Mounting: Photographs, Documents and Art on Paper
There are several ways to mount photographs, documents and art on paper in preparation for framing. Choosing the appropriate method is generally a trade-off between preserving a valuable artwork or making a piece of paper look flat and smooth. Valuable artwork should be mounted with conservation methods so that the art can later be removed from the frame and so that it is not damaged from adhesives. If on the other hand the goal is to have artwork mounted smooth and flat, then methods like vacuum mounting are the preferred method.
Conservation mounting covers methods that are non-invasive and reversible such as hinges and photo corners. If the artwork ever needs to be removed from the frame or re-framed then the conservation mount is easily reversible. Hinges are made with conservation materials and attached with acid-free wheat paste. Photo corners are small pockets made of mylar that hold the corners of a photograph or document. Overmatting adds additional support to hold the artwork.
Vacuum mounting uses a combination of vacuum pressure and heat to glue the entire surface of an artwork to a substrate. A variety of adhesives are available that are either reversible or irreversible. Vacuum mounting forms a smooth and flat surface and is ideal for flattening a wrinkled artwork and keeping it wrinkle-free.
Face mounting is the reverse of typical mounting in that the face of the artwork is glued to acrylic instead of the back. Face mounting is frequently used for photographs because it creates an exceptionally smooth and glossy finish. This process is completely irreversible so one must take extra care to insure that the acrylic never gets scratched.
Specialty mounts include mounting photographs or artwork to other materials such as aluminum or masonite boxes.