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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    How do you mount / mat pt/pd prints?

    Something I've thought about for a long time is how to safely mount and mat pt/pd prints. If I understand it correctly, the pt/pd process is in an ever so slight acidic pH. Most rag and mounting boards out there have buffers in them of an alkaline nature.
    Isn't it counterproductive to put a pt/pd print in such board?

    I know pt/pd is a very stable process, but if somebody here has knowledge of how those types of prints fare in that kind of environment, I'd be interested to hear it.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

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  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    They should be mounted the same way, but archival museum board is better, it's a higher grade than some of the cheap buffered boards.

    Ian

  3. #3
    ann
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    hinging or tipped in on archival museum board
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks! So what exactly is 'archival museum board'? Cotton rag?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    See here, I sometimes use Daler, just depends which wholesaler I go to (I buy from the same places as picture framers) but there are other manufacturers making similar. It's not exactly rag board that's usually a lower quality.

    Ian

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    Marco B's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    There is another aspect not much discussed here on APUG, but that I did see referenced in a book by James M. Reilly "Care and identification of 19th century photographic prints", and that is, that the paper support of platinum / palladium pictures, or interleaving sheets of paper, can ironically be degraded by the platinum itself.

    So, while the platinum / palladium image and metals themselves are highly stable, the pt/pd metal can act as a catalyst for the discolouration and embrittlement of paper. This seams to be a rather typical issue of pt/pd prints, due to the nature of the used metals. Well, I guess it is not without reason platinum is also used in car exhausts, and other industrial processes. I have included this part of the book as PDF attachment. This process can also cause mirror images on interleaved sheets or backsides of paper if the pt/pd prints are stacked, see the PDF for an image with an example of this.

    I don't know if this process affects all paper types. Sure enough, lignin containing / non-wood free cheap papers will be affected first, but is there actually anyone who has read more about this issue and the long term fate of paper supports of pt/pd prints?

    It would be rather ironic and tragic if you had an "eternal" pt/pd print, only our descendants to discover the paper support succumbing to the catalyst activity of the precious metals...

    Marco
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    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

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  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    So the calcium carbonate buffer would have no ill effect on a platinum print? I thought it was this kind of buffer that would sustain the life span of a silver print?

    Am I misunderstanding something here? I always read that silver prints need to be mounted and over-matted with materials that are buffered to protect against acid air pollutants.
    A platinum print is acid by nature. Wouldn't the buffers, presumably alkaline, affect the pH of the platinum print negatively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    See here, I sometimes use Daler, just depends which wholesaler I go to (I buy from the same places as picture framers) but there are other manufacturers making similar. It's not exactly rag board that's usually a lower quality.

    Ian
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Excellent, Marco. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    Hi all,

    There is another aspect not much discussed here on APUG, but that I did see referenced in a book by James M. Reilly "Care and identification of 19th century photographic prints", and that is, that the paper support of platinum / palladium pictures, or interleaving sheets of paper, can ironically be degraded by the platinum itself.

    So, while the platinum / palladium image and metals themselves are highly stable, the pt/pd metal can act as a catalyst for the discolouration and embrittlement of paper. This seams to be a rather typical issue of pt/pd prints, due to the nature of the used metals. Well, I guess it is not without reason platinum is also used in car exhausts, and other industrial processes. I have included this part of the book as PDF attachment. This process can also cause mirror images on interleaved sheets or backsides of paper if the pt/pd prints are stacked, see the PDF for an image with an example of this.

    I don't know if this process affects all paper types. Sure enough, lignin containing / non-wood free cheap papers will be affected first, but is there actually anyone who has read more about this issue and the long term fate of paper supports of pt/pd prints?

    It would be rather ironic and tragic if you had an "eternal" pt/pd print, only our descendants to discover the paper support succumbing to the catalyst activity of the precious metals...

    Marco
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    A platinum print is acid by nature. Wouldn't the buffers, presumably alkaline, affect the pH of the platinum print negatively?
    The point is, both platinum and palladium are highly stable compounds / metals. They won't easily react themselves and degrade like silver does, so the pH of the paper is probably completely irrelevant to a Pt/Pd image's life. However, the link I pointed out, shows that especially with low grade papers, there is a serious risk of degradation of the paper support by the catalyst activity of the metals. However, this does not affect the metals or pt/pd image themselves in any way, just the paper!

    So like Ian suggested, using good quality lignin free matting board and printing paper, is the way to go. And besides, the alkalinity of paper is so low, it is not like you are pouring sodiumhydroxide over your prints

    The only type of prints that might suffer from buffered matting board, are potentially cyanotypes, Mike Ware has written about this, but the prussian blue pigment that those images consist of, is vastly more vulnerable than pt/pd can ever be... although it is used in oil paints as well, and can last for centuries in such a stable environment.
    Last edited by Marco B; 07-29-2009 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  10. #10

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    I use Light Impressions archival mats. I corner mount the print to the back mount. I hinge mount a mat (again usually 4 ply) to the back mount, the top mat is cut to create a window for the print. I usually cut the window to reveal only the image area of the print, but I occasionally will leave the brushed edges of the print exposed. When the prints are stacked for storage, the image area of the print will not come into contact with the mount of the print stacked on top of it because of the thickness of the window mat. This also is how I display my prints, so it makes it easy to change out prints in frames for hanging on the walls.

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