does michaels cut mat board

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Cutting Perfection: Michaels’ Mat Board Mastery Explored

The role of mat boards in art and photo framing extends far beyond mere aesthetics. Mat boards are the unsung heroes, the subtle yet impactful elements that serve as a silent narrator to our captured memories or artistic expressions. They do more than display; they enhance and protect.

For artists, photographers, and DIY enthusiasts, the choice of mat board can mean the difference between a piece that’s home-ready or gallery-quality. Understanding not just what they are, but how to choose and craft them skillfully is a mark of framing mastery. And when it comes to mat board mastery, few names stand out like Michaels, a purveyor of not just art and craft supplies, but a custodian of the creative process.

This piece is dedicated to shining a light on the often underappreciated world of mat board selection and crafting, with a focus on Michaels’ comprehensive line of offerings.

Understanding Mat Boards

Before we can appreciate the depth of Michaels’ offerings, we must first grasp the significance of the mat board itself. Mat boards do much more than aesthetically frame a piece.

A Study in Preservation

For the preservation of fine art and photographs, the choice between archival and non-archival mat boards is paramount. Archival quality mats, made of acid-free, lignin-free, buffered materials, protect the artwork from the deteriorating effects of time and environment. On the other hand, non-archival mats, often more budget-friendly, may cause premature aging and damage to the art they border.

The Art of Accentuation

A mat is not merely a support but a visual guide that subtly draws the eye to the focal point. The color, texture, and reveal of the mat can significantly alter the perception of the artwork it encases. It is with these nuances that art mingles with the art of the mat board.

Michaels’ Mat Board Selection

Michaels’ collection of mat boards is a treasure trove for anyone looking to frame their work. With a wide variety of acid-free and museum-quality mats available in different colors, textures, and thicknesses, they cater to the most discerning of artists and framing aficionados.

A Rainbow in Every Frame

One of Michaels’ standout offerings is the sheer breadth of colors available in their mats. From classic whites to deep charcoals and vibrant accents, every hue is carefully curated to complement and accentuate the shades within the art or photo. This rainbow allows for a truly custom framing experience with a choice that matches the vision of any creator.

The Craftsmanship at Your Service

Michaels not only provides premade mats in standard sizes but offers the service to create custom mats tailored to individual pieces with precision in assembly and cutting. This bespoke approach ensures the perfect fit and finish for any project, no matter the dimension or vision.

Tips for Choosing the Right Mat Board

Selecting the perfect mat board is a combination of technical considerations and personal flair. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

Harmonizing with Color

When selecting a mat color, the aim is to harmonize, not overpower. A mat should enhance the artwork, not compete with it. This usually means sticking to neutral colors or the palette’s white for photography. For more expressive art, venture into pastels and primary shades.

Size Does Matter

The width of the mat can impact the overall balance of the framed piece. A general guideline is to make the inner mat border (called the ‘reveal’) a bit wider on the bottom edge. It’s a delicate balance that requires a thoughtful approach to each individual work.

The Depth of Feel

The thickness of the mat, or its ‘ply,’ can create a sense of depth. A thicker mat can add substantial weight and grandeur, perfect for larger pieces, while a thinner mat is more discreet and fitting for minimal, modern presentations.

Mat Cutting and Framing Techniques

Crafting a frame with a mat is a skill that’s refined with practice. Here are the basic steps to cutting a mat board with precision:

  1. Mark the measurements on the back of the mat board.
  2. Use a high-quality mat cutter with a sharp blade, cutting through the top layer first, then the second layer with slight pressure.
  3. Score the back of the board with a utility knife for a clean fold, ensuring the cut is complete.
  4. Fold along the scored line, supporting the back of the board, to create a clean beveled edge.

Framing Like a Pro

Once your mat is cut, framing is a straightforward process that, when done with care, can elevate the piece to professional levels. Start by ensuring the frame is cleaned and properly fitted with glazing, then affix the mat with acid-free tape, ensuring it lies flat and is dust-free.

Case Studies and Examples

To truly understand the impact of mat boards, consider these real-life examples:

The Double Mat Dilemma

A photographer presented two versions of the same seascape—one with a single mat and one with a double mat. The latter not only added depth but a certain maritime essence, with a navy blue inner frame evoking the picture’s depths and a light beige outer frame mirroring the golden sands.

Art in Corporate Spaces

A series of abstract art lines the walls of a corporate office. The curator opted for thin, neutral mats for each piece, creating a consistent and professional gallery aesthetic that allows the artwork to stand out without overwhelming the space.

Selecting and crafting the perfect mat board is an art unto itself—one that requires consideration of form, function, and the overarching goal of presentation. With Michaels’ excellent range of mat boards, creators can confidently match their masterpieces with the perfect partner in preservation and presentation.

For your next framing project, consider the role a mat board may play in enhancing your art. It is more than an accessory; it is the harmony between your piece and the world it’s displayed in. Visit Michaels to explore the world of mats and experience the cutting perfection for yourself.

In every work you frame, there is an opportunity to master the art of the mat. It’s not just a border; it’s a reflection, a statement, a completion. Choose wisely, cut skillfully, and frame proudly. Your art deserves no less.

By sharing your experiences with Michaels’ mat boards or your framing adventures in general, you contribute to a rich community tapestry of learning and inspiration.

Engage with this post, share it with fellow artists, and begin a conversation that celebrates the subtler yet significant touches in our creative endeavors. And don’t forget to visit Michaels, your haven for all things crafting, to put your newfound insights into practice. Your walls will thank you.

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