Protecting Ilfochrome prints
What do you think is the best way to protect Ilfochrome prints? Are there spray products or lacquers to brush on the print specifically recommended for the protection of Ilfochrome prints? Or maybe no spray, no liquid, just mount the print and put a UV, anti-glare glass over it?
I'd just use UV acrylic (not anti-glare, though, because it has a matte surface that will deaden the color), or if you want to go high-end, UV glass with an anti-reflective coating.
Cibachromes lay very flat when framed which then makes it possible not to mount them, As well I would never put spray or lacqure on the surface, they are extrememley fragile.
We use a AR protective glass for cibas that are being viewed in shows, this glass is almost invisible in a frame, also very expensive.
For dark storage I would recommend a very archival tissue, I am sure Light Impressions sell the right kind in a portfolio box.
Very few shops will take on mounting ciba chromes unless there is an understanding that if there is a mistake , you the client, would be responsible for a replacement print. Sounds unfair but that is the case.
You should not under any circumstances hot mount the high end melimex base ciba material, It may hold but within days or years start bubbling or popping off the mount. If your framer suggests hot mounting , do not have them do the work.
A very cool technique is to face mount to thick cast plexi and then melt the edges , Done right you will produce a very unique/slick look, but once again it is very expensive to do and full of potential redoes.
My experience with Cibachromes, now over 30 years old, is that they do no lighten as conventional "C" prnts or Dye Transfers do, but rather that they actually darken with time.
I have a large number of identical prints, and have discovered that those which were prepared for gallery shows by spraying with the lacquer (sold by Ciba in spray cans at the time) have NOT showed the very slight darkening of the unsprayed prints. (All stored in air-conditioning, in orignal boxes).
My guess is that the lacquer prevents oxidation.
What Bob said, The best method I have found is to use "sticky back" acid free mounting corners and float the Print on foam core, then mat. I have tried laminating with a photo grade laminator but it did not look good.
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Thank you all for the useful suggestions!
Bob, I believe I have seen the "very cool technique" you mention being used in an exhibition of Serrano's Ilfochrome prints and it literally floored me. It was a phenomenal visual experience.
If you have more suggestions I'm all ears ...
The floating glass with plexi is very appealing , the archivalness is another matter, It has been said that it is a European hidden secret formual *diasec*, but I have presented cibas since 1985 in many formats.
One method is to use a clear silicone between the face of the ciba and the plexi, basically the silicone is pushed out as the print and cast plexi run through the rollers, a lot of mounters prefer this method as the silicon picks up the dirt and shit that is there and its like a lava flow taking everything with it and exiting outside the print and cast plexi, as it hardens it is scrapped off and a blow torch is taken to the cast to smooth out the plexi.
I have no Idea how permanent this method is.
Another method is to use a very clear and archival double sided adehsive which Ilford recomends, the problem with this method is the issue of any dust spots will show up in the mount. Done properly this is my prefered method onto 1/2 inch to 1 inch cast with the blow torch onto the sides.
You can then drill holes to hang the art and if your very creative you can double mount back to back and hang the images . We did this with a show that was in the Smithsonian back in the mid 90's.
The pressure was unbelivable and there was a 30% redo factor that really pissed off the client but considering all the factors involved , totally unadvoidable.
Originally Posted by mammolo