Mounting on aluminum

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Jim Chinn, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have noticed in the description of a couple different gallery ads for someone displaying cibachrome prints that they are mounted on "anode aluminum".

    I imagine that anode is a less utilitarian sounding term then anodized, but is there some specific quality or advantage to mounting to aluminum?

    Anyone know how the prints are attached? Adhiesive, taped corners etc?

    I also remeber either Avedon or Penn had a series of platinum prints that were mounted to aluminum. Anyone know which one?

    Thanks for the replies in advance.
     
  2. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Jim, Hoopers gallery in London use this method of mounting prints for some artists. When done correctly it looks excellent but is very expensive. The prints are mounted right to the edge of the aluminum and hung using two pieces of wood, one fixed to the back of the mount and the other fixed to the wall. The wood is cut at 45 degree angle and just slot into each other keeping the image level and fixed to the wall. From the front there is no sign of how the print hangs it looks suspended. I also have one 8" x 8" print at home mounted in the centre of a 12" square piece of aluminum it looks very good but the aluminum is easily marked.
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Jim, if memory serves me correctly several of the prints from 'In the American West' were mounted on aluminum. And since there will be a retrospective in Sept at the Carter here in FW, why not catch a flight back down then and we can go see them :wink:

    I really do not know how they were attached other than I recall the corners were not taped and it really looked like the emulsion was ON the aluminum. Will have to check Ms. Wilson book and see if she metions it...will post an update if I find out.

    BTW, it was great meeting you at the workshop
     
  4. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I haven't done it Jim, but I would guess that standard dry mounting techniques would work, as long as the aluminum surface free of oil and such.

    Apart from some aesthetic touch, it would sure be a sturdy mount, albeit an expensive one.
     
  5. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Yep, that would be the downside in addition to the expense. Annodizing it, which is typically black, would prevent most of the marking.
     
  6. lee

    lee Member

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    when I saw the Avedon show "In the American West" at the Amon Carter Museum here in Ft Worth, it was all mounted on aluminum

    lee\c
     
  7. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    My memory is hazy on this, but I think Penn did platinums mounted on aluminum because he was doing multiple printings and the paper was mounted prior to printing to keep it dimensionally stable.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  8. aj-images

    aj-images Member

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    I professionally mounted for years and one reason Ciba or Ilfochrome was mounted on Aluminum was because the prints were flat. Mounting on foamcore or gator foam gave the orange peel affect. Other choices were Sintra or Plexiglass. - Jim
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    In the mid-70s some photo mag had an article covering mounting prints on aluminum. The idea was to lessen exposure of the print to the atmosphere by isolating the back side. As an experiment, I mounted some B&W prints on aluminum foil (Reynolds Wrap) with dry mount tissue, then mounted the aluminum foil to a piece of mount board, again with standard dry mount tissue. So, I would think dry mounting would work with aluminum sheets.

    I still have a couple of the prints. While I can't say if the process helped preserve the prints, it doesn't seem to have harmed them.
    juan
     
  10. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Dry mounting onto aluminium is a product offered as standard by perhaps the biggest conservation framers in the UK. On that basis alone I'm sure it works.

    Its also popular amongst art school students for large prints for end of year shows etc. Don't know how they afford it though.
     
  11. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    FWIW, the anodize on aluminum can be any color at all. Or, more correctly, the anodize coating itself (which is simply a very thick, relatively speaking, induced oxide coat similar to what forms naturally to make aluminum corrosion resistant) is colorless, but at one point in the process is porous and can be made to take up any dye desired, before the pores are sealed over. I've seen anodize that was bright red, bright yellow, bright green, dead black, and a number of sublter shades, as well as clear or very nearly clear.

    Anodize really amounts to mounting your print on sapphire -- but be aware what the dye that colors an anodize coating might do relative to archival standards; not only can the dye in anodize fade with light exposure (like any dye), there's a question in my mind of what the dye decomposition products might do to your print. If no dye is used, this won't be an issue (and the acid from the anodize is washed out in the finishing process), but then you'll have a surface that looks like aluminum or like aluminum with a translucent white coating.

    I've also seen examples of people applying a silver halide sensitizer to porous anodize, exposing, developing, fixing, washing, and then sealing the anodize to trap the image within the aluminum oxide coating. Now *there's* an archival substrate...
     
  12. trhull

    trhull Member

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    Bruno Zehnder

    Thirty years ago, this Swiss photographer, (since deceased-in an Antartica blizzard) mounted an entire Antartica exhibit, called South for the Summer in the Nikon Gallery in Tokyo. Since then I haven't seen aluminum used, but his was done exactly as described in this thread. It is particularly appealing for cold tone shots such as winter scenes.
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have bought a large piece of aluminum and am going to mount a fibre print using a hot press and tissue. I think it will work and I will post here my thoughts in a week .
     
  14. Bighead

    Bighead Member

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    Curious.... How much was the sheet metal? How big was it?
     
  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Big head
    the metal was 40dollars canadian, approx 32x40 inches in size. There is a metal guy in my building and I got it from him so I do not know if this is a good price or not. I just want to finally see if I can hot mount to this material as I think it would be good for shows.

    By the way, If you are ever in toronto give me a call , I am starting a project of portraits based on people with enormous heads , hopefully you would pose for me.
     
  16. Keith Taylor

    Keith Taylor Member

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    I'm mounting sheets of Fabriano onto aluminum to ensure stability, for three-colour gum printing. The product I use is Fusion 4000, which is made by Seal and is a semi-translucent 'plastic'. It's completely archival and removable. You just place the finished print back into the dry mount press at a slightly higher temperature and slowly peel the print away from the aluminum. It's available through University Products. www.universityproducts.com
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Keith
    Good to know it works with a hot press, where are you sourcing the aluminum and how do you handle different sizes? I see this as problematic cutting the metal to variouw sizes.
    I can get the fusion 4000 as well and am glad to know it works as it is reversable as you say.
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Keith
    Another question, what do you use to prep the aluminum for hot mounting?
     
  19. Keith Taylor

    Keith Taylor Member

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    Bob,
    I buy 30" x 20" sheets at the local hardware store and cut them down as needed. Using a regular utility knife and straight edge, I score the metal several times and then flex it back and forth until it breaks. Then I smooth the edges and round the corners with a file, otherwise they dig into the rubber base of my vacuum frame, but that's it. No other preparation required.

    I reuse these sheets many times, so their finish isn't that important to me - they don't need perfectly straight edges for instance, as I cut them bigger than the paper size. If the aluminum is to become part of the piece itself, then you may want to consider an alternative method.
     
  20. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Keith,

    Do you leave the finished prints mounted to the aluminum, or do you remove them when they're done? I'm sorry I'm not going to make it to APIS this year. I would love to see your presentation.

    Kerik
    www.kerik.com
     
  21. Keith Taylor

    Keith Taylor Member

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    Kerik,

    No, I remove the prints and mount them onto another piece of Fabriano, so they're quite rigid and durable, and of course, archival.

    It's a pity you won't be there, I'd have loved to have met you. I've admired your work for a long time.
     
  22. richardmellor

    richardmellor Member

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    Has anyone used standard dry mounting techniques on aluminum.
    love to hear feedback