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Thread: double mats?

  1. #11
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWThomas View Post
    This year, to mount prints about 10.5 inches square, I cut the inner mat to about 10.3 inches square (optically centered for 16 x 20 frame). The outer mat I cut for a 0.3 inch reveal on sides and top, 0.5 inch reveal on bottom where I stick my signature. For those of us who cut our own, I note that making the reveal extremely narrow tends to show flaws in the dimensions more noticeably than with a wider cut.

    DaveT
    Which is one reason (as well as personal taste) why I standardized all sizes of my windows (8-ply), from 11X14 to 36X48, to a half inch well all the way around, despite the fact the above essentially replicates Adams' recommendation in The Print.

    see previous post for example.

  2. #12
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    Double mats has a much more striking presentation. I think that is a good choice. I have had some on my prints mounted on four levels of mat board.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Collier View Post
    Bethe - A water colorist friend cuts one matte about 1/4 inch back on all sides. Then she cuts a piece of archival foamcore (3/16 in thick) a quarter inch back from that on each side. She then places the foamcore between the matte and the piece, which floats the matte out from the print, looking similar to double matte, and nowhere near as critical in terms of accuracy of cut or position, and without the work and expense of the second matte.
    This is similar to something sometimes done with pastels so that dust that shakes loose falls into a "gutter" and out of sight. Although more often they are framed with a narrow spacer, smaller than the rabbet, so the mat is against the work, but spaced back from the glass leaving a bit of a gutter.

    DaveT

  4. #14
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    Thanks for the ideas all!
    So, what's with the restaurant owner's hangup on double mattes, anyway?
    I don't really know. I'd guess he saw one and liked it and figured it would be good for everything. The main thing I don't like about them is that it seems like they don't leave enough space around the photo. Though I've never used them, I kinda like the ones that have more space than standard around the photo. Oh well, if that's what he wants, I'll give it a go for a bit to see if anything sells.

  5. #15
    fdi
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    Double mats are often considered to be a little more upscale and add a little depth to the package. It is one way to help separate your work from others but with the advent of computerized mat cutters it is much more common now. In gallery framing where a simple black frame and white mats are being used making the mat border 4 or5 inches instead of 2 or 3 inches will have a more dramatic effect. Personally, I prefer the use of a single 8-ply mat over a double 4-ply since it is much less common because it is so much harder to cut 8-ply.

    Other ways to add depth are with spacers although they are often used for more practical reasons. If you are not using a mat at all and want to keep the print away from the glass for archival reasons you use a spacer between the glass and the print. If you are float mounting (where the mat opening is larger than the print so the print is fully exposed), and the print has some thickness to it due to paper curl, torn edges, or pre-mounted to another substrate, then you can use a foam board spacer between the mat and the frame backing board or primary print mounting substrate. This spacer can also be used to create a mat shadow effect.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  6. #16
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    Double mats are often considered to be a little more upscale and add a little depth to the package. It is one way to help separate your work from others but with the advent of computerized mat cutters it is much more common now.

    Good point. But I prefer the print floating in the mat opening, and since I trim very precisely for composition, I transfer the actual print edge dimensions to the mat before marking off the mat opening and cutting with a Dexter. When I showed one of these to my local framing guy (he couldn't help showing off his computerized cutter...) he just shook his head and admitted that it was something he couldn't do with the machine!

    It is apparently not universally recognized that covering anywhere from a quarter to a half inch of the print---on each edge---may change the appearance of the image. A few years ago there was a Weston exhibit for which the museum had apparently put all of the prints into matching frames, with new mats. Several of them looked odd, and comparison with the printed catalog showed why---the mat windows were a full inch smaller than the prints they went over. I can imagine what Weston would have had to say about this.

  7. #17
    fdi
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    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    [I]
    Good point. But I prefer the print floating in the mat opening, and since I trim very precisely for composition, I transfer the actual print edge dimensions to the mat before marking off the mat opening and cutting with a Dexter. When I showed one of these to my local framing guy (he couldn't help showing off his computerized cutter...) he just shook his head and admitted that it was something he couldn't do with the machine!
    Are you saying you are cutting the mat opening exactly to the print size? That is normally not done since it difficult to get it perfectly centered and not have crack showing on at least one side. Regardless, seems easier with a computerized mat cutter since they can cut to within a few hundredths of an inch. Generally when you don’t want any of the image to be covered you just float mount and cut the mat opening 1/2 to 1 inch larger than the image. Another nice effect is to mount the image on 1/8 inch foam core spacer that is smaller than the paper so the paper appears to be floating above the backing board and use a foam core spacer to lift the mat up so that it is still above the image.

  8. #18
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    Are you saying you are cutting the mat opening exactly to the print size?

    Not at all--for nominally 8x10 on an 11x14 mount, I prefer a 1/4" reveal at sides and top, and 5/16 at the bottom (for the signature). I agree that with larger reveals (1/2" or more) the precision issue is less troublesome, but I happen not to care for the look, as it seems to make the frame too small. Going up a size would fix that, at the expense of making the whole thing a bit pretentious, the way some art students put a 4x5 contact print in a 16x20 mount

    The problem for the frame shop is not cutting the mat, but measuring the print to the required accuracy and then entering the dimensions with enough precision. The print is not always perfectly square (although I do the best that I can) and often ends up not measuring an exact multiple of 1/16", which seems to be the software limit for the computerized cutter. Since I register the top right-hand corner of both the mat and mount before transferring the print edge locations to the mat, the absolute dimensions don't matter, and if anything (print, mount, or mat) is slightly off square, this method compensates and the result visually acceptable. Believe me---an error of six hundredths (about 1/16") is very noticeable!

    I hope that the foregoing is understandable---it is easier to demonstrate than to explain.

    I have nothing against either manual or computerized mat cutting, and use both when I can. But for my personal things, I like to be able to trim off a distracting bit along one edge of the image, and still have the mat opening exactly fit the print.

    With a nod to the original post: American Frame cuts all manner of mats to order (including oval!) and offers both Crescent and Bainbridge conservation matboard. I have found them to be quite conscientious, and easy to deal with.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by silveror0 View Post
    Bethe,

    ....I bought boards somewhere that were "white" on the surface, but had a core that was not acid free and it wasn't long before the core turned yellow and was very noticeable in the bevel cut. I scrapped those prints, switched to SOLID archival boards and never looked back.

    Hope I'm not relating things you're already on top of.

    Jerry
    It doesn't hurt to pass on your experience. I've also scrapped similar materials that were advertised as acid free, they turned yellow-brown around the edges. I too, switched to solid core museum board (Strathmore is my favorite, the various shades work well with many print tones) and never looked back. One exception, though, black solid core should not be trusted - any brand.

    Paul
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

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