Can anyone recommend any places where I can purchase panoramic size mattes in a 3x1 ratio? The largest print I plan to print images is 16.5" x 50" with matte size going up to 20" x 60". Smaller sizes will be done in the 3x1 ratio but the widest I expect to print is at 16.5".
Is it better to purchase my own cutting equipment? Any help is appreciated.
Since it's going to custom made anyway, you may as well do it yourself. You can get a good cutter (e.g. Logan) for ~$240. Fairly easy to use and you will make the cost back in just a few mats.
You will of course need a strong backing board etc.
Having large panoramic overmats cut professionally with computerized machine isn't as expensive as most people think. The price for a single 20x60 mat with a 16 1/2x50 window is less than $50, and less as the quantity increases. Where things get expensive is in the shipping. But, if it were my time, I would much rather have someone cut the windows for a few dollars more than the actual cost of the blank boards.
Considering that an inexpensive 60 inch mat cutter is around $500, and a slip of the cutter is a twenty dollar or more mistake. I'm sure you can find a "local" artist supply emporium that cuts mats onsite so no extra shipping either.
I did some 7ft x 8" pano images recently and decided very quickly that traditional mats and frames were going to be way too expensive for the job (I was giving the images away to friends, not selling them). For mats and frames I was quote $800 and I needed to do three.
So... what I did was get some 1/10" aluminum; I bought it in a 4ft x 8ft piece which cost about $250. This was cut into strips by a machine shop and then polished and weathered by hand, giving a unique look. The prints were then affixed, and several liberal coatings of krylon were then applied.
People who see them say they really like them. The first one, which was a disaster, hangs on my own wall. The other two worked out much better and hang on the walls of two dear friends, with mirror mounts.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Thank you all for your help, much appreciated
They don't have 20x60 mats but Frame Destination is a great place for precut mats and they do have 3:1 mats up to 12x36.