Benchmark's Summer 2020 Seminars have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Details on future courses will be released as soon as they are available.
From time to time, our schedule allows us to offer intensive one week-long seminars in the basics of mountmaking techniques. Each 5-day intensive covers the basics of mount design, fabrication, and installation techniques. Students will get hands-on instruction with David La Touche of Benchmark. Class size is small to allow plenty of one-on-one teaching time.
Designing the mount is the first and most important part of the process. It includes such aspects as assessing the nature and condition of the object, determining contact points for supporting the object, and appropriateness and strength of mount materials.
Other design considerations are: minimizing exposure of the mount to public view, "floating" the object, and securing the object from damage or theft.
Mount Fabrication generally involves working with brass, plastic and padding materials to execute the design. This can involve soldering, cutting, bending or shaping, pinning, padding, and patination (painting exposed parts of the mount to make them less visible)
Installation consists of securely fastening mounts to walls, decks, or bases and installing the objects in them while keeping the display case and other objects free from dirt or damage during the process.
Mountmaking issues will be addressed during lectures, demonstrations and hands-on practice sessions making actual mounts, painting and padding them, and pinning objects. The seminar will take place in Benchmark’s workshop and studio. All necessary tools and supplies will be provided.
Course enrollment is limited to ensure adequate individual attention. Previous experience with torch or tools, although helpful, is not necessary.
Participants will be encouraged to discuss any specific mounting problems they may have and can bring photos, drawings, or actual objects with them to facilitate the discussion. We also plan to take a field trip to The Art Museum at Princeton University to view the galleries and discuss a variety of mount making problems and solutions presented there.
The Mountmaking Seminar will be held at our studio in scenic Rosemont, New Jersey. Rosemont is located just over the hill from the Delaware River. We are 25 minutes north of Trenton, 45 minutes north of Philadelphia, and 1 hour 30 minutes southwest of New York City. Philadelphia and Newark airports are each an hour away. Amtrak trains stop at Trenton, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. Commuter bus service to New York is also available. Travel instructions will be sent to all participants after enrollment.
(It takes a little longer to get here but we’ve always found it worth the journey. You will too!)
This year, tuition includes accommodations from Sunday - Friday at the New Hope Lodge.
Restaurants abound in our neck of the woods! Many varied options exist, among them French, Mexican, Thai, American, Italian, Chinese, etc. You’ll be sure to eat well.