how do I mount???


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 1, 2005
Maple Valley, Wa
We have an order for three beautiful paper cut art. This paper is so frikin thin/fragile! The cuts are incredible and very intricate. The customer chose a lovely mat to go underneath the art and then we are going to do a raised mat around it. I don't have a blithering clue how we are going to mount these things! HELP!!

Elsa, I'm going to tell you a secret. If you breathe a word of this to ANYONE, you will be on my ****-list forever.

I once mounted one of these things with a few itty-bitty drops of . . .

. . . silicone!

I swear, it's true. This is almost certainly why I NEVER get annoyed with Jim Miller for reminding us to think about what we're doing. Unfortunately, I didn't know Jim at the time and The Grumble was still a twinkle in Framer's eye.

Anyway, don't use any adhesive at all. Consider static mounting on a piece of Acrylic. This will raise it from the background, giving it some dimension and it isn't likely to go anywhere.
Use a suede backing if you can, the friction will give just a little more all over support.

I usually lay these things between two pieces of acetate or acrylic, but some customers don't want that extra material in the finished look.

Then, stitching or glue is what you need.

If the paper is colored, you really NEED UV glass. Those things fade if you just whisper "UV" at them.
I know I shall incur the wrath of the conservation police, but I’ve been known to simply sandwich them between two sheets of glass with a silk mat as backing.

The one’s I’ve seen are, indeed, very intricate, but a lot of them are made from a pretty poor grade of paper and colored with pens similar to magic markers. Even with UV glass, they will probably fade within a few years.
Fine mesh fabric overlay should work nicely. Good overall support, no glue, no changes to the artworks, and the edges can be shown.

The technique described in this month's PFM (pg 49?) is what I'd use.
Sorry, but I have to tell this story.
Knew a "framer" who 77 sprayed one to mount it on plexiglass. She proceeded to pick it up and it jumbled up on her in 3 or 4 spots, and she shredded it trying to unjumble it.
Instead of fessing up to it she stuck it in a drawer for months, telling the client that the moulding was OOS!
He stopped by one day, and after the same excuse he asked for a refund and his art back. She then told him the mldg. was in shipment and that she would have it finished in 2 days. So she glued it down as it was and gave it to him with tears in it and crumpled paper. He took her to small claims court.
Don't use 77 spray.
Thank you Putty,

Another great example comes to light of a framer who never Grumbled. :D

Let's hear it for Framer...And his great invention.

where else can you go when you can get to Cheers?
Puttyboy, I'd say that framer made at least three mistakes in the story you described.

1. She chose the wrong mounting method in the first place. Invasive, risky, short-term at best.

2. She botched the mount. Right or wrong choice, if her method had worked, the customer might have been happy -- at least for a while.

3. She lied. Repeatedly. Unforgiveable.

That customer deserved his day in court, and I hope he won.

You are absolutely right, 3M-77 was a poor choice in your example, but it is appropriate for some things. Throw-away, replaceable art could be mounted with it, for example, and it would probably be OK for months.

Every method and material has its time. We just need to know enough to decide correctly what is best every time. It's tricky.
WHEAT STARCH PASTE is what I would use. You can use it to spot tack the paper to its backing if there isn't an area that hinges won't show. The beauty of it is that it is fully reversable, totaly invissible when dry and fully archival. If it's mixed properly it will have a strong bond as well. Don't sandwich the art. Static moounting is ok if you are sure it's never going to be bumped. But for me I would use an adhesive.
She settled out of court Jim.
She was guilty of many framing offences, and caring about her clients art and memorabilia was at the bottom of her list. I think her lawyer is on speed dial.

Thats exactly what I've done in the past too, it worked wonderfully.
You prefer wheat over rice, brian? Why, may I ask.

Both right for the job, just wonder about preferences some times. Say hi to Mark BTW.
Ron!! I promise not to tell!
I liked the idea of wheat starch, but never having used it I googled it and about had a coronary when I saw what all was involved. I thought about 77 for about 2 seconds and knew that wouldn't work.(--I have been leary of it ever since early in my framing career, I picked up a piece incorrectly that had been sprayed and promptly got it stuck to ME!! Picture me standing in the middle of the frame shop with my arms outstretched a look of horror on my face and a poster stuck to the entire length of my body)
Don't like the idea of acrylic/static mount--seems too iffy to me. Sandwich between glass sounds interesting might think about that for awhile--well I have about a week to come to terms with this.
The paper is colored--RED! and it is UV all the way!

Thanks everyone for your input!

Elsa -

Wheat starch is very easy to make and use. If you can make cooked pudding you can make starch paste. 1/4 cup wheat starch:1 cup distilled water. Mix, and cook on medium/low heat stirring constantly, till translucent. Cool.

The problem with using little dots of paste (or whatever) adhesive to mount directly to the backboard, is that it's difficult to reverse. You have to figure out where the spot tacks are, and then slice the backboard with a scalpel.

Hinges are easier to reverse.

For this project, the tiny stitches as describe above, are easier still!

Baer - I don't know about the history of using rice paste in framing/conservation, but wheat starch paste has a very long history of use in Japan for scroll and screen mounting and repairs, which is where we Westerners (especially in the conservation field) borrowed the technology from.

I haven't read the new pfm yet but I recently did 6 of these. They had to be between glass so the wall was the back drop. I ended up using mylar for the static mount and glass on top and bottom. I'm not sure if the mylar was in front or back. The mount worked great but oh the static. Ron, you shouldn't think too much. Joke alert.

They were small 6"x6" frames in narrow bright colored wood frames to match the color of the paper. We used frame space (the solid kind with the adesive on one side) to hold the glass in the frame.

A note of franken...we used to get two pfm's early and then we let the gal in Vegas talk us into a one year subscription for $1 and now we get one late. How could we refuse that dollar after the show they put on.
Yeah, what was I thinking? That would NEVER work.

I bow down to you! You are a framing god!!

I just have this thing....if it isn't glued, stitched, stuck on in some way it makes me nervouse!!

This paper is so thin--like tissue--I am afraid of it!! Would the wheat paste show through?

If you don't want to cook your own paste, try this: Nori
BUT PLEASE experiment with your own paper first! Follow frametek's instructions, you can even watch their video online.
Yes there is Nori too.

Or, you could use methylcellulose (available archival suppliers like Light Impressions or Talas) Generally 1/4 cup:1 cup of distilled water, mixed in the blender. But the viscosity can be altered by adding more or less powder.

The advantage of methylcellulose is that it doesn't mold like starch paste - stores indefinately.

But again, one needs to experiment with different papers and thicknesses to get a "feel" for how it works.

You don't have to worry about the reversability of wheat starch. It will come unglued very easily with just a little water. You can purchase pregeletanized(don't have to cook it) wheat starch paste at Or there's Zen paste. But I don't like that they put presevatives in it and it costs way to much for what you are getting

Absolutely no reason for me to use one or the other. It's just what I use.