How to care for and display your Scratchboard drawing
Before a scratchboard is framed, care should be taken not to touch the surface of the board. Even though my drawings are sprayed with a protective coating, the oils from your skin can still leave a stain.
Tip - In the event that this should happen you may want to try spraying the surface lightly with a Kamar or Claybord® varnish (which can be purchased in your local art store) and in most cases this will dissolve the fingerprint or oil stain. Do not rub the stain, even with a soft cloth, as this will only worsen the mark.
The surface is relatively delicate so care should be taken to not hit or tap it with anything. Sharp edges will create cuts and blunt ones may create dents in the surface.
When framing, I suggest using non-glare glass. The black ink can create a very reflective surface under regular glass causing a ‘mirror’ effect.
I usually recommend matting the drawing with a black mat board and then complementing it with a black, light silver or platinum wood frame. If the drawing is made right to the edge of the board, a nice way to frame it is to ‘float’ the art in the center of a cut mat board to create a shadow box effect.
Although you should never hang any kind of artwork in direct sunlight, using display lighting will enhance the viewing experience. Even though this is a two dimensional art form, lights shining on the original art from different angles will cause minor shadows and light shifts to occur causing a three dimensional impression. You will notice that the clay has actually been ‘sculpted’ due to the various depths of cuts made during the creation process.
Update (6/28/10) - Here are two pictures of one my original scratchboards (Nine Tulips) that has been framed.
As you can see, it is sitting on top of an off-white matboard but still framed by the black matboard.
There is a 1/2" space from the inside edge of the top matboard to the edge of the scratchboard.
I use a spacer between the top matboard and the bottom one so that the scratchboard never touches the glass.
I like to 'float' the scratchboard because I think that the best characteristic of it is that it's not on a piece of paper but on a board. Why not show it off? In my opinion, it adds to the work and gives dimension to the framing.
Framing it this way was not my own invention. I learned it from an antique scratchboard piece that I purchased. I thought it was brilliant and I've been framing my work that way ever since.