In the world of custom framing, mounting is the method used to secure your artwork onto a backing board within the frame. There are a number of ways we achieve this, but for now we’ll be focusing on a technique called “dry mounting.”
Dry mounting is different from other forms of mounting in that the adhesives used are not water based. The reasons for dry mounting something are primarily aesthetic. The process flattens and removes the creases and wrinkles of your artwork, and the sturdy backing ensures it won’t buckle or move around within your framing package. In most cases this process is permanent and non-reversible. Therefore, it is NOT recommended for any artwork of value, whether monetary or sentimental. Any original artwork, collectibles, or limited editions will lose value if they are permanently altered using this method as they will no longer be in original condition.
One dry mounting method we employ is using a heat activated tissue. In this process, a thin sheet of this tissue is cut to the size of the artwork, then tacked between the art and foam board with a special iron. Our vacuum press is then heated to a specific temperature that will melt the adhesive but not damage the artwork. The artwork is placed into the press, where the vacuum reaches 25 PSI, and remains running under pressure for several minutes. Once removed and cooled under weight, the result is a perfectly flat piece of artwork adhered to a sturdy board ready to be framed.
Remember that part about dry mounting being permanent, non-reversible, and not recommended for artwork of value? Well, at Custom Picture Framer of Glenside we are fortunate enough to have access to a high-quality mounting board known as “Ultra Preserve”. This is an acid-free, archival board with a special adhesive that sets at 150F, and more importantly, RELEASES when that temperature is achieved again. Essentially, we can put something in the press to flatten it onto a board. And once mounted properly, if we so choose, we can put it BACK into the press to return it to its original condition.
There are also several other measures we take to make sure your mounted artwork will look its best. These include the use of an electrically grounded brush to remove static, an air compressor to blow away any small bits, and a high-quality polymer-coated dust roller that can remove unwanted particles as small as one micron… think of it as the world’s fanciest lint-roller! We use all of these techniques to ensure that there’s no dust or other debris present that could cause imperfections in the mount.
We take a lot of precautions to make sure your treasures look their best. Always consult with your custom framer to choose which mounting method is best for your artwork.