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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:57 pm 
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For about a year now, ever since I redid my room, I have had a picture wall with some of my favorite (self-made) images framed in standard Ikea frames. Here's a snap I made after putting most of them up (excuse the terrible quality of a low-light iPhone picture hosted on Facebook's servers):

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The Ikea frames are generally quite good. It's the pictures that matter most to me, so I won't be spending a lot of money on custom-made frames.
However, I am not quite satisfied with the matting boards that come with the frames. They are a fixed size, which is not 3:2-ratio, which means that some of my images are effectively cropped by the matting board, and I sometimes end up losing essential details in the process. Also the ratio and thickness of the mat border (don't know if that's the proper term) is different per frame size, which just looks bad.
Since I put these up, my favorites have changed and I would like to replace some of the prints with other pictures. On the other hand, I want the currently framed photographs to stay in good condition so I can put them again at some later stage. Therefore, I am interested in mounting and matting these prints myself. I have watched a couple of videos on the process already, and it does not look too complicated, but some of the materials (especially the mat cutter) are quite pricy.

Have any of you ever tried this before? If so, I would appreciate any tips and recommendations.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:09 am 
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I know some craft stores in the US have classes, not sure if you would have anything like that where you are at.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Thanks Mike. I tried a bunch of photo schools but none of them seem to offer it. I have gotten in touch with a friend in my hometown who mats and mounts his own images, and he's offered me some help to get started.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Hi Bjorn

I get mine done professionally now but before I found a decent place I did a few myself. I was never that good at it but I've watched others through the process and every so often I go watch how they do it when I place an order.

For me the most important aspect is having the proper cutting guides and cutting tools. Depending on mat thicknesses you may want to cut it on an angle if the matting material allows and at that point it gets funky. The corners are always a pain as well.

A few months ago I had to get 8 framed for an exhibit in Montreal and I watched the entire process. Of course they make it look easy but I swear with the proper tools it isn't a difficult process.

For me it always came down to time. I sell quite a few prints now and I would save a lot of money if I did it myself as I enjoy print sizes that do not conform to traditional formats. As such I pay a lot more seeing they have a lot more waste matting. I'm hoping in about a year or 2 I'll be able to start doing it myself however.

I find the process exciting so when I do finally have the time I have some ideas on making custom matting materials which I feel may accent my work in very unique ways. The idea being offering a custom mat material ( I'm talking about the colour/design/pattern of the material itself) for each specific image. This would of course make the print that much more pricey but I can definitely envision a demand for it.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Thanks for your input Wolfsong. A friend of mine, who mats his images for exhibitions and sale too, recommended the Logan 450-1 mat cutter, and (Amazon) reviews support that recommendations. With a bit of experience even the corners of angled cuts seem to be very easy to get right. The cutter is quite pricy though, in Holland it is anyway. On the one hand, I see it as an investment (apart from the very inexpensive knives, I guess a mat cutter should be able to last decades), but on the other hand I realize I am only buying it for matting my own pictures (I don't sell prints at the moment). Still, I am looking forward to being able to cut my own mats in the exact size I want them to be, and mounting prints for storage. Now I just need to save up for one of these cutters and resist buying all the photo books on my Amazon wish list...

- Bjorn

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