Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes

July 15, 2002


Dan Paulsen called the meeting to order around 7:20 p.m.

He asked if there was any old business.

Carol Mitchell wanted to know if everyone got the newsletter she e-mailed and mailed recently.  Those who answered responded affirmatively, but Linda Hanley said hers took a long time to download.  Carol said she tried putting the pictures into the newsletter as .JPG files and they took about 13 minutes to download, so she changed them to documents and thought that speeded things up.  Jim Rendina said his took only seven seconds to download via cable modem!  Carol asked for any input on the best method to use to insert the pictures.

Wayne Hickox said he thought the newsletter was good, and he enjoyed the pictures.

Tracy Goodrich, Jim, and Carol discussed the best way to get the minutes both into the newsletter and onto the Web site.  They decided that Tracy will send the minutes to Carol, she will incorporate them into the newsletter, and then Carol will forward them on for inclusion on the Web site.

Dan called for any new business.  The election of officers for next year was discussed.  It was explained that Dan has agreed to remain as president, Marie Bohndorf will continue as vice president, Tracy Goodrich will stay on as secretary, but Wayne would like to retire as treasurer.  Libby McCord has agreed to replace Wayne as treasurer.  Dan moved and Mickey Norton seconded that this roster be accepted.  The motion was voted on and passed.

Wayne gave the treasurer’s report.  We have $793.88 in the treasury, with 25 single memberships and 2 family memberships.  Wayne pointed out that dues will be payable to Libby next month, since August 1 is the beginning of a new year.  Single memberships cost $20.

Wayne was asked about what would be required to get Libby set up as treasurer.  He said she needs to sign a signature card at the bank.  Wayne will have his name taken off the account, and Libby’s will be added.  The account doesn’t draw interest but we don’t have to pay service fees either.  In four years, the checks we’ve used have numbered only from 101 to 124.

Wayne said that Jim’s name is also on the account.  Jim said it was okay to leave him on.  Wayne offered to get together with Libby and go with her to get the new signature card taken care of.  They agreed that this would work.

We had a guest at the meeting, Lynaia South. She had spoken to Marie about talking to us tonight.  She is an attorney with the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority and is on the board for the Wyandotte County Parks Administration.  The Parks Administration recently undertook a huge project – the Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake.  The Parks people brought together private and public partnerships, including a trust, to create the library.  It is a fabulous environmental library; Lynaia said photographers would love it because it’s so beautiful.  She said the board wants to support all the Wyandotte parks, so on September 20 they are having the first Art for the Parks Auction.  They are looking for people to donate artwork to be auctioned off.  If you have any photography you would like to donate, she would love to have it.  It can be matted and framed or not.  If you don’t want to mat and frame your work, she is working with a gentleman who owns a frame shop and he will help mat and frame pieces that don’t come that way. Lynaia pointed out that Marie is on the board and Wayne has donated to the library before.

Lynaia passed out a draft of the invitation.  She explained that if you donate a piece, they will let you in to the dinner.  It is a great way to get your work out to the public.  There will be both a live and a silent auction.  It should be a fun time, and casual dress is appropriate.  They are a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible.  It is being held at Pearson Park, near the new Turner High School just south of 55th and Metropolitan.  They plan to put samples of artwork on a Web site.  Lynaia said she has seen copies of some of our work and she knows it’s fabulous.

Jim asked when she needs the prints.  Lynaia said she’d like to get tentative commitments as soon as possible and use August to firm things up.  Linda Hanley suggested we could bring any artwork we want to donate to the August meeting, and Lynaia could come and pick it up. Lynaia thought that was a good idea.  She passed out some business cards to those who wanted them.

Bill Pasek inquired about receipts for donated work, and Lynaia said she could bring those to the meeting.  Wayne brought up a question about donations—he has heard that you can donate only the actual cost of the work for tax purposes.  Is this true?  Does it complicate things if there is a meal given in “exchange”?  Lynaia said she would find out and let us know.

Lynaia was asked if the works should be nature shots only.  She said there was not a real theme but that nature-oriented artwork was their goal.

At the conclusion of the new business discussion, Dan turned the meeting over to Crystal Nederman, who was the presenter for the evening.  Chris was going to tell us about matting pictures.

Chris started by handing out notes describing what she does when matting photographs.  She explained that this was what works for her.  If others have any tips or better ways to do things, she asked that we please volunteer them.  She said she would do a quick presentation; then if we want, we can try it ourselves.  She brought her equipment with her.

At the top of the handout is a list of the basic supplies you need.  A long yardstick or ruler or T square is needed; metal is best.  A mat cutter also is needed.  Lots of mat cutters are available, but Logan is a popular brand.  You will need some kind of scissors.  She has an angled and a straight handheld mat cutter plus blades.  The angled or beveled one usually comes with the large mat cutter.  For a straight cutter, you can use an Exacto knife to trim the mat up.  Rubber cement can be used, but Chris explained that she doesn’t glue her photos at all; she just glues the mat and backing together.  You can use tape on the picture to hold it in place on the mat.  A white art eraser—not a pink one, which will leave pink marks on the mat—is needed.

The cutter blades don’t last forever; you can turn them around when one side has been used.  You need to replace them frequently or you will get rough edges on your mat.

You need a cutting mat.  Chris has a self-healing one that she’s had for years, and you can barely see where it has been cut.  You can get these at Dick Blick’s or at quilt or sewing stores such as Joanne’s.

As for the mat cutter itself, she has a Logan portable one that she likes, but it won’t cut 40-inch mat boards.  So she uses her cutting mat when cutting the large mat board down to a smaller size and then uses the mat cutter.

Chris was asked about various ways to attach the picture to the mat.  You can use photo mount spray adhesive, but if you have a print over 8x10, you have to be very good at this and use a slightly larger mat, or you may get it on the mat crooked and not be able to straighten it.  Jim said that years ago, he used spray quite a lot, but in the last few years, some of those prints have bowed some due to humidity changes.  He now uses double-sided tape, but not all around the picture, because as the humidity changes, the picture won’t have any “give” if it’s taped all around.  Bill asked how you keep the photo flat.  You are supposed to be able to hinge it straight at the top and it should hang flat, but it doesn’t always.

Wayne said he has dry-mounted some of his with a press, but they have bubbles in them now.  He uses white acid-free masking tape.  He uses two to three inches at the top of an 8x10.  He has also used two-sided tape but fond that if you make a mistake, it’s harder to take off.

Linda suggested using two-sided tape for the backing and mat.  Jim agree and said he uses it all the way around.

Terry Fretz has an adhesive roller that works pretty well.  He uses it to lay down adhesive dots across the top of the print (not a solid line).

Another option is available from Light Impressions.  That company makes a roll of adhesive that looks like a squeegee.  You cut the mat to size, lay the print down, put wax paper over it, and use the squeegee to get all the bubbles out.  You attach the photo to the backing and put the mat over that.

Chris brought some Light Impressions catalogs if anyone wants to look at or take them.  She gets her storage bags from there.  They can hold 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, or just about any size of print.  They come in packages of 50 and work nicely for carrying around your prints.

She also brought some Dick Blick catalogs.  Unfortunately the company closed its store at 80th and Metcalf, so you have to mail order from them.  Chris really liked the store and found that they had good prices, including good sale prices on frames and other items.

Chris said you can use a groove cutter or “groover” to make a V-cut in the mat, for example, to put a line around the picture using a mat that has a white core.  This offsets the picture and gives it more depth.  It takes lots of practice to get an even cut, and you must have sharp blades.

As far as mat selection, all kinds of mats are available.  You can get many kinds of white mats, with plain or pebble surfaces.  There are white mats with a black core to create a black line when a groove cutter is used.  Colored mats with plain finishes can be used, or suede-textured mats are available.  Black mats with a black core or black with a white core also are available.  Metallic mats look good with nighttime shots of the Plaza.

Wayne explained that he tries to buy better-quality mats so that the center doesn’t turn yellow or light brown.  He has had this happen with cheaper mats, such as those from Hobby Lobby.  Chris said Hobby Lobby is a good place to buy mats to play around with, however, since you can get them for about $5.

Wayne orders most of his mats from a framing company in Connecticut.  He uses suede mats quite often.  The standard price for a good acid-free mat is between $7 and $9.  Suede mats are $18 to $20.  These prices are for 32x40 mat boards.  They are shipped in a big cardboard box with reinforced side pieces and corners, and they arrive fast—within four or five days.  The company has an 800 number for ordering.

You can double-mat your pictures.  Chris said that a ¼-inch edge (and up to a ½-inch edge) makes a nice accent.

Chris next talked about her diagram of a 32x40 mat board.  The diagram illustrates how to get the most 11x14 pieces from this size of mat board.  You can get up to six 11x14 mats from it with very little waste.  You also will end up with several 4x11 pieces that you can use as backing board for your mat cutter.  In addition, you can get four 11x14 mats plus some 8x10s using this size of a board.

Terry said he also uses a small T-square to mark the windows to cut out.  This is called a Matline and is available from Light Impressions.

Chris marks her mat board first on her cutting mat, lining up lines using the T-square.  Using the handheld cutter is a little tricky—you have to press down firmly.  Get the edges of the mat as straight as possible, but this is not extremely critical because the edge will be under the frame.  If you are just putting your matted picture into a bag, it is more important to have very straight edges.

After getting started using her cutting mat, she makes the rest of the cuts with her mat cutter.  It takes a few tries to figure out where to line up the mat with the cutter edge to get the right line.  Apply a little pressure when cutting.  Chris cuts several mats out at a time when she has her mat cutter out.

Once you’ve cut out the mats, you need to cut out the windows in the center.  To do museum mounting, you weight the bottom part of the mat heavier—that is, you make the bottom portion ¼ inch or more wider than the top.  You don’t have to do this, of course.

Chris reviewed measuring the mat.  You need to add ½ inch to each dimension to allow for a ¼-inch overlap on each side.  Mark on the back of the mat.  Her handout provides more details on the measurements.

Chris slides the mat under the cutter and uses the beveled handheld cutter to cut out the window.  Use a nice even pressure to get a good cut.  For black-core mats, you need to cut twice because these are harder to cut through.  Wayne explained that he cuts all his mats twice.

The extra mat board can be placed underneath to keep from messing up the cutter surface using the beveled cutter.  Also, move the mat around a lot so you aren’t working in the same spot on the board all the time.  She uses the spare blades to cut loose corners and prevent tearing.

Chris demonstrated cutting out the mats and using the groove cutter as she talked.  Terry and Wayne also showed some of their techniques, such as double matting, to anyone interested.  Members were free to roam around, observe techniques, and try it out for themselves.

The meeting adjourned around 9 p.m.  The next meeting is on August 19 at 7 p.m.

                            -- Tracy Goodrich