Paper Mats
Fabric Mats
Acid-Free Mats
Silk-Screened Mats
White-Core Mats
Black-Core Mats
Reversed Beveled Mats
Color-Core Mats
Suede Mats
Oversize Mats

WOW !!!
Let's get going...

Matting is the "border" that goes between the frame and the artwork
and serves several purposes...

1). It visually separates the artwork from the frame, drawing more "individual attention" to each.
2). It allows for accent colors to be easily introduced into the design.
3). It keeps the glazing from touching your art.
4). It helps increase your status rank amongst your friends and makes you
look like you have a clue regarding art & framing.  ****The later obviously
being the most important.

Below you will see some of the different matting techniques that are most
frequently used, and we will discuss all possible "types" of mat board.


When people think of mats (which of course is EVERY waking minute of every day of every year..) anyway...They usually think of what you see here.  These do have their place and add a lot of "zing" (remember zing is important). 
These particular mats have "strong" primary colors that go great with the kid's room and are indeed the "focal point" of the wall (if not the entire room). 
Notice also the frames are a contrasting color to the mats.  This is 1/2 the appeal.  If these were all framed in black or silver or gold or whatever, they would not be near as effective, however light oak (that matched the bed) would have also been nice.

B E V E L S -----------------------------------------------

The "bevel" on a mat is the "slanted" part that is visible right before the art.
Bevels are an important feature of the overall look of a piece.  Bevels can be:

1). Cream / Paper mat (least expensive) - (not acid free)
2). White / Acid free (used on expensive art) - (bevel stays white over time, protects artwork)
3). White / bleached (utilized when a white bevel is important but the acid free quality is not)
4). Black (available in both regular & acid free versions)
5). Color core  (red, blue, yellow, purple) - (all acid free)
6). Regular Cut  (you see the slant)
7). Reverse Cut (the slant is not visible)
Here is an illustration showing "regular & reversed" bevels.

When choosing mats, there is a certain "order of importance" that needs to be addressed.

These are some of the issues we will discuss:

1). SIZE.

Standard size mats come with a 32" x 40" outer diameter (O.D.).  If your art requires a larger O.D. than 32/40 we will:
    a). have only about 20% of all available mats to choose from.
    b). need to choose from the "oversize" mats (which come 40/60).
Anything over 40/60 needs to be approached with different thinking AND A LARGE WALLET.

Once we are choosing from the appropriate size of mats, we are able to deal with color and texture.
This is where we decide how many "layers" of matting we will use.  At Baxter's, unless the customer has definite ideas of what they want
(and believe you me...SOME DO !!!!!) we start with at least a double mat design.  This is not done to make
you poorer and us richer, it is done because it looks better.  If that design suggestion is received in a positive way, we will introduce
 "fillet" or other accent in place of, or in addition to, the bottom accent mat.  See our "FRAME / MAT / FILLET" section for details.  


Here is a good example of a double mat.
The top mat is "neutral" and the bottom 
mat accents the deepest color in the art.

This particular mat is "bottom weighted", 
meaning it has more width at the bottom 
than on the top & sides.  Bottom weighting
is an "old school" technique now most often
used by photographers or artists that want a 
"museum" type of look.
White was allowed to show around the 
image offering a more "open" or
(less crowded) feel to the piece. All in all, a 
little boring but effective..."clean".

This piece is also a double mat but has several differences from the one shown above.
The top mat is a "Silk-Screened" mat (discussed later in this section) and the bottom is
a solid maroon "Black-Core" board.

A neat trick on this matting
is that the top mat has a "white" 
bevel but the bottom mat's bevel is

White bevel top mats are
most effective when used against
a darker colored bottom mat or 
dark color art.

In  keeping, black core bottom 
mats are most effective when 
used against lighter colored art or
other mats.

Here are the layers involved in the piece shown above.

Example of a "triple mat".  Triples are usually done with a neutral top color and 2 accent colors.

Here's a prime example of different mat board "cores".  This mat is 15+ years old.
The original framer chose to use a "regular-papermat" on the bottom layer..."duh"

You can see the the aging difference between the two types of mats.
Below this picture is the damage the bottom mat caused to the art it was in contact with.

Regular mat board acts much like a newspaper does as it ages.
It yellows and becomes brittle over time.
This can cause much damage to your art as shown below.

Here is a etching that had a cardboard backing before we re-framed it.  
You can see the "acid-burn" markings on the back.  
This had not seeped through to the front yet, but it was just a matter of time.

There is way to use "regular-core" (not acid-free) mats on your piece while still protecting your art.
We sometimes use what is called "Barrier Paper" that actually is adhered to the back of
your mat (the portion that touches the art) and provides an acid-free "barrier" between the two.  Example below...


V-Grooves are an accent line
that is cut into the top mat, exposing 
the "core" of the mat board.

This cut does not show a color 
underneath (as a "U- Groove" does)
and is especially effective when 
used with a "Black-Core" mat.

S I L K   S C R E E N E D   M A T S

These are the neat ones...

Silk-screened mats have ink actually printed on the facing paper. These designs
can range from light & very faint to bold & heavy texture. This type of matting is 4 (on a scale of 5) in
our pricing categories.  Only suede and hand wrapped fabrics are more $$.

Silk-screened boards are best utilized as a "top mat" (the largest or only portion of visible mat).
Below you will see some examples of silk-screened mats.

Very subtle "leaf" print on top and a darker accent on the bottom.  The art is of a frog on a leaf.

This top mat has a more "intense" design.  A "leathery" or "stone" look.
 A "fillet" was used as the bottom layer on this one.

"COLOR CORE" MATS ------------------------------------------------------------

"Color-core" mats are pretty self explanatory.
The mat it's self if of acid-free quality while the "core" of the mat is colored.
This leaves a pin line of color after the bevel is cut.
Color-cores currently come in blue, red, purple, yellow and a dusty pink.


Here is a "paper mat" that actually looks like a fabric.  This type of matting adds interest, warmth and elegance to any piece.
This particular set-up is unique to this site in that the accent color (red) is being placed BEFORE the silver beaded fillet.
We usually use the fillet IN-BETWEEN the mat colors, but the customer preferred it this way so you know what? NO PROBLEM.

The mats below incorporate a "U-Groove". 
This is when an open groove is cut into the top mat allowing color to show through.
Also a corner cut call "Photo-Corners" has been used to add some "zing".

Always more to come...

Call us...(800) New-Frame / National Toll Free
3811 Schaefer Ave., Suite A  Chino, CA 91710   Local (909) 591-3033

© 2002 Baxter's Frame Works / All Rights Reserved

HEY!!! Don't forget to sign our GUESTBOOK before you bail.