Dry Mounting Disadvantages?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Diaga67, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Diaga67

    Diaga67 Member

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    I wanted survey the thoughts of everyone regarding any potential disadvantages to dry mounting prints. I understand it is a great way of keeping fiber paper prints flat, and it works well for framing, but are there those individuals that would rather create/collect unmounted prints? If so, why?

    Just curious to get thoughts on this. Thanks!
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    If the board the image is mounted too gets damaged you are SOL.
     
  3. KenM

    KenM Member

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    To me, the downsides of dry-mounting are:
    • presses are heavy
    • presses are expensive
    • they take up space
    • you need dry mount tissue, something more to buy
    • a press can only do dry-mounts up to a certain size - within reason, that is. You can dry-mount via 'bites', but that quickly gets tiresome
    Now, that said, I think the benefits of a flat print far outweigh the downsides listed above. That's just my opinion, which is surely different than many other folks out there.

    And yes, if you ding the mat you have a problem, but generally speaking you have an overmat sitting over the mounted and framed print, so any dings to the base are covered by the mat. If you ding the print, it's dinged, whether it's dry-mounted or hinge-mounted.
     
  4. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Mounted prints are hard to remove but i did do it yesterday on one that wasn't centered.
     
  5. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    Well !! Hopefully the disadvantages are pretty minimal as I just bought a used Seal 200 with plan to put it to use--It wasn't big bucks ($200) but seeing a post as this is rather discouraging if you know what I mean!!
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i guess i am one of the folks that doesn't dry mount prints.
    i did once, 20+ years ago, and the prints are coming off of the board.
    i shy away from dry mounting mainly because it is difficult to reverse ... a nice window mat or hand made book ( not hard to make ) i think presents better than drymounted prints ... but that is just me, and i know lots of folks love to drymount their "stuff"

    have fun!

    -john
     
  7. KenM

    KenM Member

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    That's the beauty of it - you do what you want, and I do what I want :D

    My issue with prints that are not dry mounted is that they tend to go 'wavy', especially when the humidity changes. Also, with dry mounted prints, you can be very precise with what you want to show of the print - I can't see being as accurate (maybe you can!) by cutting an overmat, and overlaying the print. Then again, I guess you could print with a white border, and show some of the white border when the mat is hinged. I dunno, I've never done it.

    Ah well, I'll stick with dry mounting. I've only been doing it for 6 years, and I've yet to have a failure.....

    (fingers crossed)
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    To me, if a print is worth selling as art, it is worth dry mounting and window matting. I like to send my babies out into the world with the best possible start. A painter said, "A good picture deserves a good frame. A poor picture needs one." This may well apply to photos and their mounts, mats, and frames. Of course the needs and desires of the customer or client should be considered. For some applications mounting is inappropriate.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Conservators generally prefer prints not to be drymounted, though of course they will deal with drymounted prints as best they can. The main issue is reversability, and in general, not reversable=not archival by definition. This has nothing to do with questions of whether the mat protects the print or whether drymounting keeps it flat. If, say, the mat develops mold, the print needs to be removed, and it's a heck of a lot easier to unmount a hinge mounted print.

    I like the look of a drymounted print, but one sees much less drymounting in the better New York galleries than there used to be. Another issue is storage. Galleries usually have drawers full of unframed, unmounted prints available for browsing.

    Flat prints are a passing fashion. We'll all get used to wavy prints eventually. We look at corner mounted prints all the time in galleries and museums and if the prints are otherwise compelling, we often don't notice.

    Okay, I'm being a little facetious, but I think the compromise is eventually going to be starch mounting, which is the traditional method of mounting albumen prints. Albumen prints curl more than gelatin prints, because albumen is just less stable, so they really do have to be mounted flat, and virtually all of them are starch mounted, and they've been holding up for about 100-140 years. I haven't tried it yet, but there are instructions in Reilly's book at albumen.stanford.edu. If a starch mounted print ever needs to be unmounted, it can be floated off the board in distilled water.
     
  10. per volquartz

    per volquartz Member

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    Use Seal Buffermount

    It is archival. It can be removed quite easily. If in 30 or 40 years the mount board gets damaged, remove the print and re-apply to another mount board.


    It is easy to use.
     
  11. per volquartz

    per volquartz Member

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    Buffermount made by Bienfang

    ...sorry!
     
  12. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I agree 100% on this one. The beauty of hinge mounting is that you can make the hinge (or connection of the hinge) sufficiently weaker than the paper base of the print, so when something breaks by inadvertent handling, storage condition, transportation, etc., it will be the hinge that gets damaged, not the work itself.

    I prefer S-hinge for most large prints, but I've also found archival Tyvek tape (with pressure-sensitive adhesive) to be very easy to use and strong enough to mount large prints (e.g., 20x24) on backing board.

    Drymount press can be used to flatten prints and the print may be mounted by hinges or adhesives. If you mount a print by top center with sufficiently wide S-hinge (or a tape), the print remains flat because shrinkage/expansion of the print/backing/matte board is not going to distort the print surface. Bottom corners are also loosely held by corners, of course.
     
  13. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    I've seen reports that a good dry-mount tissue can also protect the prints from contaminants in the mat board.
     
  14. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    Do you mean backing board?

    I think that may be a valid point if you permanently bond the work on nonarchival backing board, but I don't see a point if backing board (I use acid-free foam core) is stable enough, provides good barrier from the external world, and easily replaceable.
     
  15. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I have a stack of my father's prints that were probably mounted with an iron on Cresent board. I now have the task of removing them. The signatures will be lost. I like mounted prints and I mount most of mine when I sell or give them away. However, many that I receive are hinge mounted with overmats, signed on oversized boarders. These are very nice and you can see the nature of the paper on which the image is printed.

    I think David is right that mounted prints are a fad. I also think that they take up way too much room. I have more than I can store. Another thing that happens to mounted prints where I live is that there is some little bug that eats the gelatin at the edge of the print. If the print still had a big boarder this wouldn't be a problem. Now I do a final rinse in DDT to solve this.
     
  16. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Yes.
     
  17. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I can't think of a single advantage to dry mounting a photograph. Sorry.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Traveling Portfolio has provided some interesting experience in seeing what happens to mounts that have a lot of handling. The portfolio is being shipped about twenty times per round (sorry folks that I still haven't gotten things together for the next round. In about a week or so, things should ease up at work, I hope.), and is being handled by people who are presumably careful with the prints. Still, by the time it's made the rounds, the vibration of the prints in the case, even sleeved prints, removing the prints and replacing them, even careful handling, all take their toll, and the mats start to look worn and the edges of the backing boards are a little less crisp than they were when the print went out. It's time for a remount.

    I know there are those who say that the mount is "part of the work," but maybe it shouldn't be. If the presentation is important, sometimes it's better to replace the mount when it gets ragged than to assign perhaps artificial value to the original mount, and chances are, it will get ragged eventually despite the best intentions. If the mount is so important why not the frame? For some visual artists, the frame is certainly part of the work as well, but most photographers are usually more flexible about this (though I know Robert Teague likes Koa frames for his Hawai'ian prints, and some have preferences for Denglas, but usually no particular value is assigned to the original sheet of Denglas if it becomes scratched over time and requires replacement).
     
  19. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Just a real personal choice point.
    I really love the subtle paper texture of a glossy FB print, (especially the now departed Kodak PM FA SW). Nothing shows it off better than a perfectly flat, dry mount. I find the sheen off of a barely wavy unmounted print just distracts me.
    Totally individual preference.
     
  20. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I dry mount my prints. I do so for several reasons the first being that the prints look the best followed closely by the fact that they are better protected when dry mounted and window matted. Dry mounted prints can be un mounted, I have done so on several occasions although it is not something I enjoy doing. I use buffermount and can not vouch for the reversibility of other dry mount products.

    The dry mount tissue, especially a buffered one like buffermount will act as a barrier between the print and the back board further preventing the leaching of acid into the print. While some may say this is unnecessary if you use acid free board, you have to remember that the board will eventually absorb acid from the environment, another reason why you should use alkali buffered board, however even that over a long enough time frame will turn acidic.

    It is because of the leaching of acid onto a print that I also choose to make my window mat the floating type. That is it does not sit on the print, possibly leaving an impression or giving a contact area for acid to leach, and the edge of the print is visible on the back board. This requires more precision in one's window cutting and mounting, but it makes for a more archival matting I believe.
     
  21. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    To mount or not to mount is a very personal thing. Both sides are passionate about their thoughts. In the past both sides have lined up their curators which will say you should or shouldn't mount the prints.

    If the greats of the past can drymount, and their prints sell for "new home" money, then that tells me whether your drymount or not will not effect your sales. Having quality work is much more important.

    For me, I drymount everything except handcoated Platinum/Palladium prints. I don't drymount those because I like the look at the coating edge.

    I had been given the lecture of "curators don't like drymounted prints." So I tried hinge mounting, but our summers are humid in NJ and the silver print started to do a dance under the mat that I didn't like the look of. So I drymount my silver prints.