request for archival mounting advice


Grumbler in Training
Apr 13, 2006
I am new to picture framing. I was wondering if someone could give me advice on what to use for archival mounting for large pieces of artwork 35" x 35" on heavyweight watercolor paper(350gsm). I would like to float these pieces and I am worried about using a water soluble hinge for fear that it may either sag or let go over time. I am also concerned about buckling and was wondering if someone could give me advice on how to avoid this. If indeed hinging with a water soluble adhesive is the way to go can someone give me advice on how to make this hinge for floating including how many hinges, how far apart, etc.

Thank you,

R Danielson
Hinging is considered the best all-around, general-purpose moulting method for paper-borne artworks.

Use Japanese paper hinges, torn, not cut, and starch paste with no additives. If you hinge it properly, you need not be concerned about sagging or buckling. Starch paste is a lot like the paper itself, and chemically very stable. The paste's bond will not weaken over time, but it stays water-soluble, so a drop of water would easily dissolve it.

To float mount, use a slightly-undersized backer of 4-ply or 8-ply alphacellulose board, and wrapped hinges (that is, wrapped over the top edge of the backer board), or you could also use pass-through hinges. Attach that mount board to a larger, reinforced background board.

There are 2-hour and 3-hour classes on how to properly hinge paper artworks, so you probably will not get all of the information here.

You can get more informatoin about hinging in the archives, and I suggest you check out the instructional video on the Frame-Tek web site.

Welcome to The Grumble.

Welcome to framing.

Good luck with your project.
Wow, for someone new to picture framing you sure picked a heck of a starting point. This is the sort of thing I might work on with an employee after 6mos. or a year of in shop experience. It's kind of hard to cover in a forum like this. I think you better do some research first. Try the Picture Framing Magazine website ( ) and get back articles on hinging by Hugh Phibbs. They're in the preservation issues area. Or get some of the materials that PPFA produces.