Photography and Art

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mounting Prints

I'm still working on my review of the Alain Briot workshop, but thought I'd pass on a tidbit of knowledge that I gleaned from Natalie Briot, Alain's better half. Natalie is the brains of the Briot operation and runs all the logistics of the workshops as well as assisting Alain in the field. She also does all the matting and mounting of Alain's prints and does a fabulous job. Here's how she does it:
  1. Pick a standard outside dimension for your matte board. It is wise to choose a dimension (e.g. 16x20) that fits standard frames.
  2. Cut two identical matte boards. One will be used for print attachment and the other will fold over to matte the print. In other words, your print will be sandwiched between the two boards. The back one will provide support and the front one will present your work for viewing.
  3. Your images should be cropped to suit your art. Alain was adament that you not crop to fit a standard matte. Sometimes photos just want to be an odd size and you should crop accordingly.
  4. Print your photos to fit inside a rectangle so that there is plenty of white space around the image. For example, on a 16x20 inch outside dimension board, I'll crop my photo so it fits inside a 12x16 inch rectangle, allowing a minimum 2 inch boarder.
  5. Mount the print to the back board using archival quality plastic photo corners.
  6. Measure the size of the print and subtract a quarter to half an inch to ensure that the matte fully covers the image. Cut your matte to frame your photo.
  7. Attach the matte front board to the back board with an archival quality linen tape hinge. The tape needs to be moistened and attached to the boards.
Hey presto, you're done and your image is now framed in a durable double layer of matte board, suitable for framing or suitable for showing others your portfolio.

Just don't forget to sign your work. You should sign the actual print itself somewhere where the signature won't show through. Depending on the paper used, you might be able to use a pencil or might have to use ink. You should also sign the matte board below the image in pencil.

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