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Thread: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

  1. #21
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    As I type this reply, on the bench behind me is a big roll of Kodak type 2 dry-mounting tissue and my tacking iron is heating up. All being well by the end of the day I will have dry-mounted 70 gelatin-silver photographs for my Xmas mail out. With the right gear and a bit of practice dry-mounting is quick, easy, and as perfect as it gets.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    DK was just a marketing company which took over Colormount etc from Bienfang, but subcontracted it to Chinese mfg, which caused me some trepidation at first, though it turned out to be the same product in terms of performance. Drytac, on the other hand, makes a giant selection of mounting supplies plus machinery targeted at numerous trades - outdoor advertising, signage, large-scale laminations and art presentation, plus good ole humble drymounting applications. B&H has switched to them, and apparently the rest of major suppliers; so there must be a reason. Nothing new aobut what Michael Smith once posted. For a long time alkaline-buffering has just been a way to market substandard board as "archival". You really need to understand what you're getting and why. I like Rising Museum Board for it's high quality. It's processed in water that comes through limestone, so is naturally buffered a bit. But alkalinity can be a detriment to certain media, such as albumen, dye transfer (which is based on acid mordants) and certain other kinds of prints, as well as artworks on wool and silk. I have albumen prints well over a hundred years old beautiful preserved, glued to distinctly acidic cardboard stock all along. You simply can't take a blanket term like "archival" and make the same shoe fit everything. That's more marketing nonsense than anything else. Most of us, including myself, mostly drymount for sake of silver gelatin prints, where the protocol is well understood.

  3. #23
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    Years ago I used Colormount tissues and acid-free rag boards from Light Impressions for B&W darkroom prints. Eventually many boards became discolored around the print edges. This also happened to a Cole Weston print he perhaps did while conducting a workshop in Minnesota in 1978. Now I print on an Epson with Epson Exhibition Fiber paper extending beyond the overmat's window. The paper remains unmounted. For the last 9 or 10 years this has worked well.

  4. #24
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    Anything resembling edge discoloration around a print mounted on museum board would be due to some kind of foreign contamination, or perhaps due to a bit of the mounting tissue itself being in sight due to being improperly trimmed. I've never even once had that happen after drymounting gosh knows how many thousands of prints, nor have I ever seen a case of what you're describing. Colormount was used for decades by many many photographers with complete reliability. What kind of material did you use between the press platen and the print/ragboard sandwich itself?

  5. #25
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    Probably another sheet of that acid-free rag board from Light Impressions.

  6. #26
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    A mystery. Wonder if some of your Colormount itself had deteriorated due to being stored too long under hot conditions before you bought it? The old version was on glassine tissue, I believe.

  7. #27

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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    fiber-base silver gelatin prints: dry mont on 1 ply board

    Platinum/Palladium & Salt: flatten the prints and hang them with archival hinges on 4 ply board

    B&W fiber base and RC prints that I made in the late 1970s and dry mounted look like they were done yesterday. Unfortunately also used some textured "archival" board in the 1980s and the board has yellowed from the outside inwards.

  8. #28
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
    As I type this reply, on the bench behind me is a big roll of Kodak type 2 dry-mounting tissue and my tacking iron is heating up. All being well by the end of the day I will have dry-mounted 70 gelatin-silver photographs for my Xmas mail out. With the right gear and a bit of practice dry-mounting is quick, easy, and as perfect as it gets.
    Type 2 is what I used for 16x20 prints for years -- a little tricky at times...too hot is a problem. I trimmed the photo (and attached tissue) to the image area and floated the print in a hole about an inch bigger than the image area.

    In theory, dry mount tissue should form a barrier to moisture and chemicals.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #29
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    A friend sold a sizable number of prints to the Santa Barbara Museum several years back. They specifically did not want them mounted because of the increased storage volume.

    Another issue is bad mat board. What if the mat board goes bad? It is not impossible to remove a dry mounted print from a board (lots of practice), but it is impossible to remove the signature, etc. Same friend had worked for Ansel and had a dry mounted AA print. The board turned pink over a few years. Friend called Ansel and asked if he'd re-sign the print if he had it remounted. Ansel was fine with this. Friend insured the print, had it removed, and re-signed.

    Thirdly, the quality and texture of the printing paper is more interesting than a piece of museum board.

    Fourth, and perhaps this is just me, but I don't sell a lot of prints, but I give a lot away. Time is precious and I'd rather print more and dry mount less. Dry mounting is expensive, takes room, and requires more time than I like to 'give away'. I gave a friend a nice print, dry mounted, and even an over mat. They were thankful and framed it...without the over mat, print against the glass. I haven't given them any prints since.

    My personal prints, yes, I like them dry mounted. I learned at a time when that was the 'right' thing to do. Even better, I prefer the print mounted in a debossed mount on 2-ply, but this takes even more time and equipment and space.

    How prints are displayed is a personal decision. There are many fine ways to do it.

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What Happened to Dry Mounting Prints?

    Good rag museum board has gotten quite expensive. But I don't trust the alternatives for fiber-based prints. In fact, the mounting board is probably a far more stable material than the base of the paper itself. Even good book paper has gotten costly. How come a book printed two hundred years ago still has the pages intact, but most book pages nowadays discolor in perhaps a few years? But acquiring a stockpile of materials is nowhere near as expensive as mounting and framing large color prints. So right now, I'm only drymounting only one or perhaps two prints of a given black and white image. I don't mount color prints at all except on demand. Drymount tissues seem to keep well even decades before use. Acrylic cold mount foils don't apply right just after a few years, just like masking tape that isn't used promptly. But in general, I just don't real an image is complete until it's properly mounted; and I sure as heck don't like it when someone messes with my own mat proportions reframing something to match their stupid sofa or whatever. But once they own it, there's nothing I can do about it.

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