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Thread: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    I standardize on 22X26 for 16X20's. So unless I've purchased pre-cut 22X28 and cut that down a bit, it would leave an 18" scrap left over from a 32 X 40 inch standard full sheet. So I use 18X22 for everything smaller than nominal 16X20 prints. The smaller the print, the wider the margin seems to work to call attention to it. With big prints, too wide a margin gets distracting. For 20X24 prints I use a 26X31 mount. Why this size instead of 26X32? It seems that a full sheet of board toward the outside of the stack almost always gets a bit dinged in shipping, so I want to potentially trim it down a tad. All these mount dimensions apply to white black and white print borders. I do things somewhat But if you note what I've listed, it means that I only need to keep on hand a few standardized sections of moulding in order to assemble the full range of frame sizes, namely, 18", 22", 26", and 31". My color print needs are different because I mainly make 20x24 or 30X40 color prints, or in the past, a lot of 11X14's.

  2. #12
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    For 16x20's I went to 22x28.
    I tried that...it looked good for my verticals, by the proportions looked odd to my eye with my horizontal images...adding those two inches solved that for me.

    Like Doremus, my actual image size was close to 15x19, and I would cut a window that was slightly larger than 16x20 (used later for 8x10s!), and dry mount the silver gelatin print to the backboard so it is floating in the opening (1/2 inch on 3 sides, 3/4" space at the bottom.) Sample below...

    For one reason or another, and depending on the medium, for my own work I prefer to see the entire image rather than have the window determine it. Subject to change, material on hand, amt of smoke in the air, or other conditions, including sometimes the print just looks better some other way. The second example (4x10 pt/pd) below just went up on the wall -- a quick pic from the gallery...forgot to photograph it before putting it in the frame.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arch.jpg   AAC_9_2020c.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #13

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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    8x10_ish prints go on 11x14 mat boards.

    10x14_ish prints go on 16x20 mat boards.

    Smallish gap between over mat, about 1/4" to no more than 1/2" max.

    They are dry mounted off center with a bit more space on the bottom to allow for signature, stamp and other related info.

    Seen 4x5_ish prints mounted on 8x10 and larger mat board which look good if properly done with an over mat.

    One thing to keep in mind, lager the finished -mounted print, more wall space it takes up and print size has an effect on viewing distance.



    Bernice

  4. #14
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I tried that...it looked good for my verticals, by the proportions looked odd to my eye with my horizontal images...adding those two inches solved that for me.

    Like Doremus, my actual image size was close to 15x19, and I would cut a window that was slightly larger than 16x20 (used later for 8x10s!), and dry mount the silver gelatin print to the backboard so it is floating in the opening (1/2 inch on 3 sides, 3/4" space at the bottom.) Sample below...

    For one reason or another, and depending on the medium, for my own work I prefer to see the entire image rather than have the window determine it. Subject to change, material on hand, amt of smoke in the air, or other conditions, including sometimes the print just looks better some other way. The second example (4x10 pt/pd) below just went up on the wall -- a quick pic from the gallery...forgot to photograph it before putting it in the frame.
    Do you trim the prints flush before dry mounting, or leave the white paper border?

  5. #15
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Trimmed to the image ...usually slicing off 1/64" of the image. Although occasionally the easel (or board) would not be square or something, and I'd need to trim a little more off the print to make the sides parallel. It is not a time-saving way to mount, and of course, not reversable, not preferred by museums, but looks so dang good. I printed with about a 1/2 inch border to make handling the paper easier.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #16
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Trimmed to the image ...usually slicing off 1/64" of the image. Although occasionally the easel (or board) would not be square or something, and I'd need to trim a little more off the print to make the sides parallel. It is not a time-saving way to mount, and of course, not reversable, not preferred by museums, but looks so dang good. I printed with about a 1/2 inch border to make handling the paper easier.

    Hopefully this image is easy enough to see -- I sign the mat the print is dry-mounted to. I use the same 4-ply for front and back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mat.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #17
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Trimmed to the image ...usually slicing off 1/64" of the image. Although occasionally the easel (or board) would not be square or something, and I'd need to trim a little more off the print to make the sides parallel. It is not a time-saving way to mount, and of course, not reversable, not preferred by museums, but looks so dang good. I printed with about a 1/2 inch border to make handling the paper easier.

    Hopefully this image is easy enough to see -- I sign the mat the print is dry-mounted to. I use the same 4-ply for front and back.
    Interesting that museums don't like that method. I guess it is the dry-mounting. But I have seen any number of classic prints in museums mounted like that.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Please don't claim you know what museums like or don't like, as if everybody that works in one has the same opinion as one another. Their job is to conserve what the artist did, not substitute their own decisions about mounting and borders and so forth unless some improper material risks long-term damage to the image. I trim the white borders off every single one of my silver prints before drymounting them, and precisely where I want the final edges to be, and not according to any rote formula.
    Same goes for the exact positioning of the print on the mount. It's integral to the overall composition. But a popular custom with hand-coated Pt/Pd etc prints onto watercolor paper, which has character on its own, is to leave the torn (not cut) edges exposed, and hinge the print from behind, and even let the paper wrinkle a little. That requires a thicker window mat. It's all about the esthetics, which is ultimately a personal choice. And if there were a taboo about drymounting, museums would have to throw away about 80% of their 20th C silver gelatin collections.
    And Bernice - I'll mount 8x10 prints or any other size onto whatever dimension mount I damn well wish, if I think that is what complements the image best. Please don't rat me out to the Inquisition. I wouldn't survive getting sliced up by a matcutter myself. Didn't Hitchcock do a movie about that once?

  9. #19
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Mostly due to ease of washing/cleaning the print and/or for transferring the work to a new mat if needed in the next few hundred years. There are so many varieties of methods and reasons for each method. One positive aspect of dry-mounting is that it protects the print from any contamination from the back side -- nicely sealed. In another thread or a different forum, showed a portfolio of prints from a presentation box that were all dry-mounted on heavy (handmade) paper, no windows. Very nice.

    Frankly, I am glad I have gone to alt processes and away from the need or desire to dry-mount. It is work one must be highly focused on. Cutting my own window mats, 4-ply and 8-ply, is enough.

    PS...If one does trim to the image area, it does leave the edges open to damage.

    PS -- A preference is a far cry from a dislike, Drew.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Mat Size vs. Mount Size

    Drymounted edges are actually reinforced to a considerable degree because they're directly bonded to something tougher and largely impervious to moisture, especially in my case because I use a more precise method of drymounting than most folks do, but won't go into detail here. Then there's the fact that handling involves the mat being touched rather than the print itself, which is precisely why some conservators prefer it that way. But mounted prints also take up more storage space, so there's that issue. Otherwise, like I said, most hand-coated emulsions simply look better not drymounted. And there are technical issues why color prints are not heat mounted.

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