[Scriptoris] Use matboards on presented scrolls

Deanna della Penna estencele at gmail.com
Thu Apr 22 20:17:46 PDT 2010

For several years, I displayed art at convention artshows, and picked
up a bunch of my presentation habits there. :o)

I also like using the backing board/mat/clearbag method. The backing
board gives the piece a stiffness that helps protect it. The mat gives
it additional protection, as well as a finished look. And the clearbag
packages it up very nicely and professionally, holds it all together,
and protects the whole thing. I like to use archival photo corners to
affix my pieces to the backing board and keep them from getting
uncentered beneath the mat. It's non-damaging and non-permament and
acid free on top of it all. :o)

I used to buy backing boards and precut mats one or two at a time, but
that was pretty expensive and it was always a toss-up as to whether I
could find the mat I was looking for, or enough pieces if I was making
multiple matching scrolls. You can buy acid free mats and backs in
bulk for much less, and get your window cut to custom dimensions if
you like. I'm on my second batch of 100 in 10 years and still have a
long way to go to finish that. :o) While colored mats can be nice, a
nice ivory double-matted with gold will work for pretty much anything.
Before I start my piece, I take a mat, place it over my graph paper,
mark out the corners of the window, go in an extra bit, and mark my
frame there. That way, I know the piece will look good inside the mat.

I buy my bags from clearbags.com. I think they also come in bags of
100, and you can choose loose flaps or flaps that have a sticky strip
so they can be sealed. If you go for the resealable kind, be careful
about the sticky strip catching on your artwork or mat. I tend to just
use the edges to tack down the edge, but not fully seal it, but you
could tack it down with a few pieces of tape. I first started using
clearbags after I had sold some pieces to a person who asked me if I
wanted my frames back. Even though the pieces looked awesome in the
frames, they didn't match their decor. It was a nice way to cut back
on a significant expense. There were several times when we were
handling other people's art at auction where they very nearly got
damaged because they were just matted without any further protection
for the faces or backs. O_O With all of the exposure to the outdoors
that our art gets, clearbags are more than worth it. :o) Just be sure
that you don't buy too small or too large of a size.

With all of the time and effort that we put into our scrolls,
protection is worth it for the obvious reasons, but good presentation
also helps others respect our work more. When protection and
presentation are combined, that's even better. :o)


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