As mentioned in my previous post, I've been displaying recent work by mounting the print to cradled wood panels. I did a good deal of research on how to do this but ended up pulling it together from various sources. This is the process that worked for me.
cradled wood panel (see Dick Blick art supply
for various sizes and thicknesses):
sand paper (I used several different grits- 120
for basic sanding, lower grits for distressing)
cheap paint brush
Golden Soft Gel Medium (after researching this
is the best in my opinion)
X-Acto knife and heavy-duty straight edge
black Sharpie marker (optional)
wax or freezer paper
Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (optional)
quality paint brush (optional)
Preparing the wood panel:
Sand all over to help the stain “stick” to the
wood.You can either wipe on stain with
a rag and rub dry or paint on stain thickly with a cheap brush without rubbing
dry.The wipe/rub method gives you a
nice even classic stained look- additional coats to make it darker.The painted version gives you a thick/ dark
coveringthat looks more like paint and
is better if you plan on doing a lot of distressing.I suppose you could paint the block a color
if you wanted but for my stuff I went with dark stain (Ebony).There is no need to stain the face of the
panel, just get around the edges that might show after your print is mounted.
Once dry you can choose to distress with sand
paper or not.I like the shabby look so
I used a corner sander to randomly remove patches of painted on stain
(sandpaper works the same).Wipe the
Using a foam brush varnish the wood (one coat).
Once dry wrap the edges with painters tape.
Apply one coat of the Golden Soft Gel Medium to
the face of the panel.This will help
the mounting process later and require less Gel to actually stick the print on.
Preparing the print:
For some reason the panels are all slightly
shorter than advertised (12” by 12” was actually 11.875” by 11.875”).I resized my piece in Photoshop to match and
then printed on matt photographic paper (I use Moab Entrada Rag Bright).Let the print dry.Next I applied 2 separate coats of Golden
Soft Gel Medium (ok on inkjet prints-protects print-gloss to really make my
blacks pop) to the front of the print using a foam brush (allow to dry between
and after coats).The backside of the
print gets one coat done same way. On the front of the print I used up and down
brush strokes going in the same direction for both coats.
Using an Xacto knife and a good solid straight
edge I cut the print from the paper.The
resulting print feels like thick canvas and is pretty forgiving if you get
something on the front- you can wipe it away- its nice and sturdy.
Since my panels were stained dark and most of
my prints are darker I took a black Sharpie marker and colored around the edges
(so they won’t stand out white once mounted.
Mounting the print:
Apply one thin coat of Golden Soft Gel Medium
to the front of the panel and the back of the print.Carefully but quickly slide the print onto
the panel and line up with the edges.This is the tricky part to get it lined up correctly before it starts to
stick.Quickly cover the print with a
piece of wax paper and start pressing down in the middle and rubbing out from
the center to the edges.Air bubbles are
the enemy.Take a brayer roller and
start rolling from the center out to the edges all around the panel.If you see a bubble start to form under the
print try first to pull the print back up in that corner and replace, if it
won’t move then keep rolling the spot with the brayer and the bubble might just
flatten out.Any gel medium that
squeezed out around the edges of the print can be wiped away with a damp cloth.
Optional varnish to print surface:
Once dry you can use Golden Polymer Varnish
with UVLS to cover and protect the print surface.Be sure to thin the varnish before
application as directed on the bottle.Use a quality paintbrush here to minimize bubbles and avoid bristles
falling out.I put on 2 coats of
varnish, brushing slowly and in the same direction as I did when preparing the
Once dry remove painters tape and you have a
nice wood panel mounted print!!
"a few times in my life i've had moments of absolute clarity. when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and i can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. it's as though it had all just come into existence.
i can never make these moments last. i cling to them, but like everything, they fade. i have lived my life on these moments. they pull me back to the present, and i realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be."