Monday, 15 October 2012

Mounting Artwork and alternate suggestions for same

During the course of the course much of the physical work that we've handed in has been required to be mounted in some manner. 
This is something of an annoyance to we art students who have proved to be tighter than a constipated Scotsman when it comes to reaching into the wallet and coming up with the cash to buy the actual mounting boards which are a bit on the steep side wherever you shop.
  1. Bite the bullet and buy the board outright.The brief says the final work needs to be mounted so just mount it already.  Why are you arguing with the brief?
  2. Real Estate SignsMany of the Real Estate signs are made of the same material that the mounting board is made of.  While I'm not suggesting that you steal someones sign I'm just saying that if you HAPPEN to be walking by and the sign just HAPPENS to be on the ground then it's your civic duty to pick it up and put it in the trash. 
    But, using the maxim that "one persons trash is another persons treasure then you could mount your work onto it with no problems. Though you might need to paint it first so that the printed material doesn't show through it all depends on what your actually mounting
  3. Don't mount it.This is going to take a little bit of actually talking to the tutors but if you really can't afford to buy the mounting boards then just tell them outright that you can't afford it.  They are an invaluable resource when it comes to ideas.
  4. Mount it onto wood.This can be a cheap or expensive option since it all depends on the type and size of wood that you get.  The best part of this method is that your work is easily identifiable which means that it's going to also be memorable [1]Pallets make good boards but look very rough when put together and for roadsigns you should follow the same rules as with the real estate signs.
  5. Mount it onto metalThis will have the effect of making your work memorable but you have to careful to make certain that the mounting doesn't overpower the work and also that the work will actually fasten onto the metal in question.
  6. Mount it digitallyThere are many sites that host your images for free.  Flickr, Deviantart work best if you're just doing a few images but if you're going to be putting your work online anyway then why not start a blog?  It doesn't have to be posted daily or even weekly but it's there as an alturnative, especially if you've played the whole "monies to tight to mention" card in order to get out of buying that damned mounting board.  This would also work if you knew that you were going to be away on the handing in day and your work was out in the wopwops where you were.

    In the same vein you might mount your work onto a DVD or CD and hand it in like that.  I've been informed however that if you do then you'll need to provide more than just the image.  Other files should include information about the work, concept sketches and progress tests, basicly everything that you can think of that is related to the project.  But don't just have it lumped into one folder.  A powerpoint presentation or PDF located in an unmissable place on the medium is essential.  I'd even go so far as to suggest a seperate folder which has been clearly labelled and contains only the presentation.
  7. ScavengeKeeping an eye out, dumpster diving, trashery.  Call it what you will but if you see some in a bin then grab it, even if you don't need it at that exact moment.  Likewise if you see a shop that has the right type of board advertising a sale then ask them about what happens to the board after the sales over.  Sometimes it goes back to the company but othertimes it just gets broken down and thrown out.  As long as they don't have to deal with it anymore most people are happy to get rid of it.
  8. Cardboard boxesThe advantage to this is that cardboard is a resource that is available to anyone from almost anywhere.  The best stuff would be gotten from a supply shop and is fairly cheap.  However, the carboard boxes that you can get from supermarkets is exactly the same kind.  Care needs to be taken since the old cardboard boxes that have been kicked around alot just won't do and your best bet is to stake out the supermarket.  Once they put out fresh boxes then it's time to make your move and, with luck, come out ahead of the game.  I would suggest painting it in thick layers to enhance the natural stiffness and maybe even gluing strips of cardboard on the opposite sides if the artwork covers the boxes folds.
  9. Stiffer paperA dangerous choice here since paper is expensive and buying card or cardstock to mount your work is pretty much what this article is attempting to avoid.  But there is no denying that it works.  Perhaps if you've got some piece of art that is no longer relevant and/or wanted then you might once again recycle your work.
  10. CorkboardI refer to the noticeboards that you can get.  If you get the right size board then it should frame your work well and the extra good thing about this is that your work will be removable which allows you to use the cork over again. 
  11. Get it done professionallyOn the one hand you're getting a professionl who knows what they're doing but on the other hand it's costing you money which is precisly what we're trying to avoid.
  1. Unless everyone else in the class is reading this blog then you'd better make certain that your work is the best.


  1. I'm in debt to you for these saving tips. A few of them I had not done. Thanks.

    1. No problem. I haven't done all of them either - The brilliant cardboard idea came about 5 minutes after I had finished mounting everything and was bemoaning my empty wallet. (sigh)

  2. 1] what substrate is the art made on?
    2] do you plan on keeping the art for a long period of time?
    3] is this for sale, work, a show...?

    I am an artist, and a framer, so I know both sides of this coin quite well. Perhaps a part-time job in framing if you're a struggling artist would help you too! Framing and mounting/matting art is expensive indeed!

  3. The materials used is just heavy paper - usually SRA3.

    The largest of this semesters work are a pair of A1's (one charcoal and the other in pastel)

    Much of what we've been printing is posters and other coursework so, while we all want it to be sold for copious amounts of the folding green, realistically speaking it only has to last long enough to be seen by the right people :)