For each order that comes in to the custom picture framing shop I work in, we offer the option of mounting the artwork, free of charge. It is very common that when met with the question of mounting, most customers don't know if they want it done or not, or even what it is. Vancouver Picture framing is a process by which the artwork, poster, or picture is permanently adhered to foam core backing in order to smooth out any wrinkles or bent edges. The backing does not always have to be foam core, but it is what is used in our store and is commonly used in many picture framing stores.
If the customer is unfamiliar with mounting and wishes to know the benefits and downsides to the process, generally sum it up to resale value. Mounting a piece is a permanent process, so it cannot be undone. While it usually is recommended for making a wrinkled or worn piece look its best, it does damage the integrity of the original work. For this reason, mounting is often used when the piece being framed is a movie poster, a print or reproduction of a painting, personal photos, or even homemade artwork. In other words, mounting is best for pieces for which the main concern is appearance, and not preservation. For items such as original paintings and drawings, gallery pieces, Vancouver Picture framing, or antique prints, mounting is discouraged. In these cases, mounting with custom picture frames can damage the resale value of the artwork, even if it would make the piece look better.
For customers that do chose to mount their artwork, there are still a few options. Wet mounting is a process by which the framer puts a liquid adhesive, generally of a paste-like consistency, on the back of the piece. As it dries, the piece is set under a weight or press to ensure there are no winkles or bubbling. This is a very common way of mounting, but if the artwork is made with something like pastels, watercolors, or charcoal, it should not be used with picture framing. Because wet mounting is a process that uses a liquid on the piece, charcoals and pastels are likely to run and the piece can be ruined. For pieces made of materials that may not withstand the Vancouver Picture framing process, there is also dry mounting. With dry mounting, a tissue-like sheet of heat-activated adhesive is placed between the art and the backing that it is being mounted to. It is then pressed flat with a heated device that activates the adhesive in the tissue, bonding the pieces together without the use of a liquid adhesive. Finally there is spray-mounting for custom picture frames.
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