Welcome to the workshop of Antori Pancco.
I do multiple types of photo mounting that transforms your pictures into exquisite showpieces. I do the magnificently striking ACRYLIC FACE MOUNT, as well as the more traditional surface mounts onto exotic materials.
What exactly is face mount art? This is the process where the front side or face of the photo is mounted directly to the surface of the acrylic. It is an arduous, multi step, time-consuming process that has zero tolerance for error. It truly is an art form in and of itself.
DO NOT be fooled by companies offering Direct Acrylic Printing. I do not do direct acrylic printing and never will. Direct printing on the acrylic is a process where your photo is just printed directly on the acrylic face. Direct acrylic printing is a cheaper, lesser quality option that is more susceptible to problems over even short periods of time.
There are five critical physical material aspects of doing acrylic face mounts.
- The photo paper
- The acrylic
- The optically clear laminate
- The backing
- The hanging system
A very important aspect to acrylic face mounting is the photo paper. I use only top of the line photo paper for the project print. The most popular photo paper and the one I prefer for most projects is a metallic paper. Be it metallic satin or metallic glossy, metallic paper truly enhances the vibrancy of the photograph. And unlike most of my competitors, I do NOT charge extra for metallic paper. Not all pictures call for metallic paper though. Portraits many times come out best with a pearl finish type paper.
The other most important aspect to acrylic face mounting is the acrylic itself. Not all acrylic is alike. There is CELL CAST ACRYLIC & EXTRUDED ACRYLIC. CELL CAST ACRYLIC is harder, has a more uniform thickness, is more scratch resistant and is typically clearer than extruded acrylic. I only use CELL CAST ACRYLIC for the face mounting. Regardless of the thickness I will always use CELL CAST acrylic. If your shopping around for a face mounted photo, always ask the vendor why type of acrylic they are using. If they say “what do you mean, acrylic is acrylic” or “all acrylic is the same” then run! All acrylic is not the same. A simple Google search on the subject will bear me out on this.
OPTICALLY CLEAR LAMINATE
The optically clear laminate is the 2 sided laminate that is used to adhere the photograph to the acrylic. This needs to be of the highest quality to ensure a clear picture with no distortion. I use a 1 mil optically clear polyester film with an optically clear acrylic based permanent adhesive.
This could be the most important piece if you are hanging your picture on a wall. The backing must support the weight of your acrylic without tearing away from the back of the photograph with which it is adhered to and also must maintain its adhesion to the mounting hardware. I use either DiBond backing or colored 1/8" cast acrylic sheet for all wall-hung pictures. DiBond is basically an aluminum sandwich. It is a composite that consists of a high strength aluminum skin on both sides sandwiching a super strong polyethylene center core. It provides the utmost protection to the back of your picture while providing and incredibly strong substrate from which your acrylic can safely hang. The same goes for cast acrylic backings.
THE HANGING SYSTEM
This goes hand in hand with the backing. No matter how good your backing is, if your hanging system fails, then everything else doesn’t matter. I use a combination of acrylic, stainless steel and super strong 3M adhesives & epoxy’s. The hanging system I use is a unique hanging system for all Antori Pancco wall pieces. I use two vertical ¾” acrylic struts fastened to the rear backing with an incredibly strong 3M adhesive. A stainless steel cable passes through the acrylic struts at an angle and secured on the ends with washers and ferrules. Finally, between the vertical struts an acrylic bar to prevent any lateral stress on the vertical struts. This unique hanging system I developed distributes the weight of the entire picture from the bottom, up through the acrylic virtually eliminating all potential weak points. If you see this hanging system anywhere else you can be assured they copied it from me!