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DREW WILEY

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My painful rheumatic fingers don't allow me to cut 8-ply. I'd rather do it with two sheets of something thinner anyway, in those very rare applications I need that amount of spacing. I doubt any"judge" will give a damn if 8-ply is used or not. But I admittedly have never entered a framed art competition. I have had some serious exhibitions, including curator sponsored, and they didn't give a damn about that kind of thickness either.

Museum board is getting expensive.

I will agree, at least from a gallery sales standpoint, that well-done (but not ostentatious) framing does give one a distinct edge.
 
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snusmumriken

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Do not, that is DO NOT EVER, leave you work without a protective glass, or crystal print envelope, unless there's a tactile factor you want in person viewers to touch, such as a paper cut collage or textures you have added to the piece.
For a short-term exhibition of photos, it must surely be a lot cheaper to regard the prints as expendable, than to glaze them all?
 

fdi

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One thing that I believe a lot of folks do not know of, is that 'white' eight ply museum quality matboards are available.

It's an expensive material, however, if you look around , you'll find both art and matboard dealers, will give a good (from the photographers and artists perspective prices when bought at wholesalers so, if you have a valid tax number for your company, or know of someone willing to help you buy with theirs, do it and treat it as the very special material it is and enjoy working with it.

If you are showing at a gallery or for a contest where framing is mandatory, frame using whatever format you want to use, and use these heavy (thick) boards, which in most cases tells the judge(s) you are seriously pursuing your art - photography, which may give your work an invisible leg up over, The Competition.

The museum quality 8-ply mat board is top of the line rag mat, however Crescent makes Select Conservation Matboard Solid 8-Ply which is alpha-cellulose instead of cotton rag. It is still acid free, lignin free and archival unlike paper mat board. I love this stuff because the beveled edge is nearly 1/4 inch and adds significant depth and a less common look to your presentation. My company sells custom pre-cut mat sizes in addition to full sheet mat.

 

DREW WILEY

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The main point of 8-ply, besides just its esthetic enhancement, is in relation to float-mounted or hinged prints (versus flat dry mounting). Things like watercolor paintings or alternative photo processes hand-coated on watercolor paper tend to exhibit the beauty of the paper itself, which is often "floated" wholly inside the overmat window, rather than with the edges behind the cutout. The natural characteristic of such paper is to be somewhat uneven; and some practitioners even like a torn edge rather than sharply cut. This inherent waviness requires more spacing behind the glazing that a flat-mounted print.

One problem to be aware of is that most "archival" board is artificially CaCO3 alkaline buffered. There are a few print processes like albumen and acid-mordanted dye transfer printing where alkaline mounting and matting is not ideal. High quality non-buffered museum board is available for such cases, but is sometimes hard to find.

Conservation board tend to come in slightly different shades of white than ragboard even from the same manufacturer. So it's helpful to order little samples packs of the color options first.

And yeah, cutting 8-ply can be a pain using ordinary linear matcutters. I've always coveted a full-sized Esterly Speed Mat machine, which even has a pneumatic knife plunging option. But at my age, I'll probably never get around to buying one. So 8-ply
windows tend to come out better when real commercial cutting machines are involved, and the computerized versions make it a relatively simple task.
 

Pieter12

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One thing that I believe a lot of folks do not know of, is that 'white' eight ply museum quality matboards are available.

It's an expensive material, however, if you look around , you'll find both art and matboard dealers, will give a good (from the photographers and artists perspective prices when bought at wholesalers so, if you have a valid tax number for your company, or know of someone willing to help you buy with theirs, do it and treat it as the very special material it is and enjoy working with it.

If you are showing at a gallery or for a contest where framing is mandatory, frame using whatever format you want to use, and use these heavy (thick) boards, which in most cases tells the judge(s) you are seriously pursuing your art - photography, which may give your work an invisible leg up over, The Competition.

If the quality of your mat makes that much of a difference at a gallery it in a competition, it’s not worth being there.
 

MattKing

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If the quality of your mat makes that much of a difference at a gallery it in a competition, it’s not worth being there.

I would disagree slightly.
I've seen more than one print where the poor quality of presentation was so distracting as to make appreciation of the print difficult.
In addition, if you are trying to sell a print that is intended to be hung on a wall and seen, it really helps if someone at a gallery doesn't think immediately of having to re-frame the print before they can make use of it.
 

Pieter12

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OK. Slightly. But I have been to shows where the prints were just pinned to the wall with magnets or hung from binder clips on a wire. If the work is good, it transcends the presentation.
 

DREW WILEY

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As if typical competitions attracted serious work anyway! But if "transcending the presentation" is simply due to that presentation itself being sloppy, that's relative, and doesn't necessarily mean your print is all that good either. Why not do both well?
 
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