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Thread: float frames for alt prints?

  1. #1

    float frames for alt prints?

    I happened to run across some Youtube videos of watercolorists who use float frames to display their work, and they began by using an adhesive to glue the paper to panels made of thin birch plywood (or else a prefab "cradle.")

    Given that alt prints can use even heavier watercolor paper, would it be possible to mount, say, a Pt/Pd print to a wooden panel in the same way? I'm imagining that mottling from the adhesive bleeding through to the paper's surface might be a problem, but am curious if anyone's tried it.

    Any thoughts appreciated...

  2. #2
    Robert Bowring
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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    I am not an expert about this but it seems to me that "gluing" any art work to anything would not be a good idea.

  3. #3
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    There is special methods with archival materials to do the back mounting, not using traditional glues.

  4. #4

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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    If I'm understanding correctly what you mean to do, you can attach the print to a backing with archival hinge tape. Have a couple tape hinges at the top and the print hangs loosely from the backing. I would recommend archival foam board for the backing, not wood, but I suppose maybe it depends on the wood? I still wouldn't trust it not to affect the paper. Then you would use spacers to keep the front glass away from touching the print surface. Really want to keep the glass from touching the print if possible. I can tell you from personal experience, it's not a good idea to have the print touching the glass unless you have it professionally face mounted with their special adhesive made just for that done by someone who knows what they're doing. I stupidly put an inkjet print in a float frame with it pressed directly against the glass, and the ink has totally glued itself to the glass. The print can never be removed now without being ruined, and you can see obvious flaws in the image where the ink became stuck. I know alt prints are different, but it's still asking for trouble letting it touch the glass.

  5. #5

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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    use a large enough sheet of paper that you can wrap it around the edges of the panel and tape or staple it to the back, and add a layer of chemically neutral plastic or something between the paper and plywood.

  6. #6

    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    Excellent, thanks for the input guys--Dave Fearn on a recent thread was kind enough to share a video showing how to pass hinge tape through slits in backing material for an "archival" option. Otherwise, martiansea's advice about print/glass issues is well-taken--although I will admit that even if I end up with a traditional frame, I probably won't use glass and let all those expensive noble elements shift for themselves.

    At any rate, I find the whole "archival imperative" issue very interesting as it relates to my approach to photography--and I definitely could see it changing over time, or even as I shift mediums. (For some reason, I think I would be much less laissez-faire about a silver gelatin print than an alt-print at this point in the proceedings, but of course that might change as well.)

  7. #7

    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    use a large enough sheet of paper that you can wrap it around the edges of the panel and tape or staple it to the back, and add a layer of chemically neutral plastic or something between the paper and plywood.
    Excellent, that's a great idea--especially since I don't anticipate ever having more than an 8x10 image area.

  8. #8

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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by CreationBear View Post
    Excellent, thanks for the input guys--Dave Fearn on a recent thread was kind enough to share a video showing how to pass hinge tape through slits in backing material for an "archival" option. Otherwise, martiansea's advice about print/glass issues is well-taken--although I will admit that even if I end up with a traditional frame, I probably won't use glass and let all those expensive noble elements shift for themselves.

    At any rate, I find the whole "archival imperative" issue very interesting as it relates to my approach to photography--and I definitely could see it changing over time, or even as I shift mediums. (For some reason, I think I would be much less laissez-faire about a silver gelatin print than an alt-print at this point in the proceedings, but of course that might change as well.)
    Check out some good framing shops that specialize in Conservation Framing. From materials to presentation they should be able to help with what you are looking for.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #9

    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    Thanks, we've got quite a few frame shops in town here in Knoxville--one or two ought to be able to steer me in the right direction.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: float frames for alt prints?

    In principle, one never has paper in direct contact with wood, or even with conventionally sealed wood. One needs to know what they are doing. Several good hints have already been provided in foregoing posts.

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