mounting massive pastels


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Jan 23, 2005
voorhees, new jersey
A client came to us recently with 2 pastels, each 50" x 90". They are on a fairly heavy paper and have been well treated with a fixative, so the pastel seems secure. We want to float the pieces. Our intention is to take gator board cut 54 x 94, and drymount linen to it as a backdrop. (Only about 2" of the linen will be visible around the permiter of the pastel.) The pastel will be raised from the linen backboard using a piece of foam core cut just smaller than the pastels, so that the foam core does not show. Mounting the foam core to the linen covered gator board is not the problem; we can do that with silicone. Our concern is attaching the pastels to the foam core in a secure, archival way which will not permit curling or buckling at some point in the future. We've considered looped, water-activated linen tape but are not crazy about that idea. Any suggestions?
hinge with hand torn handmade paper hinges and wheat paste.

I have done an image slightly larger (about 110" long) made on French water color paper (on a roll). This paper is fairly light and the paper hinges are strong enough. Paper this size will expand and contract with changes in humidity and will be somewhat flat; but, can not be PERFECTLY FLAT.

Do not forget to leave enough air space to allow for this expansion to keep it from touching the glazing.
To qualify as an archivally sound the pastels
should be hinged with Japanese tissue and starch
paste. They should be attached to four ply conservation quality mat board. The hinges can be
wrapped around the edges of the mat board and
the mat board can be glued to the backing panel
with PVA glue, since the board will be buffered
with calcium carbonate. Unfortunately, anti-reflective, static disperising acrylic will not
be available in the size needed, any time in the
future and laminated glass that large will cost
many thousands of dollars and will weigh hundreds
of pounds. This means that 1/4" acrylic is the
only option and the client must be cautioned about
keeping static off the glazing, washing it only
with a slightly damp chamois or paper towel. A
deep spacer (1" or more) will be needed to keep the glazing away from the art.

What are they thinking?

Jerry, wouldn't you love to meet the artist who created that 110" pastel, grab him by the throat, and scream "Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be to frame this thing?"

I know. Whinewhinewhine.

But what am I supposed to say to a customer who just paid $1800 for a piece of art created on newspaper? That beauty (in this case, very much in the eye of the beholder) is fleeting?

Thanks for letting me vent.

The artist is an old friend. She used to do the court drawings for ABC News in Washington DC. She started doing the drawings for Detroit stations and is back here doing them locally.

She also wanted this monster shipped to Paramount Studio FLAT and squaked about the price of the crate and shipping charges. BTY she wants $35,000 for the art. The art is a collage of all of the characters from the first 3 Star Trek shows. And yes she has a release from all of the actors for all of the faces to be used.
Perhaps she should have talked to the framer, before creating this piece. Pastel is an after-
thought medium = (create the design with pigment
and then worry about adding a medium... without
changing the appearance) and artists should not
expect framers to make inexpensive AND safe
enclosurers for such items.


Have you eve talked to a brick wall?