Width of mount

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Rainbow
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Width of mount

Post by Rainbow » Thu 21 May, 2020 5:47 pm

I know I've read somewhere (probably on here!) that it's bad practice to make the mount the same width as the frame. How big a No-no is this? If it's a rule, are there times when it can be broken without the world coming to an end?
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Re: Width of mount

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 21 May, 2020 5:59 pm

I was taught that a mount shold never be the same width as the frame and having seen mounts the same size as the frame,I have to say that I don't that they look right. I just think that they sook a bit strange. The eye and the brain are really sensitive to ratios that do, or don't look nice.
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StevenG
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Re: Width of mount

Post by StevenG » Thu 21 May, 2020 9:00 pm

I read somewhere, a while back & I wish I could find it again.... that if the mount is smaller than the width of the moulding then our eyes 'see' it as part of the moulding/frame and therefore doesn't just seem right, wider than the moulding we see it as the mount and it helps with balance/proportion. But in saying that, I have people tell me that they only want 20mm, 30mm etc etc & anything else is just 'too much'. Unless I think they'll listen I just do what they want, obviously I show them the options though :) I'll never see the job again once it leaves me and if they're happy then I'm happy :)

I'd hate it if someone told me what I should like, personally I do think that some combinations don't look right but again, if my customer likes it then who am I to tell them any different.

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Re: Width of mount

Post by pramsay13 » Thu 21 May, 2020 9:34 pm

Over the years I've seen a few 'rules':
mounts must not be the same size as the frame
mounts must be larger on the bottom than on the other three sides

There are no hard and fast rules so you can play about with what you think looks good, what your customer think looks good, and meet somewhere in the middle.

Sometimes the actual artwork changes how a mount / frame combination looks.

There are very few actual no-nos. Sometimes I've framed a piece 'grudgingly' with certain combinations and discovered it actually looks quite good when finished and the customer was right all along. Other times it has looked hideous but the customer has been happy.

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Rainbow
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Re: Width of mount

Post by Rainbow » Thu 21 May, 2020 9:53 pm

Thank you all. This is a framing job for myself, which is proving more difficult than for customers :D

The moulding is 40mm, but for some reason a mount wider than 40mm doesn't look right on this painting and nor does a narrower one. I'd normally go for around 40mm for the mount, but then that's the same width as the moulding, although in fact it doesn't look too bad, hence my question.

I've played about with it a bit more, and I think I can make it look right if I use a double mount with the dark colour as the outer, which can then be narrower than the moulding so as not to overpower the picture.
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Re: Width of mount

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 22 May, 2020 9:48 am

From time to time, a customer with bring in an artwork and an existing frame which the want a mount cut for. Unfortunately the size and proportions of the artwork are not always best suited to the size and proportions of the frame. This is where you learn some valuable lessons in how to make something look right, when it really should not look right. Yes, there are ways to bend the normally accepted rules and for many jobs to not look wrong.

It is when customers come in, with the worst possible frame for the artwork and you have to do better than you thought possible, that you really start to get good at stuff like this. Often it's a frame that they picked up from Ikea and has little strength in it's construction and is not truly suited for the use that they intended and it's for a gift for a special ocassion and they need it done as rush job for that day (ideally while they wait), and then you surprise yourself, when it turns out great! That's when you know you've really got it.

I keep plenty of bits and pieces in stock, hopefully so that I can tackle almost anything that comes in the door at the drop of a hat. This includes materials for extending the depth of a frame from Ikea, That the customer wants a football shirt framed in, when the it no suitable depth for the football shirt, but being based in a small rural town with limited footfall, you don't like to turn work away, especially if it a regulalr customer and they are relying on you to somehow make it work.

I'm not joking, but this often is how one man bands, with small framing businesses build their customer bases. They might bring you some make do and mend jobs, but then they bring you jobs that they want something special and they are not going to take it to anyone else. You learn in a smaller town that not everyone is loaded with money, but if you look after these customers, they often later bring in better jobs when they can, because they know you have always looked after them.

Does it matter to be good at making the most of cutting difficult mounts, where it's not always possible to make the borders according to your normal practice, but still make things look good. I think so and lots of us can become extremely good at it, with a little practice.
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Re: Width of mount

Post by Steve N » Fri 22 May, 2020 12:24 pm

There is no such rule, in fact there are no rules in framing, there are personal opinions, just because you have seen it in someones book, video, or seminar, doesn't make it a rule, make your own rules, have your own house style, My personal opinion is that the mount should not be the same as the width of the moulding, your eye will tend to stop at the mount (not the artwork) if you have too many elements the same width, the same goes for traditional wash lines, the widths and spacing between the lines should be varied, it's the same for triple/quadruple (or even more) you don't do them showing all the same amount, such as 5mm :surprised: :shake:
You work with the customer, you can point them in right direction and explain which would look the best for the artwork
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Re: Width of mount

Post by prospero » Fri 22 May, 2020 2:40 pm

It's a sound design principle, but like all rules it's not a hard-and-fast rule.

It all comes under the heading of "it depends....." :P

For instance, if a 70mm wide moulding is divided into sections by reeds/beads/ornaments then a 70mm mount will look OK.
On a dead flat moulding the relative widths jar in the subconscious. Same can be said for mounts that are broken up by grooves/lines.

Remember you see with your eyes and not a ruler. :wink:
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Rainbow
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Re: Width of mount

Post by Rainbow » Fri 22 May, 2020 10:04 pm

All very helpful, thank you :)
It's life, Jim, but not as we know it....

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