Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

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Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby WorthingFramer » Thu May 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Hello all, I've been asked to frame a large piece of artwork that is 1220 x 1020 mm. The customer would like it float mounted directly onto the mount card with a space around it (25mm) (no foamboard) so hedgehogging not an option. The artwork paper is fairly heavyweight and as it's been in a postal tube and is trying to roll itself inwards. Ordinarily I would cut a slit in the mount board and feed through a series of T-Hinges but don't know whether this would be effective. I intend to use a 10-15mm spacer to box frame it to keep the artwork away from the glass.
Since opening my frame shop, I've opened up a lot of large scale frames and discovered numerous prints that have been either glued down with strips of double sided tape or worse, glued completely down and at best strips of tape have been applied all the way along the top and sides leading to inevitable cockling. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby poliopete » Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 pm

If it helps, this very same question came up back in August 2017 and I bet someone smarter than me can direct you straight to it.

Well worth reading it through :D

Peter.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Not your average framer » Thu May 16, 2019 9:09 pm

Action needs to be taken to flatten this artwork. This can sometimes be performed inside a large enough vacuum press, if a large enough one is available. Essentially this is done by dampening a large enough piece of mountboard and putting the mount board and the artwork into the vacuum press, close and lock the lid of the press, turn the heat on with no vacuum applied and allow the humidity in the mount board to turn into steam.

After a while apply the vacuum, which then sucks out all the steam. After you are sure that a good level of vacuum has had enough time to fully remove all of the steam. Switch of the heat and when the press and artwork has returned to room temperature, release the vacuum and remove the no flattened artwork. Wessex pictures have an ex-Hot Press employee on their staff who knows much more about this than I do, So speak to him first.

I'm guessing that there may be some release paper employed in doing this, so speak to Wessex pictures member of staff about this. I have flattened smaller artworks in my mechanical heated press, but nothing of a similar size to your artwork. Flattening your artwork befoe framing it, will make the rest of the process so much better to cope with. I guess you may need to find someone local to you, with a big enough vacuum press.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Steve N » Fri May 17, 2019 8:11 am

I refuse to surface mount any artwork that has been left in a tube, I explain to the customer that it will be a waste of their time and mine, because they will keep bringing it back for me to re-fix as it's curled up, I normally give them a couple of sheets of mountboard for them to put the artwork between and lay flat for a few months, and keep checking to see if it's laying flat, then bring it back to me , i would like the curled up art work to settle down over a period of time, rather that force it,as most times it will start to curl again :head:

About 4 years ago, two prints were brought in, about the same size, been in the tubes for a couple of years!! I told the customer to take them home, put them between a couple of boards and put under the bed for 12 months, then come back and see me, which they did and by that time the works was very flat and used the hedgehog method straight on to the backing mount, job done
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Not your average framer » Fri May 17, 2019 9:41 am

I've got a one off print to frame at the moment. It's on very heavy paper, several hundred gsm thickness I would say. Fortunately, not too large to go in my heated press. It's an intaglio print, so I got too be careful not to press out the plate mark, therefore it will be placed in the press between to pieces of towelling. I've done this before as I used to have a secondhand books and antique print shop, which sounds a lot more impressive than it ever was.

Steve is giving sensible advice. artworks on heavy weight paper need to be flattened and de-stressed if they are going to stay flat, when changes in atmospheric humidity come along and you have to be careful about dry mounting items where stresses in materials won't balance out if the atmospheric humidity changes with the seasons. There are some things were you have to know when it's better to be safe, rather than sorry.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Ricky » Fri May 17, 2019 10:29 am

how to do float mounting on heavy paper (1).pdf
(143 KiB) Downloaded 49 times

Found this in my files hope it helps
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Justintime » Fri May 17, 2019 3:29 pm

I tried the Hedgehog method for the first time the other day, as per these instructions. It came out a total dog's dinner!! With customers permission, I undid it and hotpress mounted it! :giggle:
I'm hoping to discuss it with the Trade Guild experts tomorrow, to find out where I went wrong!
It may have been because I gave it more heat in the press to flatten it after I had mounted it...stressed and cockled it like nothing I've seen before. Was one of those whirlwind work days...
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Steve N » Fri May 17, 2019 6:15 pm

I personally don't like using the hot press for this, I like to let it naturally relax and hopefully it will lay flatter, if not then it's the nature of the beast
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Not your average framer » Sat May 18, 2019 9:51 am

Yes, I can understand that. I've had a lot of practice as a paper conservator and know how to make sure nothing goes wrong. The idea is not to get the artwork wet, just to relax the cellulose fibres in the paper and let them reset to their original flat condition.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby cleaver » Sat May 18, 2019 4:52 pm

Great stuff for sharing that, Ricky :clap: ....duly gone in my file! :D
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Justintime » Sat May 18, 2019 9:47 pm

I just met Roy Rowlands today, who came up with the Hedgehog technique. As well as walking me through it, he gave me an updated version of Ricky's link, available from Lions website, has more and better description and its apparently now available on lions YouTube channel too.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby cleaver » Sun May 19, 2019 7:41 pm

Top man - cheers, JT. Sounds like it was a good thing to go to.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Davie000 » Mon May 20, 2019 8:13 am

I can honestly say the hedgehog method works a treat and something i do half a dozen times a week on artwork up to a metre square and with no problems, having tried other methods throughout the years hedgehog is by far the best, another thing i do for posters etc that come in rolled up is, I made up a thing to unroll them with ease, its a roller from a printer approx 900mm long, to the i attached two pieces of release paper same width as the roller and about 1200mm long, then it just put the print between the two sheets and roll it the opposite way, ive used this for years now and it too works a treat, I hope this helps and when i get a minute i will post a picture up, as my explanation may not be clear.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby cleaver » Mon May 20, 2019 8:53 am

Davie, what are they called and what makes should I look out for, please mate?....as I'll have a decko on fleabay for one?
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Davie000 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am

As i made it, it has no name, any good size roller about 40mm diameter will do, it just takes the hassle out of trying to get it flat without it curling up or doing it freehand and ending up with a crease, when i get a chance i will take a pic of it, nothing fancy but it works a treat.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby cleaver » Mon May 20, 2019 10:52 am

Great - love to see it. :D
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Justintime » Mon May 20, 2019 12:07 pm

Here's the link to the updated Lion sheet ..
https://www.lionpic.co.uk/content/infos ... y-2019.pdf
And the You Tube video..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAtVSRhNEN4
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Not your average framer » Mon May 20, 2019 1:06 pm

|Hi Justin,

I'm really impressed with both of those. Great teaching from Roy Rowlands. Thanks for uploading them.
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby Steve N » Mon May 20, 2019 3:48 pm

you can make them roller things out of a window roller blind, very often DIY stores have them marked down when the packaging is damaged and the screws and fittings fall out
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Re: Best way to frame a large heavy piece of artwork?

Postby WorthingFramer » Mon May 20, 2019 5:20 pm

Thank you for all your suggestions, very helpful :)
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