Sunday, April 21, 2013

DIY: Matting & Framing Tutorial Part 3

DIY: Matting & Framing My Fantasy Art
Part 3

Tools & Materials

DIY metal frame 
Picture hanging wire (any wire will do, even tough string)
matted artwork
wire cutter

This is the final part of the tutorial.  Previously I had completed the matting of the art, and now I assemble the frame and put the artwork in it.  I buy my frames from American Frame, Graphic Dimensions, and sometimes from the art suppliers like Dick Blick, Pearl Paint, or AI Friedman.  I like American Frame because most of the time I'm framing artwork for conventions and I expect the art will do some traveling before it sells, so I prefer metal frames for toughness. I use plexiglass, which American Frame will cut for you as well, instead of glass because it is much lighter, and may crack but not shatter as glass will.  I like color in my mats but a clean, austere look in my frames.  

I assemble the frame as per the instructions, leaving the top open for insertion of the art.

I insert the corners at the top and the piece for hanging wire about 5" down.

I dust off the top of the matted artwork so there is no lint.  The plexiglass comes with sticky paper on both sides. I peel off one side and place it quickly on the matted art so there is minimal chance of getting dust on that side.  Then I peel off the other side, revealing the artwork.  I scan for lint and specks.  If I find anything, I carefully lift the plexiglass and use a bit of masking tape on a finger to trap the lint and remove it.

 Now I'm ready to slip the matted artwork and plexiglass in together into the 3 sided frame.

And slip in the final top side of the frame.

I turn the whole piece over and screw the sections in tight.

I don't know the technical name for these curvy things, but they apply pressure between the frame and the backing board to keep the art in place.  Slip them in along the edges, about 4 or 5 to a side.

They don't fit in all the way, and they occasionally pot out, but they do the job.

 Cut a length of wire about 4" longer than the width of the frame and put them through the holes of the frame's wire hangers.  Wrap the ends around the wire.

Finished and ready for show!

This painting was the illustration for the cover of "House Wars Book I: The Hidden City" by Michelle West.



Monday, April 1, 2013

Travels & Art

Murals at Willard Straight Hall

I've been taking my son, who is a junior, on a tour of various colleges.  One of the joys of travel is finding quirky objects of interest and of course, ART in unexpected places.  These are murals painted by Alison Mason Kingsbury under the auspices of Ezra King in the entry room of Willard Straight Hall in Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  The student guide rushed us through this with not a word (but gushed at us for minutes over the School for International Business and Labor Relations) proving itself little better than a benighted heathen.

Sorry about the glove up there, it was cold and I was being rushed into the great hall!  But isn't that just a lovely unicorn and a real treasure of a room?  More about the artist here:

Willard Straight Hall.  The carvings in the ceiling are of good and bad professors, but you can't make it out from my iphone pix.

The new Engineering building.  It looks a bit like a large indoor mall at first, but those are 3 sided rooms for students to gather and discuss things, and the grey wall and stairs are supposed to reflect the many gorges on the Cornell campus.

I don't know what this was about, but it was amusing.

 Just can't resist taking a pix of an anatomically correct statue of a Human/Transformers hybrid.

This is Cornell's Biological Sciences building (or one of them, dealing more with plant biology) so my son was quite tickled by the fact that they've let plants grow all over it.  Even their metal gates are sprouting!