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Old 08-15-2008, 06:41 PM
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Lightbulb All About Ampersand Aquabord

I have to say I am totally and absolutely in LOVE with Aquabord (the great board mounted surface formerly known as Claybord Textured).... and thought that perhaps we could gather together here to discuss what we like or don't like about it....so far I don't know much that I don't like about it. And perhaps some tips.

You can frame your paintings much cheaper. The reason is that it is a stiff, fairly thick white textured board that can be popped straight into a oil-type painting frame. No glass is needed. No matting is needed. Yes, the aquabord is more expensive than paper, but you make up for that in framing, and the resulting COLORS from your work shines through.

No glass means your work can be seen in all it's richness of color- no glare- and no broken glass if someone knocks your painting off the wall either.

I have used Aquabord with gouache, fluid acrylics, and a bit with watercolor. The only difference I really find in the surface is that perhaps the paint and water dries up a bit quicker.

Colors can be lifted off of the surface very easily. In fact, I stuck an entire bord under the facet and pretty much washed and rubbed off most of the paint and was able to use the bord again with gouache.

I spray the finished surface with krylon clear acrylic. I found out that you need to spray a finish on when there is NO humidity in the air or it can get cloudy. The cloudy stuff will eventually dry- or if you add MORE fixitive it seems to get better....so spray it outside when it is hot and dry (which it is here 364 days of the year- I chose that ONE humid day the other day to spray- oops).

I love the fact that the bords are perfectly flat. No amount of water is going to make your painting wrinkle or whatever. No stretching is needed.

Please feel free to add your tips....

Has anyone tried the SMOOTH bord that is intended for acrylics and oils with gouche? Jerry's store had a giant sale on it....

ok, so I guess I don't like the fact that I have a LOT of watercolor paper and now just want to paint on these bords....
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Last edited by HarvestMoon : 08-15-2008 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:07 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Hi Linda, I tried the aquaboard once and loved it as well. I have bought a couple more and am waiting till the right time to use them. The larger size is about 25.00 each here. That and the quick drying time (hard for large wet on wet areas ) are the only downfalls I experienced. Otherwise I agree with all of the good points you mentioned. I really understand what you mean about not wanting to use paper anymore!
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:08 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Pamela- our local Jerry's yesterday had a huge number of the panels- the museum sort- with edges you can paint on...the shallow ones- 12 X 12 were about $5.99 I think....they are not aquabord but the sort for oils and acrylics- I am going to try those though for that price....but they are made in Austin...I don't know if they ship them to their NC warehouse then back to Austin or if they go directly to Austin from Austin (which makes more sense to me with the gas thingy)
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:41 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Linda, these informative threads are so, well, informative!

I've never tried this surface myself, but now you've got me wondering about it. Thanks for the tips!

~!Carey
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:51 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Linda, I'm loving the Aquabord too! And just started with the smoother Claybord and loving it as well. So far I've used them with watercolor, fluid acrylics and acrylic ink. I like all 3 and don't really have a favorite at this point. I've been using mostly the 5x7 or 6x6 but got some 12x12, some cradled, 9x12, 11x14, 18x24, and even a cradled 22x30! Haven't touched any of them yet except the 9x12.

I would suggest to be careful who you order the larger ones from. I've ordered them from Dick Blick and Jerry's. The ones from Dick Blick were packaged just fine but the last order from Jerry's was a mess. I ended up with a damaged cradled 22x30, cradled 12x12 and 18x24....over $50 worth. Jerry's customer service is not great. It took me 5 days to get it straightened out and that was only because when I called back, yet again, I pretended that I was placing an order so I could get a live person. It was more than frustrating. They finally credited me for the damaged ones and didn't want them back. They do need to be packaged securely with the corners protected.

I'm wanting to use them more than paper too! Thanks for the info on it clouding up with the humidity. I have several to be varnished but held off until I got some sealer...recommended on the Golden website (a wealth of info there). It just came yesterday so we'll see if I can do it this weekend or not. I'm in Hudson Valley in New York and humidity is our middle name so I may have to wait.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:51 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Thanks Carey- don't know if these have made it across the pond yet...

Deb- I have ordered a bunch from dickblick....they have all been fine- but it is funny because blick's really does not put any sort of padding in most of the time- they stick in a few air pillows....while the stuff I have gotten from jerry's has been packed well...but I never ordered the aquabords from them either....and boy do they stick you for shipping, so guess they can afford to pack well....if my husband sees another box from either arrive he will likely pop a gasket..... I have found the little sizes- the little packs that contain several- at Hobby Lobby too...the little ones are great for trying them out to see if you like them

I am happy to hear that you have had luck with the Claybord as well....
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:33 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Linda....as you know...I am working on a huge 22" x 30" Flat 3/8" panel Ampersand aquabord textured, Tuscany painting for my sister Debbi. I bought some Krylon Matte Finish to spray over it when done. Do I need to varnish it also after that?? If so, what kind??

Also, my main question is what do you attach to the back of the clayboard to hang it, if you don't want to frame it? It's a picture of a big open window looking out onto a Tuscany scene and I and I want it to look like it's a real window on her wall...so didn't want to use a frame.

Thanks!!
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:54 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Sprite- several coats of the Krylon Matte Finish should work like a charm....

I have never tried to hang it without a frame.....the folks at ampersand have been really helpful when I asked them questions.....why not email them for frameless framing tips? Don't know if those small screws would work that the framers use to attach the loops for a wire or not...or perhaps there is something clear that would clamp to each side somehow and allow a wire?

their email is:
[email protected]
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:16 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Linda,
You might look into adhering a “Saw Tooth” or some other hanger device to the back of the board with a two part epoxy adhesive. I would do a test on a scrap board first, to see if it will hold.

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Old 08-19-2008, 08:31 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Thanks Greg- that just might work for Sprite!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

The aquabord is for sure a much nicer surface for really wet media- I tried to use their value panel- the artist panel- that is really for oil and acrylics....and it is just a bit too smooth for my taste...using gouache that is- but it has a bit of texture and you can draw on it like a dream.

Ampersand has just updated their website....and I notice a section on framing tips- and some of the boards come with nail grooves in them Sprite- check yours....

They also have some neat sounding offers - sample packs to try various bords...

they are at:
http://ampersandart.com/
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:25 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Nope...no nail grooves and it's quite heavy..I think I would feel safer hanging it with 2 of the saw tooth devices.....I'll have to look for 2 part epoxy...never heard if it before.

I'll check out the Ampersand site too. I bought the sample pack of claybords, just to try them out...and the claybord tools for scratching into the clayboard. I tried them a little bit on this current piece,but you really can't tell... I was probably too light with them.

EDIT:
Now, from going to the site and reading, I think I should have chosen the cradled boards if I didn't want to frame it. I think I'm stuck framing it...which I think I can work out...if I can find a frame that big at Michaels..or maybe I can find one on line......hmmmmm.
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Last edited by Starsprite : 08-19-2008 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:02 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Sprite- try Hobby Lobby- they have the wooden frames on sale every other week or so for 50% off...if you get a simple looking one, it will look like a window- windows are framed right?
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:31 AM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

What size of frame would I need fora 22 x 30 panel? That size or bigger??
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:21 PM
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Re: All About Ampersand Aquabord

Sprite- I think the size goes by the picture size- so it would be 22 X 30 if you pop that baby directly into the frame (no matt)....then they have these thick staple like things that they shoot into the frame that hold the bord very securely- then they put a wire on the back...seriously cheap framing if you get the folks at hobby lobby to just tack it in and put on wire- and you pick out a 1/2 off frame
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