs against the frame and, at worst, it can actually take chunks out of the edges of the board.

You can use pieces of mat board or foam core as shims. It doesn't have to be anything high-tech, just enough to fill in any gaps between the edge of the board and the inner bevel of the frame so the board can't move around.

It's even a good idea if you use a mounting board (as I described in my last post) to shim it so it doesn't shift around. I've noticed on a couple of my mounting boards that there's a little bit of scuffing at the edges. Not a big deal, since they're "distressed" anyway, but something I'll pay better attention to in future frame jobs.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:09 AM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Ann, those look great. What do you use to fasten the scratchboard to the back board? Glue? What kind? I want to try this for my smaller pieces.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:01 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Thanks, Sande. I use E6000 adhesive. Easy to find in all the craft stores or on-line.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:55 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Thanks, Ann. I'll check it out.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:19 PM
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Re: Framing: To Mat or not to Mat

Sande,
I use the next size up of Gesso board to hold the scratch board, like Ann described also. Most of the time, I use the gesso board just like it is (white) and spray it with laquer so I know it will be washable, just in case. I like the look of the black scratchboard mounted on the white gesso board, and then framed with a plain black frame.
I have used linen mat board glued to foamcore to give it rigidity, then glued the scratchboard on to that and framed with a plain black frame. Some of my boards really look much better with the textured "mat" effect. I very rarely have used glass.
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