Mounting Albumen Prints

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by RobertP, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Ok all you Albumen printers out there, I know there are thousands of you (kidding). I'm wondering how you are mounting your albumen prints. Are you drymounting them or corner/hinge mounting? The reason I ask is after flattening some of my prints in a dry mount press some 8 months ago the prints are as nice and flat as when they came out of the press. So I'm wondering if I can get away from the drymount tissue and just hinge mount them. I left a border around the image so the mat can help hold down all the edges. If you are using drymount tissue, what type are you using? Thanks, Robert
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I've drymounted with Kodak Type 2 and am moving toward starch mounting--just trying to perfect the technique and avoid drips, lumps, and overspill.

    The ideal archival method is described in Reilly's book, downloadable from albumen.stanford.edu. Albumen prints will eventually curl more easily than gelatin prints, because albumen is just less stable and swells more. All albumen prints develop microcracks over time. The method described by Reilly involves starch mounting the print to another sheet of paper, like two ply, which can then be hinge or corner mounted to a backing board like a regular print.
     
  3. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Hi David, Are you working with a wheat paste type starch? Are you applying it to the entire back side of the print? Thanks, Robert. P.S. I have Reilly's book here somewhere. I guess I need to find it because if you go to buy it now it costs a fortune. Thanks for the online link to it.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You can download the whole book for free as a PDF. Yes, I'm using Lineco Pure Wheat Starch applied to the entire back of the print.
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    David, Have you looked into the Rollatag System sold by Light Impressions? It is an acid free adhesive that is rolled on and then burnished with a burnishing roller. Robert
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    No I haven't. There are a few mentions of it ("Rollataq" with a "Q" at the end, isn't it?) on some of the conservation lists, but I haven't found anything conclusive about it. It looks like something very neat to apply, but I think the composition of the adhesive is proprietary, which would probably make conservators skeptical.
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Yes it is Rollataq with a "Q". The ease of use is what appealed to me. Then there is the low temp non-buffered dry-mount tissue. But from everything I read heat is not recommended for albumen mounting at all, no matter what temp. Robert
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Heat will darken the print--sometimes a good thing, sometimes not, but not with historic prints, of course, and most of the conservation literature is about dealing with historic prints.

    Albumen prints were sometimes burnished traditionally using a device with two rollers, one moving faster than the other, to give the prints more gloss, and the burnisher was heated.
     
  9. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    So a low temp drymount tissue may not be detrimental to an albumen print at all? It may even enhance the gloss? Yes I've seen pictures in the old literature of the old roller presses. Robert
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The gloss didn't come from the heat so much as the calendering action of the metal rollers on the print surface.

    I don't think drymounting would be more detrimental than calendering in itself, but I think conservators wouldn't want to do it to historic prints, because it could change them. On the other hand, we might want to change our own prints for aesthetic reasons. I flatten my prints with heat in a drymount press, even if I don't drymount them.

    I suppose that dry heat probably hastens the cracking of the emulsion layer, but that's going to happen anyway eventually with albumen prints.
     
  11. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I also noticed the Lineco also has a liquid adhesive. I think it is a poly-vinyl acetate adhesive that is acid free and can be later released with just water. It may be something to look into also. But wheat starch would be what conservators recommend I'm sure. I'm just not sure what consistency to mix the stuff to. I guess its going to take some trial and error. Robert
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,004
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yeah, that's what I've been experimenting with. I'm leaning toward thin.