Floating a Print

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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:52 am

A lot of people on EB have been asking about floating prints so I thought I would document one method. I’ll be doing a reinforced floating pendant hinge. This is not the only method to float a print but it is a great method particularly with large prints.

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The three prints I am planning to float and frame are Shepard Fairey’s Peace Series. I’m going to float them on an archival mat with a 1 inch border all around. And then frame them in simple walnut gallery frames with wood spacers.

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I’ve chosen a mat that matches the color of the paper. I position the print the on the mat and hold it in place with a weight bag (the weight bag is resting on a few sheets of reemay fabric to protect the print). I put down sticky notes on the top corners so I can remove the print but have a reference of where the print will eventually be.

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Once I remove the print I use a surgical knife to cut two tiny slits approx 1 inch long and 1/16 of an inch wide. Once I have the Mulberry paper glued to the back of the print it will be threaded through the slits and glued to the back of the mat board.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:55 am

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I mix and cook the wheat starch. I use a European sauce making pot that continuously stirs while it cooks. I mix 1 part wheat paste with 5 parts distilled water. It cooks and stirs for approx. 20 minutes. Once it cools down I strain it through a fine screen and then it’s ready for use. The final product has the consistency of toothpaste.

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I tear the appropriate size pieces of mulberry paper. You want to tear the pieces (not cut them) so you have all the fibers along the edges so it grips better when glued. I use the blade to cut straight edges on a few pieces that will be used for reinforcement.

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I use a flat tipped brush and paint excess wheat paste off the brush on so I’m only transfers a very delicate amount onto the mulberry paper. I don’t want it to be too thick or it might warp the paper.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:58 am

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I fold the strips of mulberry paper in half and glue one half onto the back of the print. I glue it so the fold is approx. 1/8 of an inch from the top of the print. This way when I pull the mulberry paper through the slit I cut, the slit will be hidden behind the print.

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Once the mulberry hinges are glued down I place a sheet of reemay over it. And a piece of plexi to weigh it down. And allow it to dry for approx 20 minutes. Reemay fabric used as a drying support and wheat paste and mulberry paper don’t adhere to it.

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Once everything is dry I glue in a large reinforcement piece of mulberry paper. This piece is torn on three edges and cut along the top edge which will rest across the fold. Again you allow all the reinforcement pieces to dry for approx. 20 minutes.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:00 am

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Now the print is flipped over so it is facing up and you can see the piece of Mulberry paper that was glued to the back. The print is aligned on the mat and just behind the mulberry paper you see the slit that was cut earlier.

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The mulberry paper is slowly threaded through the slit and pulled until it is completely threaded through.

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The print and mat are then turned over again and placed face down in preparation of gluing the mulberry paper to the back of the mat.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:09 am

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It’s pretty much the same procedure as earlier. First the mulberry paper is glued down and the a reinforcement piece is glued over it.

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Here you can see the finished, dried result of the hinge with the reinforcement piece glued over it.

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Here are all three prints floating on their mats with a 1 inch border.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:18 am

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The plexi is cleaned and placed in the frame. Then the wooden spacers are then glued into the frame. You can either use small dabs of glue or double stick tape works well also.

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The newly hinged art and backing are placed in the frame.

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These frames have a wooden strainer that hold everything in place.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:19 am

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I use brass screws that screw into the side of the frame to hold the strainer in place.

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And finally the 3 pieces are hung on the wall. That’s a Howard Finster Trumpet Angel hanging above them.
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Postby peacedog on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:27 am

Outstanding! That's some serious museum quality work. :clap:
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Postby maden on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:29 am

That is all around awesome. Great guide/pics, and awesome frame job.
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Postby Codeblue on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:30 am

Lets see some better shots of the finished product.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:30 am

Ha thanks.....I confess I do work in a Museum. So I guess I can keep my day job.
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Postby trarex on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:33 am

Thats really awesome of you to share your knowledge and expertise. :clap:
Great step by step. You make it look easy enough that I could do it.
But I know better. :lol:
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:34 am

I'll take some more detailed photos tomorrow and post them. They are hung up in a hallway so it was difficult getting a good shot of the three of them together since the space is tight. I'll pull one off the wall tomorrow and do some better photos.
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Postby CHR1S on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:36 am

trarex wrote:Thats really awesome of you to share your knowledge and expertise. :clap:
Great step by step. You make it look easy enough that I could do it.
But I know better. :lol:


It actually isn't that hard if you know the steps. Kind of like cooking a meal - if you follow the recipe correctly it comes out fine in the end.
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Postby hirschy75 on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:39 am

:notworthy:

Awesome. Are the frames from AF?
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