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Thread: Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    This summer I have been going throughout the house, repairing all the things my bride has been hinting about for the last decade (or two). There is the small 2" crack in the corner of the dining room storm window, the kitchen cabinet door with the broken latch, the loose stair tread and many more.

    In so doing, I have become aware of a phenomenon which I call the “homeowner’s blind eye syndrome”. Essentially, it states that anything around the house which is not repaired within a month or two becomes invisible to the male head of household.

    The element of this which is pertinent to this forum is that it also (for me) applies to artwork. Pictures on the wall become invisible if not rotated or replaced on a regular basis. Even my computer desktop seems to need a new image every week or so.

    In the past, I have traditionally framed everything under glass. But this method is beginning to get expensive. And recycling the frames requires all prints to be the exact same size and aspect ratio. Not a good thing.

    So I got thinking about the apartment we had when I was in art school. Absolutely awash in photographs. All dry-mounted to regulation double-weight white mat board. A stack here waiting to be spotted. A pile there ready to turn in for some class project. A row along the baseboard, six deep, because the closet was already full. It looked like a real, active, working photographer lived there.

    My thinking is to return to that look. Perhaps hang some ledges ala The Pottery Barn for a start:

    Then for boards, use something waterproof like Gatorfoam:

    Seal now charges for a dry-mount press about what I paid for my new VW beetle in art school. So the prints will instead be wet-mounted with either pre-mixed wallpaper paste or archival equivalent.

    To protect the prints from household grime and make them cleanable, I’m thinking about either Renaissance Wax from Light Impressions or a protective coat of mod podge:

    The goal is to create a large volume of washable display prints, inexpensively and easily mounted, which can be rotated, trashed or recycled without major fuss.

    The question is whether anyone here has used any of these materials and has tips, warnings or recommendations.

    And I suppose the really big question is: with all these pictures lining the walls, will my living room begin to look like the cold cereal aisle at my local supermarket?

  2. #2
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    " . . . will my living room begin to look like the cold cereal aisle at my local supermarket?"

    Perhaps. But, it will be your aisle at your (image) supermarket. The larger question is whether you'll start paying yourself for "premium placement" of particular photographs on your shelves. ;-)

  3. #3
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    I usually stay out of these discussions but sometimes just can't resist sohere goes:

    "Seal now charges for a dry-mount press about what I paid for my new VW beetle in art school." Not really, not even close!. I remember my VW Beetle that I purchased new in 1966 for $1200. I just did the inflation calculations on that $1200 and today $1200 1966 dollars equals $7030.25. A new 210M Seal Dry mount press costs $1049.95 from B%H ..... a far cry from $7030.25. Yeah, yeah, yeah silly little details but every once in a while my brain screams for some accuracy and fairness. Bottom line things seem to cost a lot more today than they used to but only in absolute terms, in relative terms, considering inflation they sometimes even cost less.

    Nuff .... I will go back in my hole and continue to stay out of these!

  4. #4

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    Interesting idea, John! I'll be interested to read the input from others regarding the use of your suggested materials.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 1999

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    Twice a month, I have the same thoughts about what to do with all my prints, photo-things and junks. My cleaning lady repeated it again last tuesday: "Once again all is full of your things... -I cannot work here-! Cameras, boxes, tripods, books, photos, files, papers and all kind of things over the desk, floor, chairs, shelves, etc. I cannot see this chaos. Others indicate it to me. Some time ago, looking at a book about famous photograhers, I was highly surprised with the images about the total disorder of their offices; But, what about mine? It is even worst!.

    It cannot be better named: "Homeowner's Blind Eye Syndrome".

    My last idea about showing prints and be easily changed (well... better than the actual nailed prints over anothers on the wall) was to install a moreless beautiful bar where the dry mounted best prints can be placed (only the better ones -not all-), in the same way as A. Adams did on his piano room. I´m sure it is not what you are looking for...

  6. #6
    Scott Davis
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Washington DC

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    As to the Seal Dry Mount Press, well... if you look long enough on E-bay you'll find a used one in your area. These things go for pennies on the dollar because nobody wants to pay the shipping, and they're big and ungainly. Sometimes you can find one from a frame shop that is going out of business or somesuch. As long as the platen is clean and the felt pad is in good shape, they're worth it. If the platen is a mess, wait until another cleaner one comes along.

  7. #7
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Marin County, California

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    I think he meant without correcting for inflation, Ted- $1200 is pretty close to $1049.95.
    Brian Vuillemenot

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Whittier, CA

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    I gave up dry and wet mounting long time ago, when i was warned that neither of them is an archival procedure.
    All I do is hinge the work with linen tape.
    It creates a little bit of buckling only in big sizes ( 20 x 24 up ) , but smaller sizes are less vulnerable to that.
    Another great advantage is that the image can be removed for any reason from the mounting board.

  9. #9

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    How about a wall easel from pottery barn? I've used this to display photographs in my office.

  10. #10

    Homeowner's Blind Eye Print Display

    I have been considering covering a large area of wall in my bedroom with cork so that I can constantly have my latest prints on display, then when they start to get old I can take them down, slip them into an archival sleeve and put them in a box for safe keeping.

    That way when I wake up I can sit up from my bed and see my nights labors.

    Now I just need to find somewhere where I can get some cheap cork tiles....

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