Cheap & Easy Fiber-Print Mounting - Clothes Iron

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by holmburgers, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Actually, this could just as easily relate to RC paper.

    But let's say I want to sell some prints, and I think the best choice is to provide mounted photos, unframed, to hang for sale in a coffee shop for example.

    I'm thinking the easiest way to do this is by using drymount tissue on nice archival board and pressing it with a simple clothing iron.

    Is this "good enough"? Any suggestions? How would you mount something as easily as possible, but to make it look decently good hanging on a wall, and easy for someone to frame themselves?
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Actually I find if you provide perceived value (even if the actual photography sux) it brings higher prices so I would overmount whenever possible.

    I do have single dry mount shots around the house, but when something is going to market I absolutely, positively overmount and even frame in some cases.

    IMO if you go cheap it just cheapens the perceived value and people wont pay more.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Good call. Then let's say I want to overmount it. I assume you mean like a matte, or "passe-partout", window matte? Are these all the same things?

    I wan't to do this without having to buy anything but raw materials and I have no matt cutter, or that kind of thing. I could probably spring for one of these heavy duty cutters (wood board and large sheer) though.

    I guess a better question would simply be, "Best Looking, Cheapest & Easiest Way to Mount Photos?"
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I always used a matte cutter (Logan?I forget) at the community college.
    Window matte at a 45 degree angle. Usually Westminster 8 ply or a black if appropriate.
    Window was hinged with linen tape. Print mounted to separate board at corners (no drymount tissue for these)
    This allows switching out prints if necessary but they don't lay as flat with fibre.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone cuts mattes without a cutter on the sly also.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2011
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Actually... if that's all one needs, maybe I can find one for cheap.

    What about the clothes iron, ever done that?

    edit: Like eBay item # 400203603826. Can that do the center cutout as well?
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Theoretically, the clothes iron would work with FB, but I wouldn't use it on RC paper. The probability of the RC melting even at low temps is too much for me.
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Another good call. Maybe I don't even need to drymount (fiber or RC) w/ an overmat and linen tape. I need to learn a bit about framing and display. Any good books that relate to photography?
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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  9. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Books

    Holmburgers, are you familiar with Henry Wilhelm? And the book which he has made available on-line, for free? Try chapter 12, and perhaps 11.
     
  10. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    You'll have to be a bit more specific, he has an endless number of documents on his website.

    Does he have articles about the logistics of framing and matting prints? I'm familiar with archival methods, and I just need to know the "craft" side of things.
     
  11. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    A rail mounted matte cutter will give more consistently professional cuts than a free-hand Dexter with a straight edge. I would also frame with a metal frame such as the Nielsen frames and definitely under glass. Use archival board and over matte with 4ply or 8ply board. I only dry mount when necessary (now) using archival corners because if a purchaser wants to re-frame to a different size an accidentally miss cut matte could ruin a print. Also humidity stains on a matte especially in a location you don't control would be a problem.

    Remember you are presenting your art and "good enough" is not what sells.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Mr Bill, excellent, got it now. Funny enough.. that book is in my car at the moment :laugh: (seriously) (thinking about going to grad school for photo preservation-esque stuff, but haven't read it yet!)

    Jeff, yes I see your point, but my MO is always to achieve high-quality with low-cost. I'm not gonna put the cart before the horse and go buy a mega-cutter, I'm going to cut my teeth on the Dexter. I like the archival corners idea better than dry-mounting for sure. Framing at this point is just too much overhead; I'm gonna see how it goes at first and go from there.

    That being said, how do I make a "mat-sandwich" sturdy enough by itself w/o a frame?
     
  14. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    If you don't frame, use glass and one of the gallery clips. They are cheap and in a restaurant who knows when a (food fight) or someone with greasy fingers decides to touch your pictures.
     
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Also a good idea.

    Ok, I think I'm starting to imagine what these might look like.
     
  16. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    BTW, in Chapter 11, top of page 378, is a paragraph about the use of "an ordinary household iron."
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Awesome, I'll check it out this evening (I'm at work currently).
     
  18. CJBo001

    CJBo001 Member

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    Regarding dry mounting with a househod iron - years ago when I had no access to a dry mounting press (still don't) I tried it with FB. I found it alnost impossible to avoid bubbles, so I definitely don't recommend it.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This may be a bit anal, but ....

    "mat" - means the window thing in front of your print, which is cut using a "mat cutter"
    "matte" refers to surface texture

    and as for "Matt", well isn't it self-explanatory?:wink:
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    haha
     
  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I have mounted fiber prints up to 11x11 with a household iron, but "tedious" is too kind a word to describe it. Now that I do mostly matte/semi-matte prints I lightly dampen the backs, interleave with good sturdy paper towels then place that sandwich between sheets of birch plywood and weight the the stack for a day. For me that results in relatively flat prints. I then hinge mount them behind a mat with the window slightly smaller than the image. With a backing board and some acid-free board between it and the print, the whole package makes a sandwich that can stored in clear bags and displayed unframed (if maybe a bit distorted!)

    When doing bevel cuts, the trick with the Dexter cutter is to cut from the front surface, and to withdraw the cutter a short distance (about 1/32 or so) from the straightedge when starting the point. Then as the point sinks in, the angle snugs the cutter against the straight edge. It takes a little experimentation to see what works for you.

    Some years ago I attended a class by a former curator of a major (non-photo) print collection. He claimed that behind the scenes at major museums like the Philadelphia Art Museum we would see T-squares and Dexter cutters! He also recommended cutting from the front, which I believe others do not, the reason being you can see the exact intersection of the cuts on what will be the visible surface. If using some sort of embossed or foil covered (!!!) mat, the front surface can be protected from the sliding cutter by laying a strip of Bristol board or heavy vellum over it.

    I suspect the above techniques may be viewed with some controversy, but they do appear to work if one is meticulous in the operations. It would probably be easier for someone who practiced cutting ten mats a day than ten mats a year. :tongue:
     
  22. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks, good insight!
     
  23. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Another mat cutting comment ... For years I used a hunk of "chip board" as backing under the mat. But a couple of years back, I finally broke down and bought one of those "self-healing" cutting mats made of some mysterious plastic. I rate it a good investment, even though they cost like they're made of gold!