View Full Version : frames

30-May-2004, 09:37
Looking for framing materials/supplies. Where can I purchase frames wholesale? What do others use for frames for B&W photo display. Most of my photos are about 10"x13" on 11"x14" paper (white border). I do like the look of a black wood frame, 1-2" wide on white or black matt. I am currently using 16"x20" frames but thinking something larger would be more distinctive.

How are prints mounted without a dry mount press?

Thanks for your replies.

Ralph Barker
30-May-2004, 10:13
I'm sure you'll get numerous responses regarding the various frame sources. I happen to use thin-profile black anodized aluminum frames that I get from Light Impressions (http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com), but they have wood frames, too. There are, however, less-expensive sources.

Light Impressions also sells pre-cut mat boards of various types. I use their pre-cut exhibition mats that include a hinged backing board. The prints can be mounted to the back of the facing board using tape of various types to create a hinge, so the print essentially hangs free on the hinge inside the hinged mat board pair. Pre-glued archival paper tape is available to make the hinge, but some skill is required to avoid damaging the print because of wetting the glue. Personally, I use gaffer's tape, applied only along the margin edge of the print, to create the hinge. (Gaffer's tape is a cloth-back tape available from photo supply stores in either black or white, and is super sticky and very durable - rather like duct tape on steroids.)

Depending on what you are doing with the prints (e.g. selling them versus just displaying them in your home), you may want to consider different alternatives. Checking with local art dealers and galleries as to currently preferred matting and framing methods is a good idea. I believe dry mounting, for example, is no longer favored by art dealers, even though it can tame curling of fiber-based prints.

Dan Morgan
30-May-2004, 10:52
Seeing that I have very little money to spend on framing and matting I have searched out the cheapest alternatives I could possibly find. All my prints are mounted on mat board with Nielson & Bainbridge Studio Tac (however I must warn you that the print must not be curling in the least or it can tear free) however I just ordered a large roll of a mounting adhesive made by Scotch to see how that works. This method of mounting is simple, and doesn't require much knowledge or exspensive equipment, just a paper cutter and your mind! For all my window mats I order them in bulk custom cut from matshop.com which has very reasonable prices and cuts the mats precisely how you want, I also buy both my backing and glazing from them in bulk to save money in the long run. For my frames I order simple frosted silver aluminum for B&W and matte black for color from Framesbymail.com, my frames for 11x14 mats cost about $7.00 each and are very good and sturdy.

In the end, I can usually have a professional looking 8x10 in an 11x14 frame piece for about $10.

ronald moravec
30-May-2004, 12:15
I have had good luck with Contemporary Frame Co 1-800 243 0368. They have advertised in Shutterbug for years.

Their sales line is mostly aluminun frames. They handle Nielson and a large line of Nielson clones that are very nice and much cheaper. Service was about a week and they will want to send their catalog so you can make a selection for the first order.

I found the clones to be every bit as nice as the Nielson originals.

30-May-2004, 14:43
I have framed photographs in the thin aluminum frames in the past and am now exploring larger wider frames, wood frames 1"to 2" wide (or wider) and BIG mats. Mounting and framing choices have a large impact on the way a photograph is viewed. So what I am looking for is low cost, large, non-aluminum frames. Sorry for not being so clear in my earlier posting.

Again, thanks for you responses.

Tom May
31-May-2004, 09:26
I am a photographer, but own a custom frame store. Several suggestions:

If you are looking for something more than the typical black metal frame (thank god someone is), check a local frame store that can help you decide what you want. If they are creative, they can help you figure out cost effective ways to get the look you want - or a least you'll know exactly what you're looking for. I work with a lot of photographers, we frame stuff so that it is stunning and shows the importance of the picture, not just the lazy black border.

For mounting- several options for do it yourself. First, if the picture isn't too big or warped, conservation corners (mylar - available in most art stores) are the preferred method. They are easy and fast and anyone can use them. if you are concerned about longevity, use an acid free foamcore (again from art stores or your local frame store). Put the corners down on the foamcore and slip in the pict. This is a true conservation method. Even a curling picture will be fine once you mat it and put it in the frame.

If you aren't worried about conservation mounting, use 'perfect mount'. It is a cold mount adhesive foam board, you lay your photo out and smooth it down; easy - no need for vacuum/heat press. again- art stores or framer for supplies. This is not a conservation method (it is not reversable), but gives a result much like dry mounting (also not conservation). This is a much better alternative than scotch adhesive - or any other type of tape, etc.