float mounting

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Mrs C
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float mounting

Post by Mrs C » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 4:59 pm

hello fellow framers
float mounting – I do a lot of it, much more than window mounts A lot of the work is large format (about 1.5m x 1m or even 2m long) and quite heavy stock. I’ve tried different methods and materials over the years and in the main the results are always satisfactory. I normally use conservation acid neutral tape but when I used this recently with an etching (1.2m x 800mm) it began to lift. The paper is slightly thicker than normal so the weight of it could be the reason. Can I please ask, which methods/materials do you use with successful results?
many thanks

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Re: float mounting

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 6:08 pm

I think that we all probably do quite a lot of float mounting these days. Speaking for myself, customers quite often will ask for an artwork to be float mounted, whether it's just something they have heard about, or it's a really modern look, etc. More often than not, I use what is commonly called the hedgehog method, it's not as modern a method as you might think. I picked it up after seeing it on a framed artwork from around about the 1960's and started using it because it's so easy and since then I've seen it a few more framed artwork from much the same period.

Since some of these customer either want the artwork set away from the glass with spacer, or I recommend spacing the artwork away from the glass, there are occasions with larger and therefore heavier art works needing a bit more support, there are times that I will use thicker mountboard to stiffen things up a bit. I even can include another cut out in the middle of the fall out piece behind the artwork to enable me to attach another support hinge to prevent heavier artworks from ballooning out in the middle, as a result of the pull of gravity on a heavier artwork.

I don't much like fixing the rear of the mountboard to the backing board, but I've always considered it an option if there is no other way of keeping things nice and flat, with heavier weight artworks. If this situation ever arises, which it has not so far, I would still be looking for an easy way for any future framer to be able to separate the mount from the backing board simply, safely and in a way that the future framer will be able to identify without any difficulty. There is nothing that I do that does not have a realistic option of reversibility, even if the artwork is off no significant value.

To my mind, reversibility rarely involves any serious reason why you would not use reversible methods as normal practice.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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prospero
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Re: float mounting

Post by prospero » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 2:25 am

Could be the sizing of the paper not 'taking' the adhesive on the tape satisfactorily. Cases like this really call for starch paste
and torn handmade paper hinges. If you can, do a few tryouts first to make sure the paste is the right consistency.
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Re: float mounting

Post by +Rafe+ » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 2:10 pm

Keen to get a view on the methods used to float larger items. As said by Mark, I also seem to be floating 85% of the work I do and have used the 'hedgehog' method happily, using Japanese tissue paper and wheat starch.
So far, I haven't had any issue with this method or indeed the wheat starch coming away from the artwork or the mountcard. Using this takes some practice and requires attention as to the consistency of the paste and the paper type. There are loads of good posts on here about using method, I recall from Roboframer...

With regards to large sized art work, as let I haven't floated anything past A1 size but have a few enquires recently for larger items similar to the size mentioned by the OP/Mrs C.

I would be keen to know what method is used to ensure that the issue of 'ballooning' is mitigated against. Specifically, for those that use the method, I am keen to know what the process is of the 'double hedgehog'... Cutting an additional centre piece out and then I assume the centre is 'stuck down first then the outer cut out?...

Thanks

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Re: float mounting

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 7:11 pm

Hi,

You PM'd me about this and I'm sorry that I haven't replied yet, I typed a reply lost my connection to the forum and all I had typed which was a PITA. First I want to point out that some artworks are just to thin and flexible to keep flat by just normal float mounting and the lack of some stiffness will mean that restraining the artwork in a few places does not necessarily mean that the art work is going to stay flat. If the artwork is on heavier weight paper, which is less likely to flex so much, then to some extent the heavier paper extends the distance beyond the hinges the the movement of the paper is restricted and this can be helpful, but there are limitations and You have to be realistic, when considering what is going to be possible.

Really large float mounted artworks are going to need more hinges to mounts the art work and at the same time prevent the more central area of the art work from ballooning outwards. Sometimes using two hedgehog type cut outs, one inside the other can give you the possibility of restricting this ballooning effect within the central area within the artwork, but please do not think that this is always the answer. The unfortunate fact is that on art works using lighter weight paper, it may allow you to see the locations where the artwork in a way that is to obvious and looks less than professional. If I am employing one hedgehog cut out inside another, I like the secure the larger outer mount first, which means that the inner cut out has to be cut with the bevel sloping the other way to permit re-fitting the cut out back in from the back, instead of the front.

Please be aware that the hinges are best produced and installed in such a way that they afford a little give to allow for expansion and contraction of the artwork according to seasonal variations in ambient humidity to try and avoid and tendancy for the artwork to cockle. My method (which is not necessarily the best, but it's just seems sensible to me), is to pass the top outer hinges on to the larger cut out and have one hinge securing part of the top of the art work in place relatively closely and any other hinges along the top of the artwork, as pendant hinges, or like revese T hinges to permit some lateraly movement. For hinges on the other three sides I would use on larger artworks what I can only describe as extended pendant hignes cut to an S shape to allow the hinges some degree of stretchability and also some potential for lateral movement as well.

Inside of the centre cut out I would use extended S shaped pendant hinges to angain facilitate some stretchability and lateral movemeny jet again. It may be necessary to do something to ensure that the repacing of these cut out does not prevent these pentant hinges from re-adjusting their positions in response to and expansion, or contraction of the artwork. Finally a note attached to the reverse side of the mountbord wold be a nice thing to add some that if it even needed the artwork to be un-mounted, any future framer would know how this had been mounted and therefore how to safey undo the mounting method, so as to not run the risk of inadvertant damage.

Please be aware that some artwork don't always float mount nice and easily, so you may need to re-assess what may, or may not produce the most satisfactory results, if the artwork does not want to stay flat even after giving the potential for some movement within the hinges. Sorry, most of us can manage some degree of difficulty with a bit of creativity, but miracles are another matter.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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prospero
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Re: float mounting

Post by prospero » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 9:42 am

It's a largely insoluble problem. A big sheet of paper is going to move - some more than others.

To get some idea, when I used to prepare watercolour paper by soaking and taping to a stout board, I noted that
a full 30" sheet will grow 1/2" when fully saturated. And to get some idea of the forces involved, it would bend a 3/4"
board slightly as it dried. That's an extreme example I grant you. The ideal thing is to put one 'hard' hinge at the top and
just enough satellite hinges around to hold it in place but with a bit of 'give'.
Trying to 'restrain' a piece of paper is futile. It will always win. :lol:

The only way to keep it dead flat is to drymount with the tissue a little way in from the edge. I've done this with tourist things
like Papyrus. Not recommended for original art.
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Re: float mounting

Post by +Rafe+ » Wed 27 Nov, 2019 1:02 pm

Thank you for the detailed replies and great insight! I don't have the ability to dry mount (yet) and use a 3rd party. Was keen to get a view on the pitfalls / limitations of float mounting without the use of dry mounting. Thanks all!

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