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Acrylics on Rice Paper


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
May 27, 2001
Omaha, NE
A customer has 8 "rock art" acrylics(16 X 20) on rice paper he wants mounted. The edges are to show and there is to be no frame. He does want a little color around the edge so a mat will also be used.

My first thought is to use gator board for stiffness but I'm unsure of the proper mounting technique.

Any help would be great. Thanks

The term "rice paper" is not quite descriptive enough. If it is very smooth, almost transparent, glossy, and crinkly-brittle, then it is probably what I would call rice paper, which is actually made from rice.

Some people think rice paper is like the handmade Japanese papers we use for hinging & other protective mounting -- soft, fiberous, and almost like cloth.

So, which is it?
Gooe point Jim.

The artist referred to it as rice paper. It seems to be comprised of several thin layers but the paper itself is thick. I'd say it most like Japanese paper.
Had a customer with hand written ink on ricepaper
Paper was transparent kind of wrinkley about 10" x 18".
He wants it dry mounted.Not sure I want to. Says he has some others that have not been dry mounted and they are all wavey ( I have not seen them).
Can I do an archivel dry mount and will they come out flat or have ripples in them? I have seen some dry mounted ricepaper(?) it had a wrinkled texture to it.
If it is original art, I would avoid any permanent change. Explain to your customer that the wrinkles characteristic of the art, and to defeat that character would diminish the art.

If the art is not original or would never be valuable in the future, and if mounting is inevitable, I would not dry mount it, but wet mount it by starch paste to an alphacellulose board.

Note that if the paper is very wavy or heavily wrinkled, then those wrinkles could become sharp, flat creases in the mounting process. That is, mounting might make it flat and creased instead of making it flat and smooth.
Originally posted by dougj:
He wants it dry mounted.... Says he has some others that have not been dry mounted and they are all wavey
This fits right in on another thread that is going on now about reversible adhesives.

You should check in there as well.

Reversible Adhesives
Hey, back again to the original question .....

Still need advice on mounting the Japanese/Rice Paper piece. Any advice would be appreciated.

Are these to be mounted unframed permanently?

Or is the framelessness for temporary display?

Does the artist want these mounted with the looseness of the paper in full evidence?

Or does he want them flat like a poster?

How heavy/thick is the rice paper?

Any glazing?

What is "rock art?"

edie the enquiringmindsandall goddess
Thank you Goddess.

These are to be mounted flat and remain unframed. The thickness is between 1/16 and 1/8 (sort of like a Bounty papertowel).
Another question to add here, if I mount them on Gatorboard, what kind of hangers would be appropriate? I'd like to get something thicker than 1/2 inch Gatorboard as well, if anyone has any suggestions.

Finally, what he calls rock art is nothing more than a strange acrylic painting of various artists (Dylan, Marley, Morrison, Smith, etc....)

Thanks for the help.

You might share with your client the fact that
polyner emulsions have holes in their surfaces,
when they dry. These microscopic holes are left by
the water that was in the paint, as it evaporate.
Since air-born grime will get into the holes, such materials should be framed with glazing,
spaced in front of the art.

I have to think about this.

Is there any way to talk him into glazing these?
There will have to be some serious compromising done here to display these the way he wants them. If they are unglazed, then they will need more aggressive mounting to keep them from flapping in the wind.

Is the paper flat right now or is it wobbly?
Is the acrylic paint thick and goopy or fairly smooth?
Are they drymountable?

If they are, then maybe you can stick them to something nasty, like mdf. Or send them to one of those plakit places in Canada. And let them take the heat of mounting something original. heheheh. They do have box mounting, as well.

Just a few thoughts.

edie the imlettingitmarinate goddess
I don't think I can talk him into glazing. Right now the paper is rolled and yes the acrylic paint is thick and goopy.

What is the risk if I spray mount these? I've already explained without glazing, they would have to be permanently mounted to whatever.

I wish I had said no.


As Jim said, I don't think you or he will be happy with the results of mounting. I'd talk him into hinging with rice paper. If you make the mat 2-3" wide, it may provide enough surface area to make it fairly flat. You could cut a trial mat and show him what it would look like.


Show him one of those Uniframe things (from LJ) or the other kind with the metal clips (United?). It's a no-frame look with glass and it would also solve the hanging problem.


If the Uniframe is a no go, you can get (from United?) hangers that you shove into foam core. I haven't tried em on gatorboard.

Another option:

Send him to your competition and let him be their problem!

Good Luck!
We're speculating about talking the customer into doing things he said he doesn't want.

There's no doubt that glazing, matting, and framing would be the right way to go, but in order to help him understand why, it is necessary to know the motivation for his specifications. Why does the customer want no frame? Is it a matter of money? A matter of appearance? A matter of size? What are the real reasons behind his specifications?

We always try to give customers what they want, but what they SAY they want can only be based on what they perceive to be true -- which is sometimes dead wrong. After we inform them about what they are buying, their wants often improve as they begin to make informed choices.

The worst case here would be to try to mount the art, as asked by an uninformed customer, and do irreversible damage for which the well-intentioned framer would be blamed.

The second-worst case would be to successfully mount the art, and have the customer realize later that what he demanded reduced the visual and sentimental values of the art, as well as its monetary value.

If you haven't attempted the mounting yet, then it is not too late to decline the job. I would tell him I have changed my mind after further consideration, make the recommendations I know are right, and let him decide whether it will be my way or the no way.