The purpose of the picture mount

Picture Mounts - Hoopers framing are here to help you

Reasons why we use a picture mount.

  • It can increase size - where we take a small photo or print and mount it in a very large picture mount. It may seem odd, but honestly if it is executed well it is stunning. Perhaps a small black and white photograph- put a very large white mount on it with plain frame and it will create a very stunning piece on your wall. Sometimes customers will tell me they have a very big wall that they simply wish to fill. The big mount works here.

  • It can decrease an image - we sometimes do this where we encounter an image that has just a lot of 'nothing' too much sky for example, or something to the side that we wish to reduce or cover up. We can place a mount over a print to give balance or symmetry. Quite often I see watercolours that come to me for framing, and the subject is slightly to the one side and is uneven. Sometimes with the clever use of a mount we can 'skew' the image to square it.

  • A mount can hide damage or a flaw- especially in old artwork, prints and photographs. If there is a big tear or stain in the middle of your item, no mount here I'm afraid will help. However very often I see prints that have become damaged being taken in and out of cardboard tubes, or photos and prints that have become damaged at the edges. Here your mount is perfect for this - a great way to cover up any flaws.

  • My favourite use of the picture mount - it leads you into the subject. It concentrates and focuses your vision into the artwork, that family photograph, that beautiful landscape. It creates space between the picture frame and the subject. It gives it space, it is an artistic thing to do. When you choose the correct colour mount, with a complementary frame, it should be a thing of beauty. It pays a complement to your photos or prints, to mount and frame them correctly. 

    I hope I have given you some reasons why a mount is employed in framing and the display of artwork and photographs. So far I have talked about how to use a mount, but there are other fundamental reasons to use a mount. ( At this point I must apologize if you call them mats - generally UK - Mounts / USA - Mats) Mounts are made from paper ( at a later stage I will discuss grades and qualities of mounts) and generally speaking art on paper gets a mount. Art on canvas does not. Please understand as a framer, at times I have done both because that particular job called for it, or at the request of the customer but as a rule, on paper - mount it. On canvas - put one, two or maybe three stacked frames around the artwork.

    There is very good reason why we mount paper- glass can trap moisture. I know probably some would question "what moisture?" Honestly I have seen it and its a nightmare where a print or more often a photograph has become stuck to glass. We all agree that we need to protect our prints with glass, otherwise they would become discoloured and dirty hanging on our walls. Art and photos should not be placed directly against glass, and the purpose of the mount ( not just to look nice) it creates a gap between the subject and glass. I've had customers come to my shop with a nice pastel sketch of maybe a 'holiday charcoal' but they don't wish to mount it. "It only cost me 15 euros!" Honestly I am a believer in giving customers what they want, but it is important to treat artwork with a reasonable amount of care. There is no point in going to a picture framer and asking them to do a poor job - may as well buy a readymade frame in a bargain store.

    Quite often in the case of the pastel , we will use little 'spacers or fillers' simply little strips of mount card or foam board under the mount. This gives us another couple of millimetres, allowing maximum space. The trick here is to raise the mount a fraction ( making it float) over the artwork. Any loose particles that fall from the artwork will be hidden.

    I really hope that I have given you a few examples or ideas on how you can make better use of your mounts. The goal ultimately is to enhance your image while protecting it.

     Many thanks if you have read my very first blog - any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.








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