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Articles by Chris A. Paschke, CPF GCF

Mounting Matters, The LA Framer GLAC Newsletter

"Wax Hinges"

December 2012

Just this week I have answered two email queries about hinge options for encaustic art. Commercial linen hangers with a metal eyelet or grommet are popular hangers with encaustic artists for adhering to the back of an unframed panel. The reinforced metal eyelet will not tear, but the hanger is only as strong as the hinge attachment itself (photo 1). Ook Eyelet Hangers have a water-activated adhesive but the substrate must be absorbent, dry, free of dust and grease it is ill-advised to use water activated adhesive opting for wax medium.

201212_001bPhoto 1
Ook Eyelet Hanger fused with wax medium.

201212_D1bDiagram 1
Pedestal Hinge

More and more artists are looking to float their wax saturated monoprints or paintings with uneven or deckled edges. Traditional preservation methods would suggest a lifted pedestal—also referred to as platform, wrap or float hinging the art to the lifter with starch hinges, then adhered to the decorative backing board with PVA or #3797 hot melt glue.

But encaustic is different, as the only thing that will hold to encaustic is more encaustic, so when paper is fully wax saturated nothing will stick to it but more encaustic. Wax is a natural bonding agent—frequently used in museums—so encaustic medium is the perfect adhesive as it bonds well to wood, hardboard and rag substrates. Medium is a melted blend of encaustic wax and dammar crystals that increases wax hardness and durability, but requires hot fusion to the previous encaustic layer…which could be tricky for anyone unfamiliar with encaustic.

I would suggest working with your artist to have them attach your selected hinges to the back edges of their art as you indicate. Then you could proceed with the pedestal and final placement within the frame window.

Whether left with the linen tab or placed in a custom made frame the art remains something of beauty to last a lifetime. But with the frame it has been protected and the narrow black border has enhanced the fine black carved line work in the frame making is much more noticeable when first viewed.

Copyright © 2012 Chris A Paschke

For more articles on mounting basics look under the mounting section in Articles by Subject.
Additional information on all types of mounting is found in:
The Mounting and Laminating Handbook, Second Edition, 2002,
The Mounting And Laminating Handbook, Third Edition, 2008 and
Creative Mounting, Wrapping, And Laminating, 2000 will teach you everything you need to know about getting the most from your dry mount equipment and materials as an innovative frame designer.

All books are available from Designs Ink Publishing through this website.

Chris A Paschke, CPF GCF
Designs Ink
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