Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Scrolls & Mounting
(Painting will be available in the future.) 

Introduction to Mounting

Is Mounting Necessary

 

You may use one of the following options to order:

Dry Mounting Silk Mounting Scrolls
Supporting - to remove wrinkles & fit in your frames Silk Margin - to fit in your frames (supporting included) Wall Scrolls - ready to hang
(silk margin and supporting included)

   No mats and frames are used and sold from this website.  


1: Introduction to Chinese Mounting & Scrolls

 

 

Various styles of Chinese scrolls and mounting

Most formal and collectible "Chinese calligraphy and painting works" (henceforth, "artworks") are done on Shuan Paper which is mistakenly called "rice paper" in the West. (When Europeans tried to get the trade secrets of this paper in the 18th century, they were misinformed it was made of rice.) Shuan Paper is made of many plant fibers other than rice. It's the best paper that is most compatible with Chinese brushes, ink, and colors for calligraphy and painting. After a Chinese calligrapher or painter has created an artwork on Shuan Paper, inevitably it becomes wrinkled due to its excellent absorbency of water, ink, and color. To help please the eyes and preserve the artwork for centuries, Chinese invented many processes to mount the artworks more than 2,000 years ago. Those processes help to smooth out the wrinkles. A typical Chinese will not put a wrinkled artwork into a frame. Chinese mounting helps to restore the artists intent and spirit to a vivid look.Throughout the centuries, the Chinese mounting techniques were kept mostly as family businesses. Secrets were taught only to family members or initiated students, quite similar to martial arts in ancient China. Apprenticeship usually took more than 2 years for students to learn and to obtain experiences and permission to open new galleries.

Since mounting and scroll making are very detail-oriented tasks and can be critically difficult, risky, and painstaking during the processes, many people in China take cameras with their calligraphy or paintings to the galleries before the mounting specialists (mounters, 裝裱師 or 裱畫師 ) start the tasks. The customers keep photo evidences in case the mounting is messed up and both parties have to resort to legal actions. For these reasons, we only mount and make scrolls for Chinese calligraphy and brush painting artworks sold from this website. Joshua Hough and his associate mounter neither sell mounting materials such as paste or silk brocades nor make and repair scrolls for calligraphy and paintings sold elsewhere. If you are in need of mounting materials, you may try 棉宣紙(文明國際) on Facebook or searching on Google.

If you are looking for mounting or scrolls for your own artwork, you may try the following resources:

The Chinese word for "mounting" means to paste the calligraphy artwork to another piece of paper. It does not necessarily mean being mounted to the wall or into a frame. Please do not get confused with the concept of "mounting" used in American art stores or galleries. They are totally different processes and concepts.

 

There are basically two realms of mounting Chinese brush arts:


Back Mounting
: This is the process of pasting a sheet of paper on the back of the "artwork" to smooth, thicken, and protect the original piece before "framing" or "Scroll Mounting." ("Back Mounting" is a prerequisite and the very first step for "Silk Mounting" and "Scroll Mounting." It's not necessarily equivalent to "Dry Mounting." However, for the sake of avoiding confusions, we use "Back Mounting" and "Dry Mounting" interchangeably on this website. In general, the word "mounting" in Chinese can refer to either Back Mounting, Dry Mounting, Silk Mounting, Scroll Mounting or Frame Mounting.) -
Dry Mounting

 

 

 before dry mounting

one of the dry mounting processes

 

after dry mounting

Silk brocades can be then added to the mounted artwork. - Silk Mounting (Silk Margin)


Scroll Mounting
: Adding silk brocades, design, decorative strips, ribbons, upper and lower rods, knobs, and another layer of mounting paper to the mounted artwork. Scroll making takes a lot more time than Back Mounting and framing and is very labor-intensive and requires very precise cuts due to the stretching of Shuan Paper and silk. Scrolls are easy to carry and are very traditional in Asian cultures.
- Scrolls

The names of the parts of a two-color format scroll:

scroll-parts.jpg (451415 bytes)

 

A = Header

B = Footer

C = Upper Separate Water

D = Lower Separate Water

E = Picture Core (the calligraphy or painting part) is the major determinant of prices used in this website

F = Upper Rod (Heaven Rod)

Ribbons for hanging are not shown here. They are connected to the Upper Rod.

G = Lower Rod (Earth Rod)

H = Knobs (Horizontal scrolls and couplets do not come with knobs. A horizontal scroll has ribbons attached to both the right and left rods for hanging.)

I = Decorative Strips (optional)

J = Liners or Edge Wrapping (optional, contain K and (or) L, enlarged here to be seen. They are usually thin strips made for decorative and protective purposes. Their width is about 0.25 to 0.5 inch.)

K = Edge Wrapping (optional, wraps the edges of the scroll to prevent lint falling off the silk; also helps the scroll look more flat and smooth)

L = Inner Liner (optional)

Usually for a vertical scroll, the ratios of heights are as follows: A : B = C : D = 6 : 4. The sizes can be suggested by the mounting specialist or the customer according to the ratios.

 



Optional readings for those who are really interested to view the mounting processes:

In English

 

One of the preliminary steps of Chinese mounting.

 

      An interesting story...

In Chinese:

 

 

 

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2: Is Mounting Necessary for My Chinese Calligraphy / Painting Collection ?

Many brands of Shuan Paper are somewhat wrinkled when sold from the manufacturers or bookstores. Sometimes the folded or wrinkled paper needs to be rolled several times and maybe stored for a period of time to be more even and smooth before writing and painting.

If the artwork on Shuan Paper is not preserved by mounting or is not framed, it might get creases, tears, or accelerated aging. When these happens, one needs to do more with the following processes:

A poorly mounted scroll or frame will decrease the value of our collection of a Chinese painting or calligraphy artwork. An inappropriately mounted artwork may require "peeling" and remounting which will cost more or even permanently damage the artwork. Due to the special textures and thin fibers of Shuan Paper, only Chinese framing and mounting experts can handle the artwork done on Shuan Paper. Please don't make assumptions to mount Chinese brush arts on Shuan Paper in a non-Chinese way such as using cement, glue, spray bond, or laminating; otherwise, the soft fibers of Shuan Paper will probably be damaged permanently.

Interested readers may try searching "scroll" from www.chinapage.org/phpBB2/search.php and read what other people say about Chinese scrolls. The cost varies depending on the artwork's size, materials used, and primarily the mounters' level of skills and hours of labor. Since Joshua and his associate mounter, Mr. Stephen Kim, believe in quality and value, we offer 1-color format scrolls as well as 2-color and 3-color format scrolls plus scrolls at your own design, and less expensive services of Dry Mounting and Silk Mounting. Due to the extra piece of paper to be mounted to wrap the Upper and Lower Rods of a scroll, scroll mounting always cost a lot more than Silk Mounting for an equal size of picture core.

The prices of Dry Mounting services offered on this website start from $20. The prices of a custom scroll start from $200. A good quality scroll will require more than 10 hours of labor. The mounting and the custom scroll will help reduce the wrinkles of the artwork and will be good for preservation for centuries. Mr. Kim makes quality silk mounting and handmade scrolls different from most factory-made scrolls. (Scrolls made in a gallery or studio are usually better than those batches made in factories.) Our durable and precisely made scrolls are very delicate and easy to carry. All mounted pieces and scrolls are supervised and inspected by Joshua Hough before shipping.

 
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