Our French mats are custom made and hand painted with inert pigments on cotton rag matboard. We do not reapply premade patterns or tapes- each line is hand ruled and hand painted. We are able to replicate existing mat samples or design a new layout specifically for your work or art.
Making a french mat is a laborious process that requires precision and practice. The first step is cutting the mat opening window. Using a low tac tape we cover any area we do not want to paint. A color wash is quickly and delicately added to the front of the mat to avoid brush strokes. The same wash is applied to the back of the mat so that is dries evenly. We then layer the matboard between blotter and glass plates to dry flat. Once the mat is dry and the tape is removed, we use a corner triangle in the mat opening to mark where each line will lay. Working from the inside of the mat out we use various pens, inks, and gold pigments to rule lines against a straight edge. Any number of line widths and color combinations can be done. French mats are a beautiful option for traditional prints or etchings, but are not limited to these subjects. We can also paint patterns and images on a mat. Your creativity is the only limitation when it comes to painted mats.