[Scriptoris] Use matboards on presented scrolls

Elaine eshc at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 20 06:04:04 PDT 2010

For several decades, I was a professional mundane watercolorist,  
exhibiting in galleries and in national competitions and solo shows.  
That's my qualifying background to say that Hillary has it all  
correct in matting scrolls and protecting them from rain for  
transporting to their framing/display area. Water-based paints as  
well as important photographs should not touch the glass they are  
displayed behind.

For some added touches for preservation, those that will further  
protect artwork, and probably should be done by the recipient, as  
well as by the artist before:

1. The artwork should be done with artist quality PAINTS, not student  
grade, which contains fillers.
2. The artwork should be done on archival quality PAPER, which will  
not turn crumbly, yellowed, or spotty in future years.
3. The board that is BACKING the artwork should be archival.
4. Anything used to AFFIX the art work to the backing should be able  
to be removed without destroying the artwork. (No Scotch or masking  
tape or the like, but instead archival stuff like the paper that you  
find surrounding post office stamps  or restorer's glue made from  
water and flour.)
4. The MAT should also be archival (museum quality).
5. The GLASS should be clear, not the frosty kind called "non-glare",  
in order to keep the brilliance of the paints from being "fuzzed out."
6. The DISPLAY place of the artwork should be in an area that does  
not receive direct sunlight or exposure to fluorescent lights (or the  
paints may fade).

If the mat/backing is not archival (like cardboard), over time, it  
can discolor the paper the artwork is on. Tape on the backside of the  
artwork that is used to "hinge" the artwork to the backing may have a  
component that will eventually "leak through" and discolor the front  
of the artwork. (Some framers use a sandwich of archival paper  
between the backing and the artwork and the mat and the artwork. That  
's when you know you have a framer who really knows how to be a  
professional framer.)

That's my two cents. Spend as you like. I only say these things  
because I, at one time or another, have lived through the  
consequences of not taking enough precautions to preserve artwork.  
Learning second hand from my mistakes is information I give to you as  
today's present from me.

YIS (Yours in Service),
HL Lete Bithespring

PS. I did a replacement piece for a client whose house cleaning lady  
didn't realize the artwork didn't have glass over it, sprayed it with  
Windex, and wiped it into a glorious smear!!----L.


On Apr 19, 2010, at 6:40 PM, Hillary Greenslade wrote:

> Discovered a new presentation trick this weekend, well, new to me.
> In the past, I’ve attempted to present scrolls framed and matted,  
> as it protects the original artwork.  However, that is not always  
> possible to frame scrolls due to cost and the frame selected may  
> not work for the recipient’s home décor.
> Matboards are required for watercolors and gouache paints, as  
> framed works can ‘sweat’ condensation when transitioned between  
> indoors and out, and the condensation can drip on the work, ruining  
> it; so matting the scroll will keep it away from the glass by 1/8th  
> of an inch or so.   I like to mat the work when presenting it, as I  
> can’t guarantee the recipient will.
> So, when push comes to shove for my presentations, I’m willing to  
> forgo the frame, but I want to keep using matboards to protect the  
> work.  Precut matboards come in plastic transparent cellophane  
> sleeves; just slide your artwork into the plastic sleeve, behind  
> the matboard.   Wha-la!
> Instantly, you have provided protection from the elements in the  
> plastic sleeve for the artwork AND it can be presented and viewed  
> through the clear plastic at the same time, with a lovely matboard  
> framing the work.   Stargate’s event this weekend had a certain bit  
> of dripping from the clouds, so matboard and cellophane sleeve  
> worked great!
> Hint:  Make sure you layout your work to fit the matboard opening  
> size you intend to use.
> Cheers, Hillary
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