Coming Workshops

June 29th and 30th: Fundamentals of Mountmaking
July 27th and 28th: Acrylic, Plastics, and Alternative Materials
August 31st and Sept 1st: Seismic Stabilization Basics
Sept. 21st and 22nd: Fundamentals of Mountmaking

Workshop size is limited to 6 persons.
Workshop fee is $400 per person plus a $30 Materials fee.
Click here to see our Terms and Conditions.

For further details, please contact:

To sign up for classes please contact us!

Workshop Descriptions

Fundamentals of Mountmaking

If you have ever been in a museum exhibit and were startled by a spooky mask leering at you from an upper wall, there was probably a mountmaker involved. Mountmaking is the craft of making support brackets for displaying artwork. It is also a specialized discipline for the preventive conservation of objects in museums and other collections. The design and fabrication of mounts bring together knowledge of art, science, engineering, and common sense. Through careful consideration of the needs of the object and display parameters, a solution is generated that can keep the object safe.

The workshop will be a two-day intensive covering the basics of mountmaking, with a major focus on mountmaking as a preventive conservation practice. Object assessment, design parameters, material choices, and fabrication techniques will all be covered. Participants will use skills learned to build a mount for a standard object, and to design and attempt a mount for an object they will bring to the session.

This workshop is aimed at students with minimal shop experience, but is small enough to accommodate those of higher skill levels as well. Subsequent workshops will build on the skills learned during this session.

Acrylics, Plastics, and Alternative Materials

Acrylic plastic (Plexiglas) has been used for years in the fabrication of book cradles, plate holders, and jewelry displays. In light of common usage, many people associate it with retail sales and not with museum exhibits. When designed and used in an appropriate manner, acrylic can be both aesthetically subtle and structurally suitable for museum objects.

This workshop will explore the use of various plastics in the fabrication of museum exhibit mounts, with a focus on their appropriate selection and tasteful use. Fundamentals of mount design and layout, materials selection, bending and forming of materials, joining through the use of adhesives and mechanical fasteners, and finishing and polishing will all be covered. Materials to be discussed will include Acrylic plastics, Sintra, Vivak, and epoxy putties, and we will explore the working characteristics and limitations of each.

This workshop will be a two day intensive, held at Mountmaking Focus Studio in Seattle. Participants will work with a variety of materials, and will build multiple mounts for objects, both provided and of their own.

Basic Seismic Stabilization for Museum Objects

No matter the underlying geology of the region, seismic stabilization is of concern to virtually all museums that display objects. Reality brings situations such as an overactive child running into the exhibit furniture, or the ambient vibration from truck traffic causing items to migrate within their cases. In regions of geologic instability, proper mounting can make the difference between predictable work up-front, or unknown clean-up and repair after a seismic event.

This workshop will cover the various modes of damage in a seismic event, methods of stabilization and retention of objects, basic engineering considerations, and how to incorporate these principles into exhibits to still achieve maximum aesthetic impact. The workshop will primarily address objects of small to medium size. Objects which are physically large and heavy require engineering and measures of far greater complexity than can be dealt with here. Likewise, these techniques are intended to protect collections in the event of small to medium intensity events.

It must be clearly stated that no mounts or measures can guarantee the safety of collections in a seismic situation. The specific character of any individual quake may bring forces that are beyond the measures taken. The intention is to mitigate these effects and reduce damage to a minimum.

This workshop will be a two day intensive, held at Mountmaking Focus Studio in Seattle. Participants will work with a variety of materials, and will build multiple mounts for objects, both provided or of their own.

To sign up for classes please contact us!