After my first session with Fibre last weekend ended up with two very attractive potato chips (crisps for you English Folk!), I have read and re-read this thread. I have determined that the method I really want to try is the brown tape and pane of glass method. This may seem like some obvious questions but here goes anyway.
- I know that you are going to squeegee off most of the water, but I assume that there is plenty still around once this is done. I know that the gum on the brown tape needs moistening, but can all this water make it come loose?
- How many prints does one put on a piece of glass? I was planning on looking for and old window frame from the salvage yard nearest me and was thinking he bigger the pane, the more I can dry at once.
- Do you dry with the glass laying flat or standing up?
Hoffy, I'll try to answer your questions (being actually the first who recommended this method in this thread:-))
1. I usually let the prints dry free, they will curl up but never mind. Then I put them in water for a few minutes, just to soak some water and get soft. I put the wet print on some flat vertical surface (tiles in a bathroom will do perfectly) and let the water drip off. Then I put the print on the glass, it (the print) should be wet but not with excess water. I moisten the tape by dragging it over a wet sponge and glue the paper. There should not be much water, because otherwise the glue from the tape will get under the print and the print will get stuck after drying. If this does happen then the only remedy is to submerge the glass with the print in water and it will come off.
2. How many prints you can put on the glass depends on how big the glass is. I have a glass about 50 x 60 cm, 6mm thick and dry usually four prints 18 x 24 cm at once. Because I use this format quite often, I leave the remaining tape frames (after cutting out the prints) on the glass and, in the next session, I put the prints inside the frames and glue them over the old tape. This has an additional advantage that after some rounds the frame builds up to a few tens of millimeter and levels better with the print and so the danger of the glue getting under the print is reduced. Of course this cannot be done indefinitely, if there are too many layers, I just tear off what I can and submerge the whole glass in water to get off the remaining tape, and everything begins from the start again.
3. I usually leave the glass laying flat, but sometimes also standing up. If you do as described in 1. (no danger of water flowing down under the print) then it's no difference.
I'm new to fibre paper and am currently experimenting with Dancq's stacking method. One problem I've encountered is the lines from the corrugated board becoming impressed upon the print. Perhaps I am using too much pressure. The board I am using comes from thick packing boxes. I can't seem to find any corrugated board on which the lines are not evident when put under pressure.
I am in England so don't have access to the material sources mentioned in previous posts.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
Having recently read through this thread I tried several of the methods mentioned. At the moment I'm printing with single and double weight Ilford MG IV FB, both glossy and matte.
1. Taping the well-squeeged print to glass with a painters-grade masking tape works great, and the tape removes cleanly if you're careful.
2. If I'm in a hurry, or doing a pile of prints or proof sheets, I do the following:
- squeegee thoroughly
- bulk dry sandwiched between two window screens (cheap ones from Walmart)
- final dry between two mat boards with a layer of baking-grade parchment paper (silicone impregnated) on the image side to protect the emulsion, topped with a heavy book.
With the second method, it doesn't require a great deal of pressure, just enough to keep it flat while it drys. It may also help (depending on how much moisture is left in the paper after the bulk drying) to replace the matt board after a couple hours. I've stacked as many as six or eight layers of mat board this way without a problem. Drying time will of course vary greatly depending on the humidity, but I usually leave it at least a day or two.
Unless you're using a press, try to avoid heat. Slower drying promotes flatter drying. :)
Well I tried again with some heavy-weight card between the interfacing and the corrugated board to try and avoid the lines from the board coming through. The lines had gone but I got diagonal wrinkling from the corners of the heavy-weight card which transferred to the print. The boards are about an inch bigger than the print all round. Perhaps there should be more of an overlap or the prints were too wet when they went in?
I read through the whole thread and didn't see anyone mention using magnetic strips? Has anyone tried that. All I did for my first print was to use the blue painters tape to tape it to the fridge. It was only a 5x7 print. I didn't even squeegee it. Just let it drip dry.
Here's my notes from yesterday when I flattened two 11x14 prints I made over the weekend on Galerie 2 after letting them air dry face up on screens for two days in relatively dry weather:
Press: From cold. Heat on 15 min at mark between 180 & 225 degrees F. Power off and let cool in press 1 1/2 hours.
(Press heat comes from the top) From top down: Smooth, clean mat board face down... Print face up against mat board... Mat paper... Felt base pad.
After removing the print there was slight adhesion of print to mat board. It was easily separated by lifting and running paper between print and mat board lifting slowly. Result left no appreciable lint on the first of two prints I did. But on the second print there was a "sand" speck dent and a noticeable amount of lint.
Prints are flat.
Need a better surface than smooth mat board to press against face of print because the lint is a hazard with this setup.
Bill, what you are doing is almost exactly what we did in college many years ago and I continue to do today - what I do different:
I make folded "sleeves" slightly bigger than the prints (I have sets for each size) made from a roll of glassine (recommended to me for this purpose many years ago by a museum conservator - and cheap). I place each print in its own sleeve, so 2 layers of glassine between each print. Prints are face to face, back to back alternating. I try to line up all the corners, usually they are the same size. I use full size sheets and trim later if needed. This avoids crease marks from the edge of one print to the face of another.
I also don't go that high on the press, just till it is just too hot for me to hold my hand to the patten, but let it cool till room temp, and then a day, if I can wait.
I don't do more than 5 or 6 prints at a time, and they never stick to the glassine.
We have a Arkay print dryer at the darkroom. I always stick my MGIV facedown with low speed high heat. When it pops out it's tacky. Then, I stick it back in face up, and it will come out pretty flat. I'll usually run it through a 3rd time with lower heat and a faster speed just before filing it in my art binder.
Once in the binder for a day, it will remain pretty flat for fiber.
Having recently spent several weeks working on my portfolio, and accidentally ruining a day's worth of work in the flattening process, here is what I now do: heat the dry mount press; place the print face down on a sheet of acid free foam core, with a sheet of release paper on top; heat the print for a minute or two; place print into a sandwich of release paper under a 3/4' piece of MDF to cool. This gets it 90% flat. For 100%, I leave the print in the press, turn it off and let it cool. It comes out flat as a floor.
If you heat the print with the glossy side in contact with the release paper, you will often get a dimple, or the release paper will slightly emboss the glossy finish and ruin it. I was very surprised to find that the foam core does not ruin the coating.