I just received a piece I made for my artist in residence at Homestead National Monument and wanted to show how it turned out. I’ll deliver the piece to the park this week and hopefully they have a place to put it so others can enjoy it because to me it turned out very nice, both the content and presentation.
I looked for an intentionally frameless mount because I wanted a clean, unobstructed look for the image. There are mounting systems where the image is attached to a frameless back with no covering but I was concerned about exposure to light, dust, etc. and ease of cleaning in a public place so I rejected that version. For this piece the image is between a thick acrylic plate and a rigid backing, with a simple, straight mounting rail on the back. The acrylic protects the image, makes it easy to clean, and provides a mount that doesn’t interfere with the picture. Here are some pictures of it:
The company I chose is White Wall (www.whitewall.com) which is located in Germany and does a variety of image mount types. I chose them because their method of making this type of mount is a little different from others I found. Usually the image is printed on photo paper and then mounted between acrylic and backboard using an adhesive. The archival quality of these adhesives is questionable so I was looking for an alternative. This company actually prints the image on the back of the acrylic directly (there are coatings you can put on just about anything that will accept ink-jet ink) and then mounts a rigid white board to the acrylic using archival materials. There is no photo paper to fade or absorb adhesives. After mount is complete, the edges are laser cut and polished for a smooth look and feel.
Compared to other large mounted and framed prints the overall cost is competitive; it’s the shipping from overseas that gets expensive. Their packaging is first-class, however, and designed to fully protect the piece from surface and edge damage so I feel the cost was justified.
The final look is modern, clean and attractive. I can see this type of mount for museums, galleries, restaurants, and yes, national parks, places where you want the image to be the star and need something easy to hang, exchange periodically and not be concerned about people touching. I’ve added a frameless option (fotoflot) to several of the images on my website; not like this but equally modern and attractive. For those, intended to be hung in private homes or apartments, I elected to offer an image mounted to a rigid backboard with a magnetic mount that’s easy to switch out images where desired. The protective varnish put on the image is sufficient to protect it under those conditions.
I like this look for this type image. For me landscapes should be able to “flow” past the edges of the image in the viewer’s eye and a traditional frame just blocks that experience. With this the viewer can image what might be just over the hill or around the corner.