I can’t cut a mat!

If you recall, I mentioned before that I recently ordered a bunch of prints to get ready for some shows/competitions.

I have been trying to get everything put together. Frames, backing, mats, etc. The first thing I am entering is Festival of the Arts here in Grand Rapids, Mi. Entries are due this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This is my very first juried competition, and I’m SO nervous! I don’t really care about winning anything, I just want to get accepted. I have four pieces picked out to enter. Although, I am still questioning one of them. I’ve got my frames and everything I need to put them together, but I can’t seem to cut that mats!  I really only have one I need to do. It is a double mat for a 20×30 image, matted to a 24×36 frame. I went out last week and purchased the mat board and a hand held Logan Mat Cutter 2000. I can’t cut a straight line if my life depened on it. So my first try on the first mat was awful!  Just cutting the mat board to the 24×36 square turned out bad. I was trying to do it, on the floor, with a 24 in framing square for a straight edge. HA! The inside cut ended up slightly crooked and jagged because I had to stop, move the ruler, and start again. Or the stupid mat cutter would slide under the ruler. Not  good. So the top mat ended up being pretty much useless. The bottom mat wasn’t too bad after getting the hang of it a little better, but I over shot (yes, even with the little line guide) the corners, and it’s really obvious looking at the front. So there went the second mat.

I went back to the store Saturday and bought 2 new mat boards. My husband asked me to wait for him before I try cutting them again. Well today we got around to attempting it again. LOL He had just as many problems as I did, only opposite issues. I couldn’t cut the straight line, even with a ruler to guide, but he could even without one. (by the way, he pulled out a longer ruler, moved the mats up onto a table and used clamps to hold it in place, ‘duh! I should have thought of that in the first place!) My cuts were crooked, but they were smooth. His kept getting frayed. I should have just paid someone else to do it!

I was able to get the second bottom mat, and so far I don’t see any obvious flaws. I really don’t want to go back to the store and buy a 3rd top mat. So my choices are to either figure out a way to fix one of the 2 that got messed up, figure out some creative way to cover up the mess ups, or go without the top mat. I really don’t want to go without it, but that’s looking like my best option. We were discussing, purposesly fraying or ‘roughing up’ one of the ones we screwed up, to give it an aged look since the image was done as an aged image. But I am not sure how to go about doing that, and keeping it looking nice. Any suggestions? 

Anyone out there know how to fix/prevent the frayed edge problem?

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Author: kklawiter

Cover Artist and Photographer

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