Dry mounting, pre-cut matts, workflow questions.

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by PKM-25, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I am getting ready to prep my fiber based 10 x 10 and 15 x 15 editions for sale. I have a large 500T mount press and want to figure out how to store prints for sale. Am I best off at least mounting them to board? What kind, thickness? I have also noticed that even though the format is square, some artists are selling them mounted in 18 x 20 matts despite it only being a 10 x 10. It is standard practice to use a longer dimension on the vertical plane and is it typically centered or favoring more matt on the bottom on a square format print?

    My three print sizes for now will mostly be 10 x 10 and 15 x 15 and some 8 x 8's, what is customary in this format and what is the best workflow for editions of 45, printing in quantities of no more than 20 at a time?
     
  2. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Mounting can be a can of worms. Back at Ohio University in my Hippy days, I was taught to mount above center but never heard the words 1/3rd - 2/3rds. I have often mounted prints, square and not square on boards 2 or 3 sizes up from the long size of the print, i.e. 4x5 on an 11x14 per say.

    I usually put the print image down to protect it on the tissue, use a mechanical pencil without lead to score the tissue real size to the print. I then use a straight edge and razor to cut just inside the line by an 1/8 of an inch or so on all sides. I find some tissues grow in the hot press. I tack the middle then set aside and repeat until all prints have tacked tissue waiting for the layout and heat press.

    Then I find where I want to mount them and mark on the stainless steel T square the tops of the print and bottom for where it goes on the board, slide the T square left to right to see if the image is level. I use a second ruller maked for the left to right. If they are all the same I can wizz through a lot of them very quickly.


    3 corner tack all the prints to the board then use a cover board in the heat press. So I would batch your 10x10, 15x15 and 8x8 to speed up and be consistant.

    Pre-cut mattes are not too bad to match to the mount boards. 4 small light pensil dots of the frame onto the mount board gives you measurements you can use to layout your backing board. So just make certain you keep the overmat matched to the mount board once the print is tacked, else you may find out that not all matts are square and the same.

    Lee
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Most collectors and galleries buying prints prefer un-mounted (as in dry mountyed)and with a good border aroound the image typical 1.25". If the prints are matted then it's to archival standards.

    Whether you present square images in a square frame or rectanle (20x16) is quite a personal choice, there's no right or wrong. My exhibition prints get framed in my 20x16 and larger rectangular frames but I'll often sell individual square prints from 6x6 in square frames (I prefer to print full frame with no cropping).

    Ian
     
  4. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Thanks Ian,

    So when you say dry mounting, you are referring to a hinged matt with the print placed into corners holding it in place? And if so, how are you ensuring it being as flat as possible, especially in the case of fiber based papers?
     
  5. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    daleeman,

    Just saw your post after Ian's, thanks!
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Actually, the tissue does not grow -- it is the print shrinking as it dries in the mount press -- usually the print will shrink significantly in only one direction. To prevent this, I put the print in the mount press (without the tissue!) Actually due to the high humidity here, I first dry the mat board (after it heats up in the press, I open and close the press several times to drive out the moisture). Then I put the print on the mat board (without tissue) and repeat the above.

    I only tack two adjacent corners of the tissue to the mat board.

    vaughn

    PS -- I prefer to mount square images on vertically orientated mat board.
     
  7. KenR

    KenR Member

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    I was taught to dry the print (and flatten it) and the mounting board for a 1/2 minute in the press, allowing it to cool before attaching the mounting tissue and putting it back into the press for another minute.

    I was never a fan of the "mount off center" aesthetic - I center my prints on the board. Square prints are also personal preference - square mats or rectangle - I generally use rectangle because that's the way the precut mat boards and ready made frames come (I guess that I'm lazy).

    I like nice flat prints that don't get damaged, so I dry-mount them. If the galleries don't like matted prints, I suppose my heirs will lose out! Or when they throw out all my stuff they'll have to hire a larger size dumpster.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No dry mounting is mounting with heat tissue and is best avoided.

    You can flatten FB prints in a dry mounting press between two bits of mount card, you need to warm them up and dry them out well at the start.

    So yes - I'm referring to a hinged matt with the print placed into corners holding it in place - as the ideal.

    Ian
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Pendantics - if dry mounting tissue's cut to the print size it bleeds out.

    Ian
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Interesting -- decades of dry-mounting and I never have had that happen. But I have always used Seal products.

    And since I "float" the print inside the window, I would have seen it.

    Vaughn
     
  11. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    If you are going to sell your prints fully framed then you can select any mat borders, equal or unequal, or bottom weighted that you feel most comfortable presenting your artwork with. If you are going to sell them mounted and matted, then you might consider matting them such that the frame size is a standard frame size such as 16x20 or 18x24. Then your customer will have an easier time finding a frame and will not be forced to take your image to a custom framer.
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I do a lot of volume mounting. To make it easier, and quicker, I print with a one inch border around the print, and cut the window to expose 1/2 inch, of the paper border. I dry mount them. They are then bagged, to keep them clean.
    For other, unmounted prints, I store them in archival boxes.

    If you're planning on doing a lot of this, it's worth investing in a good mat cutter, with production stops, and buying mat board in 32x40 inch size. The windows you cut from a large print can be re-squared and used for smaller mats. Quality board is expensive, and this will give you the most bang for your buck.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    These days dry mounting tissues have changed, I've still got quite a large supply of Ademco (The Adhesive Dry Mounting Company) tissue left that I bought more than 35 years ago, I was given an Ademco dry mounting press when a local newspaper switched to RC papers in the 70's. These older tissues are shellac based and it was always recommended that the tissue be cut slightly undersized 1/16th of an inch on all sides, they required quite a bit of heat and pressure to get the best results. Slightly too long or too much pressure and the adhesive could bleed badly if cut to the exact size.

    PE/RC prints couldn't stand the heat required for the older tissues so a new generation of lower temperature tissue were introduced and presses have changed as well.

    Ian
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    my 2cents:
     
  16. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For decades I dry mounted and floated photographs in archival hinged mats. Eventually some mount board became slightly discolored around the edges of the prints. Now I either do like Eddie, or hang prints on heavy paper in hinged mats. Hanging the prints has the advantage of leaving remounting options available in the future.
     
  17. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I understand the concerns of some collectors and curators in preferring unmounted prints. However, for me, having very precisely trimmed and visible borders is very important, something that just doesn't seem to happen with even quality 4-bladed easels. I, too, float my prints inside the window mat so the edges can be clearly seen. So, I trim and dry-mount. For me, the mount board color is very important, so I like to make that decision as well, and not leave it up to the customer/gallery/etc. I consider the mount board part of the artwork. (BTW, I trim the tissue to the exact size together with the print and have never had bleeding problems. These seem to have been solved long ago.)

    I use Bien Fang (formerly Seal) Buffer Mount, which is reversible with heat, so I (or someone) could remove a print and re-mount it on another board (something I've only done when I made a gross error positioning a print on the board...). However, even if something does happen to the edge of a mount board, it is always covered by the window mat, so the presentation is really not affected unless something happens to the area immediately around the print. I hinge my window mats with linen tape with water-soluble adhesive, so the window mat is easily replaceable at any time. Of course, it should match the mount board.

    No two of my prints are the exact same dimension, so I position each one individually. I usually tack tissue to a batch of prints (40 or so) to opposite corners, and then trim them down to the desired dimensions with a Rototrim rolling trimmer. I then set up to mount. Fortunately for me, my mounting is done in a very dry climate, so I really don't have to worry about drying prints and board that I've had around for a while. I use a self-modified T-square centering device that lets me position in two steps (basically a T-square with a reverse scale on the left part of the "T." I've posted about it somewhere here for those interested).

    I like a little more space below the print than above it, but have a tendency to choose this by feel instead of some formula. I just move the print up from center till it looks "right." I then tack the free corners of the tissue to the board and pop it into the press (after dusting, of course) between two 4-ply rag boards with a sheet of one-ply rag paper covering the print surface. While the print is "cooking," I position and tack the next one. When I'm done tacking the print, it's usually about time to remove the first one from the press. I pull it out, weight it, and put the next print in the press. Repeat till finished :smile:

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  18. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I consider the print unfinished until it is mounted and overmatted, ready for presentation.
     
  19. ROL

    ROL Member

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  20. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Waaayy too much work for me. That's why I use pre-cut overmats sized to float the print in the window. I don't have to measure anything. I don't have to cut any mat board. Well worth the money to have them cut for me.
     
  21. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Do you use the exact same printing dimensions every time?
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Many people do particularly for exhibitions etc, the only variation being if images are shot with different format camera. It make matting much easier and gives a more consistent feel to a finished body of work.

    This also brings up the question of whether you print full frame or crop which is another topic.

    Ian
     
  23. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Good stuff, keep it coming!
     
  24. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    A great reference book is "The Mounting and Laminating Handbook" by Chris Paschke. She is a well recognized expert and consulting on artwork mounting for the custom framing industry and has been consulted by manufacturers of mounting and equipment supplies. You can purchase the book on her website here:

    http://www.designsinkart.com/book.htm

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  25. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Good for you, nothing wrong with overmatting. Glad to hear you can afford to have others do the work for you – many cannot. Why even bother to make photographs at all? It seems it would be easiest for you to invest fully in the work of others, print, mat, and frame.

    Some prefer to offer fully artist derived works for reasons other than ease of production.
     
  26. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    My several cents, serious collectors prefer unmounted prints. Having said that, I've noticed George Tice still dry mounts his gelatin silver prints. I used to mount and float the trimmed print in a 4-ply matte. Now I don't mount, and cut the window to the image size, leaving the white borders intact and under the matte. I came to this conclusion after attending a talk about archival consideration years ago. My work with the Estate of Andre Kertesz has confirmed this. For you it may be an esthetic consideration, but practically, prints tend to yellow form the edges over time. Trimming the edges means the yellowing will start in the image area. In the end, however, I say do what you like, just be sure to consider your choices carefully (as apparently you are doing).

    Also I want to reiterate what Vaughn said, I've never had tissue bleed around the edges.

    One more thing. In putting squares in vertical mattes. there's an interesting formula for that. Here is a jpeg of the procedure that was given to me a while back. I'd be glad to explain it if anyone is interested.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16205118/dougs_spec's200.jpg