Dismounting Dry Mounted Prints...

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by tomkatf, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is there any safe way to remove dry mounted prints from old non-archival Crescent mount boards...
    I believe I've heard that the Seal Tissue itself acts as a barrier, but would like to be able to re-mount
    the prints properly... I probably have 50 prints from several shows I had back in the '70s...!!! Thanks!

    Tom
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,413
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Tom

    This sounds like a difficult job, not impossible but tough, you will have to peel away the card from the back carefully without bending the original.
    Once you get close to the back of the print, you can try to roller off the tissue much like emulsion stripping.
    A wedding lab is a place to show you how to strip away the print, they do this for canvas mounting, at least before canvas digital prints.
    Once again I think this is a job where you want lots of time and patience, It also may be helpful to raise the humidity to assist.

    I am not a print restorer and there may be some with credentials that can help more than this Physical Removal Approach.

     
  3. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is reprinting not possible? Might be easier, plus you'll know about the archival permanence.
     
  4. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have done this before with an iron. If you can heat the edge of the print and get it loose (put a sheet of watercolor paper over it) you can then hold the corner and gently pull it up as you slowly draw the iron across the print. I hope that was clear.
     
  5. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi George,

    Unfortunately the negatives for many are gone...:sad:
     
  6. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hmm... that's an interesting idea... I also have a dry mount press, maybe carefully heating them back up and trying your plan would work...

    Tx,
    Tom
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tried it myself and it didn't budge.

    My fiber print was dry mounted to an archival backer board using low temperature mounting tissue. I reheated it to higher temp than used to see if it would loosen. It didn't.

    It might be a case where you can cause more damage than just leaving it alone.... I was just testing with a junk print so no loss for me. If it was a one off deal like yours, I wouldn't try it....
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    AN oven at about 200-225 deg F, and a good thin spatula. The glue melts making it easy to lift the print carefully with the spatula.
     
  9. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,936
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sliding in release paper as you go is a viable approach rather than trying to heat the whole thing at once.

    Old Kodak type 1 dry mount can almost be peeled loose cold if it was not done just right the first time.
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Tom,

    If the print cannot be reproduced I would not try to remove it. I have a couple of signed Ansel Adams prints that were purchased already mounted and later over matted at a frame shop. In both cases it appears to me that acid-free board was not used (even by AA). The board is not pristine but there is no damage to the prints. I have had them for 40+ years.

    IMO, if it's not broke don't fix it. If you are going to display them use an archival over mat.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  11. lesm

    lesm Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is copying an option, either by re-photographing the photos or getting professional scans done?

    If you're near a public art gallery they may have a curator who could give you some advice. Good luck. I applaud your dedication to archival quality in mounts. It's worth the effort.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,413
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    This may be the best advice, you do stand a great chance to wreak the original prints.

     
  13. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks to all who responded for the many ideas!!!... Will remove acidic overmats and look into having the mounted prints scanned and then rematted with an archival overmat, leaving the prints mounted on their original boards...Probably the safest and least likely to damage the original prints. Thanks again!

    Best,
    Tom
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Re the scanning option - there is also a hybrid work flow of scanning, then outputting a very high screen count film at the print size, then you contact this film onto standard silver paper. Brooks Jensen, of LensWork magazine, used to offer this service. The purpose, as I recall, was to offer a method of producing silver process prints easily, for sale at a lower market price than a standard enlarged print. The idea was that the screen count in the (essentially halftone negative he would provide from the print scan) was too fine to see without magnification. The resulting neg would contain all of the print adjustments, like burning, dodging, etc., so was easier to produce. You would provide him with what you consider a perfect print, and for a fee, he would return the print with a negative which would contact print to match the original. I don't know how well this worked, or if he still offers the service.