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Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Curt, May 22, 2006.
Or do you buy pre cut matts?
I have used the Valiani ASTRA 120 for a few years and appreciate it every time I use it.
Green chili breakfast burrito.
I'm framing for a show and wishing that I could be out shooting film or printing instead of mounting, matting, assembling frames and (augh ) cleaning glass.
I almost never compose to a standard aspect ratio so even if I don't particularly enjoy it, I am doomed to cut my own mats or pay someone else to do it.
Im doomed also as it is my least liked tasks. In college I used a Dexter Matt cutter. It must have been designed by someone who hates people as it is the least ergomatic device next to the manual plow.
David I like pinto beans over cornbread with chopped onions on top with some hot sauce.
Precut matts are expensive, even more so if you need several custom ones, I'll look that Astra in my search.
Having a penchant for cropping to near panoramic aspect ratios, and other oddball things, and suffering the frustration of ordering custom frames, cutting glass, mats, etc. I took a vow to print only standard sizes. Alas, it wasn't to be. I am doomed to cutting my own mats in many cases. I use a Logan cutter. Some people have told me it sucks and I should get a Fletcher. I myself have not had a moments disappointment with it. Cutting glass is another matter.
I rarely print to standard sizes so I too have a need to cut my own mats or pay a hefty price to have them cut for me.
American Frame is offering a free custom cut mat with each frame. Sweet deal. Sadly, I just ordered them uncut because I didn't have any specific dimensions. It's still a nice bonus.
It's funny to hear the Logan Fletcher argument after decades past! I guess I must have just not have had the money or was cheap not to get either one. At Art Center I just dry mounted and watched the teacher try to "pop" the photo off the mount; no over matting there. If it popped off you had to do the assignment over. At Brooks we just cut the over matts if we wanted to for display. Before that when I was getting my BS I had to dry mount and cut my own matts. After using the Dexter my arm wrist and neck were screwed for a week not to mention some blisters. They look great today but Im not going through that again. Maybe it was all that 4 ply that did it.
I think this is the one to get.
I am sure I will find just the one that's right.
That's an impressive matt cutter Darr. Reminds me of a Fletcher but less expensive. I've never heard of this brand before.
I'm in the same boat. It does make matting and framing for a show much more tedious.
Doh! I guess if I had looked closer I would have noticed that it is a Fletcher. But that is a good price. In the past I've seen Fletchers go for about $1400.
I guess that's why I own a Logan!
My bowel hates me and saves things like that until I am locked in the darkroom.
I cut my own mats and do my own framing because I choose to. One of the things that attracts me most to photography is being able to be in control of the entire process from composition and exposure to development to printing to preparation for display. If an image is successful and finds its way into an exhibit or someone's collection, it is because I have used all of the skills that I have to their utmost ability. For me, that is satisfaction. I also find matting and framing very cathartic. I framed 2 pieces yesterday and realized afterward that I had not thought about my problems at work the entire time.
I found a good deal on a high-end Logan cutter on Ebay- it was a retailer looking to move some stock ( I guess to increase his volume and get a better discount from Logan ). It paid for itself on my first show - I had 12 prints to mat ( frame OD 20x24 ). Had I had to farm that job out, it would have cost me well over $1000 for the framing alone. I spent about that much, including buying the mat cutter, but I had enough left-over materials that I could mat a second show the same size without spending another dollar. The Logan cutter I have will even cut 8-ply mats, although it is not perfect (it IS perfect when cutting 4-ply).
I'm with FirePhoto. Also, to sell dry mounted and matted 11x14 B&W photos in 16x20 aluminum frames for $40 in my rural market requires work. I'd rather work on my own mats and frames than work even harder so I can pay someone else to do the job. A Logan 2000 hand cutter and a home-made guide suffice. Even a Dexter can produce good mats: that's all I used for 20 years. Standardizing on one or two sizes of window mats is efficient. If a shot won't look good in the mat, I don't print it. After all, editing has to start somewhere. In the good old days when Kodachrome was king, I never took vertical shots for slide shows to maintain a smooth presentation.
For those content to use one or two sizes of window mats, a jig to mark the back of the mat for cutting and another jig to position the print for dry mounting saves time.
Longridge Duo Plus - Even a thumb-fingered muppet like me can do a good job with one of those!
I'm seeing several folks talk about cutting mats with custom windows due to irregular framing/composition (I'm in that boat, too). But I feel like there are some in this thread that imply they also cut frames and glass, too? Is that correct?
I don't mind cutting mats (and I'm still using the straight-edge/hand cutter torture system), but do you guys really cut your own frames and glass, too?
I had a home based framing business (the only local option at the time) do mine once. She even showed me the certificate on the wall she got for taking a dry mounting course.
From the magled pieces of crap I got back, I'm pretty sure she cut the dry mount tissue to size(ish) then trimmed the print to size(ish), then put them into the press without tacking them. Oh, and all the corners of the windows in the overmats were over cut too. I've been doing it myself ever since.
I use plexi-glass because I don't like the green tint of regular framing glass...anybody know a way to work with that stuff without getting completely frustrated and frazzled fighting static and dust?
Are you talking Saturday night?
I buy my frames pre-cut but not assembled, and get the glass cut elsewhere also. I now prefer Plexi over glass unless the size of the piece is small, because of the risk of getting cut on un-polished edges. If I ever get around to getting a good table saw, then I'll think about cutting my own frames too, but I'm a bit short on storage space for the moment.
I have my frames cut and assembled by a frame shop. For the odd sizes I have been cutting my own glass, but if I could find a cost effective way to get that done, I would. For some people it is easy, for me, its frustrating.
Still using the venerable Dexter mat cutter, a T-square, and a C-clamp. Eventually I'll get something easier to use, but the key to the old system is to change blades frequently.
I use a Logan cutter 301S, as simple as you can get ($109 at www.lightimpressionsdirect.com ) The quality is in the craftsmanship, not the cost of the device, and although more expensive models provide conveniences and production advantages, my results are as good as any professional work I've seen. I do the squaring and measuring manually too. And Logan provides good phone (yes, you can get someone to talk to you if you have trouble) support.
I also use Plexiglass, convinced by a friend of mine who owns a framing service. It's lighter, won't break, and if you have a circular saw, you can cut it yourself (although I just buy mine precut-I emphasize the need for accuracy).
To the issue of static (and there is plenty of it when the backing comes off) - I use a product called "Kleenmaster Brilliantize" (I buy small pump bottles of it from the place where I get the plexi). When the matte is cut and hinged, print mounted, frame assembled - as far as I can go without the plexi - I take the backing off the plexi, and go over both sides with this stuff and a soft cotton T-shirt. It removes the static and polishes the plexi - you can feel the difference in the surface. Then I position the plexi standing on one edge along side the print, dust with compressed canned air, and lower the plexi. Once and a while I have to lift a corner and hit something with air.
It took awhile to develop the method (ditto the relaxation bit - like "Ashes Work" in classical mythology) but I can't imagine paying anyone.