To mat or not? "The function of the mat is to provide a separation between the art and the glass. Glass lying in direct contact with art is prone to moisture condensation, which appears as a blotching or wrinkling on the face of the art and can cause permanent damage. By lifting the glass out of contact with the art, the problem is solved. ...Art on canvas requires air circulation through the fiber to prevent the development of rot. ... especially true of oil paintings. Cross-stitch and other needlework on canvas needs glass (to keep away dust and dirt), but there should be an adequate space between the work and the glass to promote air circulation. Sometimes the thickness of a mat is not enough. In those cases, spacers are brought into play. p.14-15Bleeds, floats, carrier paper.With no black area surrounding the image, it spreads to the edges of the sheet, or is said to "bleed" off the edges. The second way to deal with art on paper is by "floating" it. It's the simplest way because you avoid cutting a window at all. Just reduce the mat to the size of the frame and attach the artwork to the face of the matboard. ... When artwork is floated against a mat and placed in a frame with no further embellishments, it is known as a simple float. But when a second mat, a window mat, is placed over the floated artwork, with the mat window being larger than the artwork, it is referred to as a matted float. Border finder. To find a good starting border for your mat, add the length and width of the window to get the "united inches," then read across the row to find the border. 9 to 12 starting border, 1.5"12 to 24, starting 1.7524 to 32, starting 232 to 36, starting 2.2536 to 44, starting 2.544 to 50, starting 2.7550 to 54, starting 3"Starting borders" because they are not likely to be the ones you end up with. Modify to satisfy budget and efficiency. Starting with these guidelines will look correct though, and marginal modifications will not have an impact. p.21Equal borders, weighted borders, balanced borders. Planning.1) Decide how you want to present the art work in the mat window.2) Measure your artwork and calculate the correct window size.3) Select appropriate mat borders, using "border finder."4) Modify borders to reach a frame size guided by aesthics, budget, and efficiency. 5) Select colors for mats and frames. -- Where will the picture hang?academic framing -- for juried shows, off-whites and neutral tones for mats, unadorned moldings. Color balance. Select a secondary color in the art to act as the dominant color in the framing. Whenever a mat is present, the mat, which should be wider than the frame, provides the dominant color. When to use color. Lighter colors augment a sense of projection in a composition, so contemporary art with bright splashes of color is enhanced with white matting. On the other hand, darker colors tend to augment a sense of recession in a piece. Double mat color. The eye travels from white to color, the favor use of color in a double mat is to have a white mat on top and a color mat underneath. This method draws the eye to the artwork. Choosing materials. 3 types of matboard: regular, cotton-core, and museum-gradeat least 5 basic core colors: regular cream core, stark-white cotton-core, bleached-white "white core", black core and colored cores for special effects. Matboard comes in 2 sheet sizes: 32x40 and 40x60 (oversize, rarely needed). Foamboard. 3 thicknesses 1/8" (3mm); 3/16" (5 mm); and 3/8" (10 mm). In framing, the 1/3 and 3/16" are used almost interchangeably, although the thicker is favored for larger pieces (24x36 and up). The thinner is used when the combined thickness of framing components (glazing, matbord, artwork, foamboard) is an issue. Regular foamboard is not strictly acid-free. If you are concerned, take measures against it by inserting a barrier sheet of cotton-based drawing paper between the artwork and the foamboard, or use acid-free foamboard. Glazing materials. Glass, nonglare glass, uv-protective glass. Acrylic. Frames. Mail-order, internet purchasing -- best economical choice, if you don't want to deal with getting a retail-tax ID number to buy wholesale. Buy molding in lengths (from home improvement centers). Frame size -- refers to the measurement of the recess where you put the matboard, foamboard and glass. The overall size will be somewhat larger. Frame rabbet a frame recess -- its depth varies from as shallow as 1/8' to as deep as 2". Generally, when a stack consists of a regular glass, a single mat, artwork, and 3/16" foamboard, you will still want a rabbet depth of 3/8". Mounting materials. Permanent adhesives:for reproducible artwork. aerosol-spray adhesives -- must have excellent ventilation or work outdoors. Dry-mount or vacuum press -- expensive, for professional use.Cold mounting (alternative for DIY'ers), done with adhesive-covered sheets or boards, such as Crescent's Perfect Mount or Seal's Quickstik. The artwork is placed face up on the board. It remains repositionable until pressure is applied by burnishing over the item with a squeegee. Good for matless bleeds, as the board can be trimmed to the print size after mounting.Positionable mounting adhesive, PMA. 50-ft long sheet of paper that comes off a roll and which you could to a size marginally larger than the print or poster. 3 widths: 11", 16", or 24". On one side of the sheet there is a light tackiness. The artwork is burnished onto the sheet image side up. When the sheet is removed, a uniform coat of adhesive remains on the back of the artwork. The artwork is then placed on the mounting surface, be it foamboard or other backing. It sticks lightly to the surface and can be repositioned as many times as necessary before being burnished down to effect a permanent bond. Hinge-mounting tapes or noncontact adhesives. -- For original artwork. Hardware.Brads. .5 to 3" long. Used to nail together the corners of a frame in traditional frame making or secure the corners of the frame being inserted into the frame rabbet. Framer's points. Alternatives to brads. A flat metal tab pointed at one end, it is pushed into the side of the rabbet to secure the contents of the frame.Screw eyes.Strap hangers -- easier to use than screw eyes and are able to carry more weight. A metal tab with a hole in it and a d-shaped ring at one end. Two are used, on either side. Off-set clips (mirror clips). Useful when the stack of components is too thick for the depth of the frame recess. Sawtoothed hangers, small metal bars with a serrated edge, used in the place of hanging wire and best suited to lighter frame jobs. Serrated corner brackets (brand name Wall Buddies) for very heavy artwork. Picture wire -- different sizes and weight capacities. Plastic coated wire with a 20-lb capacity, easier to use, purchased through internet frame suppliers.Transfer tape. For manual application, the right choice is 3M Hand-held adhesive transfer tape 465 (from art stores, not hardware stores). Wood glue. Glass cleaner.Additional supplies are needed for framing needlework or objects. Optional: dust covers (usually kraft paper, can get acid-free if needed) and commercial spacers (for separating glazing from artwork and can be used for shadowbox effects). Permanent equipment. Mat cutters. Hand-held (cheapest alternative, but not recommended by this author). Combination bevel-cutting head and straightedge. 32" mat-cutting system. A fixed straight-edge (guide rail) and adjustable mat guide. Good solution, but you have to trim 3" from the 32x40 sheet to reduce it to 29x40 to fit in the machine. You've lost a few inches and it's not necessarily easy to cut them to size. 40" mat-cutting system. You still have to mark out the mat board by hand prior to sizing it. A squaring arm -- key when it comes to sizing. Allows for full-size sheets to be measured and sized at proper right angles without marking out the lines. Includes a 45-degree bevel cutting head for cutting windows; a 90-degree straight cutting head for sizing; a fixed guide rail; a 40.5" cutting board; a mat-guide measuring system for measuring and marking out windows; a squaring arm for measuring prior to sizing. Logan 750 simplex as an example of this system. Hand tools. Utility or mat knife. Phillips-head and regular straight-blade screwdriver. A power screwdriver is handy if you are using hardwood frames. Hammer (10 oz claw hammer). Additional tools for securing contents in wood frames: needlenose pliers & a hammer. A point pusher. A point squeezer. A point driver. You can also get into more equipment if you get deeper into it, like glass cutting, cutting oval mats, etc. Preparing materials. 32x40 foamboard yields:16 8x106 11x146 12x164 16x202 18x241 24x36More detail on cutting each of the materials in this chapter. Refer back to book for details. Cutting mat windows. The rest of the book is a lot of step-by-step instructions on cutting various kinds of mats, mounting, assembling frames, glazing, installing, & hanging framed art. If I were to buy equipment and get started, I'd probably purchase this book as well.