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Author Topic: Archival Mounting Question  (Read 1772 times)

deliberate1

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Archival Mounting Question
« on: April 03, 2018, 08:48:48 PM »

Friends, for the past few years I have been preparing images for exhibition in a conventional manner with Nielsen frames. I mount the image on an archival board and secure it with cloth tape and then center the hinged mat on top. it is pretty rudimentary, and  fairly pricey, but it works  and the images present very well. I personally would not spend several hundreds of dollars on an image in a crappy frame and I would not expect a customer to either. But as the size of my images has grown to 2' feet on the short end and 3' or longer on the long end, I find that the images framed as above develop unsightly waves that detract from their appearance.
Is there a way to frame larger images in an archival way (ie: no laminating/cold press,etc) that will prevent waves, or do I need to change the paradigm.
Obliged for the help.
David
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mearussi

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 12:46:54 AM »

The larger the print the more it's going to bow--just basic physics. Now some papers bow more than others, so you could try a different one to see how well it works. The flattest paper I know of is actually a polyester one. The plastic base is perfectly flat and so hangs better than any other I've tried, but unfortunately it does contain OBAs so it's not considered archival.

But for large sizes like that most switch to canvas or triptychs using conventional mounting and framing, or just give up and hot press.
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BobShaw

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 12:55:20 AM »

Either stick it down on sticky board or make the print the same size as the frame so that it can not sag.
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Paul Roark

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 10:50:15 AM »

If you  use matte paper you can hang a print that large with tape, have an over-mat and acrylic, and it'll display well.  Using glossy paper with tape hanging doesn't work.

Paul
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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 11:27:24 AM »


Gents, I am obliged for your replies.
Mearussi, can you kindly provide the name of the acrylic paper that you have used.
Bob, the problem is not sagging within the frame or mat, but vertical waves.
And Paul, could you elaborate. Not sure I can wrap my mind around the process you are suggesting.
So what do most folks do who make larger images? Dispense with the goal of a reversible process and permanently affix the image to the board? Since I do use papers with OBA's, my images probably would not qualify as "archival" to a purist, framing notwithstanding.
Cheers,
David
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mearussi

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 11:45:13 AM »

Gents, I am obliged for your replies.
Mearussi, can you kindly provide the name of the acrylic paper that you have used.
Bob, the problem is not sagging within the frame or mat, but vertical waves.
And Paul, could you elaborate. Not sure I can wrap my mind around the process you are suggesting.
So what do most folks do who make larger images? Dispense with the goal of a reversible process and permanently affix the image to the board? Since I do use papers with OBA's, my images probably would not qualify as "archival" to a purist, framing notwithstanding.
Cheers,
David
The polyester "paper" I used was made by Ilford before they went bankrupt and after they reorganized they no longer sell it. But there is a similar paper called Pictorico Hi-Gloss White Film, but I've never used it:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/745904-REG/Pictorico_PPF150_2439_2_PRO_Hi_Gloss_White_Film.html

But you can stay with regular paper if you just dry mount your print.
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nirpat89

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 03:39:04 PM »

I have always used a modified version of what is recommended for Cibachrome type prints in this guide (see right the end):

http://www.trueart.info/?page_id=439


I don't even use the central hinging tape, so the print is truly free of any external material.  Now I do not make big prints like yours so I do not know practically if it is going to solve your problem.  But the author in the reference seems to claim that this combination of the top hinge and the corner mounts is particularly suited for large prints.

https://i2.wp.com/trueart.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Installation-of-Cibachrome.jpg

May be something to try...

:Niranjan. 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 06:08:09 PM by nirpat89 »
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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 08:20:49 PM »

Mearussi, I remember looking at that medium a few years ago and appreciate the link.
Niranjan, thanks for that interesting read. Again, the issue I have is not effectuating a secure mount, it is what happens to the print once framed. I get the sense that short of fusing the image to the board, waves are just an unavoidable  unless I can find a medium, like the Pictorico, that has enough stiffness to maintain its shape.
David
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nirpat89

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 09:26:59 PM »

Mearussi, I remember looking at that medium a few years ago and appreciate the link.
Niranjan, thanks for that interesting read. Again, the issue I have is not effectuating a secure mount, it is what happens to the print once framed. I get the sense that short of fusing the image to the board, waves are just an unavoidable  unless I can find a medium, like the Pictorico, that has enough stiffness to maintain its shape.
David

There was a time when dry-mounting was standard practice in photography.  I have some of mine done that way nearly 30 years ago and they still look perfect.  They are much more enjoyable perfectly flat which no waviness reflecting light every which way. 

If I understand correctly, the buckling is due to temperature variations and inability of the print to move laterally when it contracts or expands as a result.  I wonder if the print is restrained even though it is floating free from the hinge because of the mat and the glass on top of it.  The way I do the corners, they also act as spacers that keep the mat slightly away from the print helping to accommodate print movement.  I also keep corners loose so there is space for movement in each direction.   The biggest I have done this way is 12x16 so I have no idea if this helps for your giant size prints. 

Good luck!

:Niranjan.
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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 07:20:10 PM »

There was a time when dry-mounting was standard practice in photography.  I have some of mine done that way nearly 30 years ago and they still look perfect.  They are much more enjoyable perfectly flat which no waviness reflecting light every which way. 

If I understand correctly, the buckling is due to temperature variations and inability of the print to move laterally when it contracts or expands as a result.  I wonder if the print is restrained even though it is floating free from the hinge because of the mat and the glass on top of it.  The way I do the corners, they also act as spacers that keep the mat slightly away from the print helping to accommodate print movement.  I also keep corners loose so there is space for movement in each direction.   The biggest I have done this way is 12x16 so I have no idea if this helps for your giant size prints. 

Good luck!

:Niranjan.

Cheers, mate.
David
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Paul Roark

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 08:34:52 PM »

>>If you  use matte paper you can hang a print that large with tape, have an over-mat and acrylic, and it'll display well.  Using glossy paper with tape hanging doesn't work.

>Paul, could you elaborate. Not sure I can wrap my mind around the process you are suggesting.

If you use matte paper instead of glossy paper the need for absolute flatness is much less.  It's the glossy surface that makes waviness apparent.

Matte paper, of course, should be displayed under an over-mat (like 8 ply off-white, acid-free, bevel-cut mat board) to hold it down and separate the print surface from the acrylic that protects the paper and mat board.

With large matte paper prints, archival cloth tape can be used to hang them from the backing board.  An over-mat then goes over and around the perimeter of the print.  Above that is acrylic.

When viewed, people see a bit of a reflection off the acrylic, and it is very flat.  There is no reflection off the matte print surface.  So, even though the prints are never perfectly flat, no one sees it.  What they see is the very flat surface of the acrylic covering.

There is no need at all to dry mount matte prints that are displayed under acrylic.  A couple of pieces of archival cloth tape is usually used to hang the print from the backing board.  With a large panorama, a third one might be needed.  The paper boarder around the image, most of which is under an over-mat, should be a couple of inches so that the stresses on the print from the tape hanging is not visible in what is seen by the viewer.

I always display matte paper prints under acrylic, and I never dry mount them the way I do with glossy prints.  Absolute flatness is not needed with matte paper, and tape hanging is reversible and more archival than dry mounting or the use of spray adhesives.

The main reason I would (and do) use glossy paper for fine art displays is where the image is very large and the acrylic would become too heavy.  For these, I either dry mount them, use a spray adhesive, or, best for very large (e.g., 44 by 65 inches) images, take them to a good service bureau to have them mounted on Gator board.

Good luck,

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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MHMG

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 10:24:31 PM »

With various inkjet papers, I don't use any adhesives at all. I sometimes allow a borderless print to go right against the glazing (justifiable with the right media), or I print wide margins so that the print itself is as big as the overmat. Thus, my typical framing methods need no adhesives, t-hinging, cold mounting, or hot mounting whatsoever. I have been doing this with very good success for  several years, and it saves a lot of labor time when assembling the finished piece since alignment of the image within the overmat and the frame is automatic.

Attached is a photo showing an example of my adhesive-free framing technique. The print was an exact "life-size" print of my grand daughter made when she was one year old.  The components in the framed print shown this image were from front to back:

1) 3mm acrylic glazing

2) 8-ply conservation quality overmat

3) the print itself (Moab Entrada Natural 300gsm with its total print dimensions matched to the dimensions of the frame interior that holds the glazing and all other components)

4) 2- ply conservation board to back the print (without any adhesives) and add moisture buffering capacity to the whole package.

5) 1/16th inch PE foam to serve as moisture barrier, dust gasket, and cushioning to eliminate any "high spot" pressure points that can occur if the final backing board and/or the glazing is not perfectly flat.

6) Artcare foamcor board as final backing board (this could be subtituted with other backing board material such as Coroplast if desired).

The whole assembly was dropped into the wood frame and fixed into place with flex framing points (Lineco frame sealing tape can be used to isolate the wood from the print components if that's a concern ... I'm not particularly concerned about off gassing from the wood frame, or one can adapt this method to metal frames as well). The entire assembly is totally reversible. Nothing is glued or bonded. The frame interior dimensions were 27.5 x 32 inches. I made three identically printed and framed copies. One is on display in my home, another located nearby in Massachusetts. The third is in North Carolina. All three framed prints have now made it through 1.5 complete annual seasonal cycles of colder/dryer to more warmer/more humid seasonal variations with absolutely no signs of waviness.

I have numerous other prints framed in various display locations with the same moisture buffer/vapor barrier method, but with the print in direct contact with the glazing, i.e., the overmat in step 2 was not used. All in various locations in USA. None show cockling even after several years on display.

I realize that allowing a print to be in direct contact with glazing is widely considered to be unacceptable conservation framing practice. This concern stems from traditional gelatin prints that cross their glass transition temperature where the gelatin reverts to sticky/rubbery gel state at typical room temperatures when humidity gets above 70%RH for prolonged periods of time (a very real world concern in some parts of the USA and indeed worldwide). However, microporous inkjet media don't have the same material properties as traditional photo gelatin emulsions, so with wise choice of media (i.e ones with decent lay-flat characteristics) and care taken to create a better moisture-buffered environment, the framing techniques I have described are safe, indeed better in many ways, for long term preservation of the work.

Prolonged high humidity and humidity cycling both cause all sort of issues for any framed prints comprised of paper or coated paper media, and T-hinging or other selective anchoring methods aggravate the problems. In particular, dry mount tissues cause some serious yellowing issues with certain popular inkjet media. Note: I'm describing very new and as of yet unpublished work here at Aardenburg Imaging regarding interactions with poplular microporous inkjet media when in contact with widely used dry mount tissues, thus I could write a chapter on this right now, but my time and your patience probably don't permit.

Anyway, just tossing some different ideas out there for folks to consider. The key to the method I outline above is using an inkjet paper with excellent lay-flat characteristics (.e.g., double-side coated Moab Entrada Natural 300gsm) or other non RC media with a tendency for forward-curl whereby the overmat or the glazing will stop that forward-curl movement. I haven't tried the technique with RC photo papers for three reasons. 1) I now consider all RC photo media on the market today to fall short of my personal "archival" requirements,  2) the PE layers in RC media prevent the ink solvents from diffusing into the media, thus the solvents off gas onto the glazing even when extended "curing" periods are provided after printing and before framing, and 3) RC media tend to bow backwards, thus they may naturally try to bow towards the glazing when attempting to use an overeat with them, hence cold mounting or dry mounting techniques are typically invoked when framing RC media.

kind regards,,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com





« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 10:31:34 PM by MHMG »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 06:33:28 AM »

I use mylar photo corners for mounting onto foam board and always have an overmat to help keep the print flat.  I've gone as big as 17x25 using this technique and have not observed any waviness in prints on either gloss or matte prints.  I leave a 1 inch border on all sides of the print so there is good contact with the overmat.  All the papers I print on are rag stock.
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framah

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 10:25:28 AM »

I think we need to go back to the OP original post and ask HOW he  secures it with cloth tape.   Are you taping all the across the top of the print or using  T-hinges.

The usual reason for vertical waves is because you have locked the top of the paper down so it can't expand/contract like the rest of the paper is doing.
Never tape the whole edge of the paper but only make 2  T-hinges about 1/4 of the way in from the sides. This will allow the paper to move as needed.

Another thing...  never use any hinging tape that is stronger than the paper you are hanging. Cloth tape will never tear so that only leaves the print paper to tear in case it happens to fall off the wall.

The whole idea is that the hinge should fail so the art isn't damaged.

Personally, i prefer to just dry mount my photos and be done with them. They never wave or move. They are always nice and flat.  I have yet to see any problem with any dry mounting materials visibly harming the art.

Consider that the odds of your work becoming so popular and you so famous that your art resells on the secondary market and thus would need to be able to be reversed to its original state is close to none. Just mount it down and let your customers enjoy it.  I'm sure they aren't worried that you didn't use archival mounting techniques.

It would be interesting to know hoe Peter Lik mounts his stuff. :o

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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 12:58:09 PM »


Consider that the odds of your work becoming so popular and you so famous that your art resells on the secondary market and thus would need to be able to be reversed to its original state is close to none.

Framah, OP here. It is good to finally connect a name to that little voice in my head....
But to your question, I am not very scientific about it. Sometimes I tape the corners, other times a long piece of tape on the top. Now that I know it makes a difference, I will adopt your T hinge suggestion.
What is the best bang for the buck in a dry mount press to get me started down that road?
Obliged for your help.
David

BTW, you from Maine? Framah is how we spell framer here.
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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2018, 01:00:28 PM »

Thus, my typical framing methods need no adhesives, t-hinging, cold mounting, or hot mounting whatsoever. I have been doing this with very good success for  several years, and it saves a lot of labor time when assembling the finished piece since alignment of the image within the overmat and the frame is automatic.
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

Very helpful, Mark. Obliged for the suggestions.
David

PS: She's a cutie.
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framah

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2018, 01:20:47 PM »

Ellsworth, Me!!  ;D

It's also my license plate!! :o
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deliberate1

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2018, 10:18:55 PM »

Ellsworth, Me!!  ;D

It's also my license plate!! :o

BUSTED! ;D
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2018, 12:35:16 AM »

Personally, i prefer to just dry mount my photos and be done with them. They never wave or move. They are always nice and flat.  I have yet to see any problem with any dry mounting materials visibly harming the art.

Consider that the odds of your work becoming so popular and you so famous that your art resells on the secondary market and thus would need to be able to be reversed to its original state is close to none. Just mount it down and let your customers enjoy it.  Iím sure they aren't worried that you didn't use archival mounting techniques.
 
Well stated, the word ďarchivalĒ can be interpreted many different ways.  As you point out, the concept of archival in itís purest sense means any mounting can be removed without damaging the work in the future.

But from another perspective, it might simply mean insuring the work is mounted and preserved in such a state to insure some respectable longevity.  I have no illusions about my place in history, and am more concerned that my customers are completely satisfied with the presentation of the work as displayed.  The only way to insure this for a very large print is to mount the print using suitable materials, obviously paying attention to how they might affect the longevity of the print.

If on the odd chance one of my pieces was to be acquired by a museum or similar such establishment, I would certainly adhere to more strict ďarchivalĒ standards.
Quote
It would be interesting to know hoe Peter Lik mounts his stuff. :o
Almost all of his work is face mounted Fuji Crystal Archive Flex material to a UV absorbing acrylic.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Archival Mounting Question
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2018, 04:06:29 AM »


For my own photos displayed here I use similar approaches. At first I used the clamped between glass and mounting board without matt of Photorag etc. Now I use the Innova IFA24 210 grams paper, Talens 680 spray, cold mounted with the ph neutral Zenith standard mounting film on 2mm thick polystyrene sheets and framed without glass, no matt either but white or printed borders.  This is not about longevity, archival, whatever.  Print quality is good, little color shifting in time too so far. In the future I might use a 2mm matte white alu/polyethylene composite mounting sheet as well as the polystyrene sheet is almost the same price and less rigid. The paper and tape will not stand time well I expect.

For longevity I advise my customers to have their prints framed at good framing shops in the Framah way and I use the better quality papers then. The good shops for that are hard to find in my experience. I see worse methods of mounting than mentioned above.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
March 2017 update, 750+ inkjet media white spectral plots

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