Picture Framing Workshop

I find it exciting to get a photograph professionally printed, will it look as good in the flesh as it did on my screen? The next step to printing is framing, something I wanted to learn for myself. Pen Hill Framing offer half day workshops, although in the end I was there nearly six hours. Richard is very thorough and we started with a sheet to calculate and record dimensions for mount, opening, glass, backing board and frame. I had pre-selected the mount and frame a week earlier. Although Richard has a sophisticated computerised mount cutter, we used a hand-operated one, this is what, eventually I will use at home. After a couple of practices I had my mount with opening. We then cut a back mount. Richard carefully hinges the print to the back mount and the front mount is hinged over the top. Nothing can move but the print is attached in such a way that it can be removed without damage should the need arise, and the image has space to ‘breathe’ with temperature fluctuation.

The glass – non-reflective Art Glass – is carefully cut, cleaned and placed on top and then the glass and back mount are carefully sealed around each edge with tape to create a thunder fly proof barrier.

The frame is prepared to size using a mitre guillotine that gradually slices a 45 degree notch in the frame until a clean mitred corner is achieved. The frame is lightly glued, mounted in a V pin machine and the corners permanently fixed. Glass and sealed print are placed in the frame followed by backing board which is pinned into place and taped. Finally a wall hanger is attached.

This is a very brief run-through, there were lots of tips and techniques along the way and each stage was practiced on scrap before the ‘real thing’. It was a hugely absorbing day and whilst not really practical to do the whole thing at home, mount cutting is a definite possibility and Richard is happy to do part of the process that I can’t do at home.

The Printspace in London giclee printed on Hahnemule German Etching, it looked stunning before I framed it, but even better afterwards!

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