Mounting handmade paper art


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aug 7, 2005
Nanticoke, PA
WOLFrames Picture Framing
I have a question about the best way to mount handmade paper art. Sorry that this is going to be a long post.

I have 6 pieces to frame for my one gallery customer. 1 is cast paper, it's thick and has a rough texture on the back. The other 5 are more like handmade paper, thinner especially around the edges, thicker around the middle, made of multiple smaller pieces overlapping, also with a rough texture on back. Sizes range from roughly 12x18 to 20x24. They're are going into a frame with a rabbet about 1" deep, using OP3 acrylic glazing, float mounted on top of a cotton rag mat to see the deckled edge of the art.

I was thinking about hinging it with japanese paper, except for a couple problems. 1)Being that the edges are thin, I don't think they're strong enough to do it the standard way along the top edge, 2)I can't hinge only the top because of the acrylic's 'static cling' will pull the paper toward it, 3)it has to get shipped so it has to be mounted well enough to stand up to getting thrown around, 4)I don't think the hinges would grab that well to the rough texture on the back.

Would it maybe be better to put the art against the acrylic to not have the static cling problem and also help hold it in place? (I know it's better to have a space between the art and glazing, but...)

Any ideas welcome. Thanks.
We were doing just swell until you got to the shipping part... Yo, conservators! Could this be a case where the whole back could be slathered with something like Yes! paste or really thick wheat paste?
Why, oh, why do folks want to SHIP this stuff? Aren't there good framers at the place where it is going to HANG?!?!?! ARRGH!
Some handcast papers lack internal strength and
if they are heavy, hinges may peel the back of
the paper as they fail. If that is likely to
occur, one can paste a small piece of Japanese
tissue to the back edge of such a sheet and
sheet and attach the hinge to that. When the
sheet is heavy, side hinges (in addition to top
hinges) will help it resist impacts in transit.
Ordinary paste is all one needs for hinging. It
can hold several pounds of static load, if the
hinges are properly engineeered. Passing the
hinges through the back mat will help hold heavier

I was thinking of using side hinges also and passing them through the back mat, so your answer helps back up my thoughts on that.

How would it be if I wrapped the art/backing mat with mylar in order to keep the bottom or other edges from being pulled forward by the static cling of the acrylic? Or I could use a second piece of acrylic instead of mylar. That way you won't have the wavy reflection of the thin mylar and being sandwiched between the mat and acrylic will help to hold it in place. I don't think you would have the possible condensation problem this way, would you? It would act like a double pane window in your house that doesn't have condensation the way a single pane does because you're going to have an air gap that buffers the difference in temperature.

Mylar, polyester sheet, has too little thermal mass to pose condensation problems. Static on
acrylic should not be a problem, unless it is not
treated properly. If it is cleaned with water, it
will not have static on it, until someone rubs
something dry over it.