What Does A 'Mount' Mean in Picture Framing? - A Friendly Guide for Beginners When it comes to picture framing, the term 'mount' is often heard but may not be clear to many. In the world of framing, a mount plays an important role in enhancing and protecting the artwork. Essentially, a mount serves as a border around a picture
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What Does A 'Mount' Mean in Picture Framing? - A Friendly Guide for Beginners

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When it comes to picture framing, the term 'mount' is often heard but may not be clear to many. In the world of framing, a mount plays an important role in enhancing and protecting the artwork. Essentially, a mount serves as a border around a picture, providing a 'breathing space' between the artwork and the frame itself.

Commonly known as a mat in the US, the mount has other names such as Marie-Louise or Passepartout. Regardless of the name, the purpose remains consistent: to draw the viewer's eye into the piece, while preserving and complementing the artwork. With two main types – float mount and window mount – the choice of mount can significantly impact the overall presentation of the framed picture.

Understanding Picture Framing Mounts

The primary purpose of a mount is to create a bit of 'breathing space' around a picture, drawing the viewer's attention and helping to preserve the piece. In this section, we'll explore picture framing mounts with a focus on their significance, types, and how they can enhance the artwork.

When you frame a picture or piece of art, a mount prevents the artwork from touching the glass, creating a visual space between the subject and the frame. This added space highlights the beauty of the art, making it stand out on the wall.

Mounts come in various colours, allowing you to select the one that complements the artwork the best. Additionally, the bevel of the mount adds a stylish touch, usually cut at a 45-degree angle, showcasing a white or black core along the border.

There are two main types of mounts used in picture framing: window mounts and float mounts:

Window mounts create a border around the artwork with the artwork being visible through a cut-out, typically with a bevelled edge. They provide a clean, professional appearance to framed pieces.

On the other hand, float mounts allow the artwork to appear as if it is floating within the frame. This mounting technique is ideal for showcasing unique edges or mediums where the artwork extends close to the edge of the material.

Ultimately, deciding on whether to use a mount for your picture framing project depends on the subject matter and your personal preferences. In some cases, a mount may greatly enhance the visual appeal of a piece, while, in others, it may be more suitable to go without one.

Remember always to consider factors such as the type of artwork, desired appearance, and overall aesthetic when selecting the right mount for your framing project.

Types of Mounts

In this section, we will explore the three main types of mounts: Single Mounts, Double Mounts, and Conservation Mounts.

Single Mounts

Single mounts are the most common and affordable option for most framing projects. They use a single layer of mount board, typically 1.4mm thick, to provide a border around the artwork. These mounts can come in various colours and are often cut with a bevelled edge, which gives the appearance of depth and adds a touch of sophistication to the framing.

Double Mounts

Double mounts offer a more luxurious look by layering two pieces of mount board, each 1.4mm thick, to create depth and visual interest. The top layer usually has a larger opening, exposing a small amount of the bottom layer to create a border within a border effect.

This approach is particularly popular for using contrasting colours or for enhancing artwork with fine details. For example, a black top layer above a white bottom layer can create a striking contrast and subtly draw the viewer’s attention to the finest details of a monochromatic piece.

Conservation Mounts

For those with delicate, valuable, or sentimental artwork, conservation mounts are the go-to option. These mounts are made from acid-free, lignin-free, and pH-neutral materials, ensuring that your artwork remains safe from deterioration or discolouration over time.

The use of conservation mounts is particularly important for items such as antique prints, original artworks, and signed memorabilia, as these materials help preserve the integrity of the piece for future generations to appreciate.

Mount Materials and Texture

When framing a picture, you need to understand the role of a mount in the process. In this section, we'll explore the various materials and textures involved in picture mounts and their importance in enhancing your artwork.

Mounts can be made from various materials, including paper based board with coloured facia paper. A popular choice among artists and photographers due to its durability and professional appearance. It's available in a wide array of colours and textures, giving you the flexibility to coordinate it with your artwork and achieve the desired aesthetic.

In addition to providing protection, your mount's texture and appearance can play a pivotal role in elevating your artwork. For example, a textured mount can add depth and interest to a piece, while a smooth mount can draw the eye to the artwork's finer details. It's worth considering the style and subject matter of your artwork when selecting the appropriate mount material and texture.

Lastly, don't forget that alongside a mount, selecting the right frame can also make or break the presentation of your artwork. Combining a well-matched mount with a complementary frame can create a truly exceptional piece displayed on your wall.

Selecting the Right Mount for Your Artwork

In this section, we'll take a friendly approach to help you better understand how to choose the perfect mount for your piece.

Firstly, it's important to choose a mount style that suits both the artwork and the overall presentation. There are several styles available, such as:

  • Single Mount: A straightforward and affordable option, consisting of a single, 1.4mm thick mount board.
  • Double Mount: This style uses two layers of 1.4mm thick mount board, offering a more visually engaging and textured display.

Another important aspect to consider is the colour of the mount. While many people lean towards plain and neutral shades, don't be afraid to experiment with bolder colours for a more dynamic effect. Remember, the right colour can make your artwork truly pop...

It's also a good idea to determine the appropriate border size for your mount, as this will significantly impact the final look of the framed piece. When deciding on the border size, consider the dimensions of both the artwork and the frame, keeping in mind that a well-balanced presentation is key.

Take for example a colourful landscape painting measuring 40x60 cm. One approach could be using a 5 cm-wide off-white single mount, coupled with a simple wooden frame. This setup allows the rich colours of the painting to take centre stage while showcasing the artwork elegantly.

Before making your final choice, remember that investing in a high-quality, acid-free mount material is essential for your artwork's long-term protection. By doing so, you're preserving the life of your piece, ensuring that the colours remain vibrant and the paper does not deteriorate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What purpose does a mount serve in picture framing?

A mount, commonly known as a mat in the US or Passepartout in Europe, is essentially the border surrounding a picture within a frame. The primary purpose of a mount is to give some breathing space between the artwork and the frame, drawing the viewer's eye into the artwork and helping to preserve the piece. Additionally, a well-chosen mount can enhance the visual appeal of a framed picture, complementing the colours and design of the artwork itself.

How does mounting differ from framing when it comes to photographs?

While mounting refers to the border or surround for the artwork, framing refers to the outer structure that encloses the entire piece, including the mount and protective glazing (like glass or acrylic). Both mounting and framing are important aspects of displaying photographs or artwork, but they serve different purposes. Mounting focuses on the presentation and preservation of the photograph, while framing contributes to the overall aesthetic and structural support.

What is the recommended width for a mount surrounding a picture?

The ideal width for a mount can vary depending on the size of the picture, the framing style, and personal preference. A general rule of thumb is to choose a mount width that is proportional to the size of the artwork. For example, small prints may benefit from a narrower mount, while larger pieces may require a wider border to create a balanced presentation. Ultimately, the width of the mount should enhance the overall appearance of the framed picture.

What are standard mount dimensions typically used in the UK?

In the UK, mount dimensions are often measured in inches and commonly available in standard sizes like:

  • 6x4 inches for small prints or photographs
  • 7x5 inches for medium-sized prints
  • 10x8 inches for larger prints or photographs

However, many frame shops and online providers offer custom-sized mounts to fit specific artwork dimensions.

Easyframe specialise in offering a diverse range of frames that cater to your preferences and needs. With their extensive experience in the industry, they can provide you with expert advice on selecting the perfect frame for your artwork. Whether you're looking to purchase a frame or just seeking some guidance, you can easily reach out to Easyframe via phone at 01234 856 501 or email at sales@easyframe.co.uk. They are always willing to chat with you, even if you're not interested in making a purchase.

Article Posted: 27/02/2024 15:22:31

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