The Mounting 裱 : A high-quality calligraphy work should always be mounted by hand.
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
When one’s calligraphy has been scribed on Xuan paper, it is usually wrinkled and creased. Therefore, the paper needs to be “smoothed out” to eliminate all wrinkles, and this process is known as “mounting” or “wet mounting (裱)”.
The first step in wet mounting involves wetting the calligraphic work and glueing a piece of Xuan paper at the back of it with a natural hand-made glue. The edges of the paper are then glued to a wall and let dry. After at least one day, the entire piece will be left with no wrinkles.
The work is then cut out of the wall. At this point, one can already put the work in a matted photo frame for display. Traditionally, however, silk strips are then glued to the edges, and several layers of Xuan paper is added to the back and mounted to the wall again.
Traditionally, the entire process is hand-crafted, and the glue used is derived from boiling the red algae Gloiopeltis furcata and/or wheat starch. A high-quality calligraphic work should always be mounted by hand, not by a machine.