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  1. #1
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Sloppy Borders and Mounting

    I searched APUG and found ways to minimise sloppy borders on hand coated paper before printing (in my case cyanotype).

    I used to tape the coating area off with low tack masking tape, but I found that this often led to uneven coating. Without the masking tape my coating is much more even.

    However the borders are really straggly and unpredictable, which is not a problem if it's assumed that the mat will cover them up, but that feels like I'm concealing sloppiness.

    I'm wondering about trimming the prints and float mounting them, which may produce problems with the paper buckling at some future time.

    I'm not keen on the "brush mark" look (nor the brush technique), the prints are 5x7" on 8x10" 300gm watercolour paper.

    What do you folk do?

    Regards - Ross

  2. #2
    David William White's Avatar
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    I place a spare windowed mat over my paper and coat by brush within the window. There can be a bit of bleed underneath, but at least I know when matted, I've got full coverage. Other times I coat the whole sheet edge to edge & inspect before I print.

    If cyanotype, you could also consider floating the paper in solution, because it's cheap. (You fold the edges up sort of into a boat shape so the backside stays clean).
    Considerably AWOL at the present time...

    Archive/Blog: http://davidwilliamwhite.blogspot.com

  3. #3

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    I also use a spare windowed matte but with paddle-pop sticks glued to the underside so that the matte is raised above the paper. This works quite well with brush or foam brush, but not if you are using a glass rod to coat.

  4. #4
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    One thing you can do in addition to or instead of masking with the tape before coating is to mask with rubylith film during exposure. This will make any areas of coating under the rubylith get no exposure and thus clear away when fixing/washing your print. However, this sometimes leads to blotchy areas where you coated but did not expose. This will vary based on the paper, the process used, and a number of other conditions, so test it to see what you think of it.

  5. #5

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    I'm with Flying Camera. In fact, this is a good test of your processing procedures and paper compatibility. If you see color change in coated but unexposed areas, then that's a good indication for the fact that you have to change something in your system. (Most probably the paper...) I don't have problems with Cyanotype (both trad. formula and the new) and painters tape BTW. (As long as the paper is strong and has a good sizing; thin and/or fibrous/nappy paper won't work with painters tape...)

    Regards,
    Loris.

  6. #6
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll need to attempt to find a source for rubylith and try it. Sometimes it seems that everything ever made can be found in the USA, not always so simple in Oz.

    Regards - Ross

  7. #7

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    Ross if you still have old style printing houses in Australia (like we do here in Turkey - I'm talking the ones that still use film and imagesetters, new technology allows direct exposure of printing plates w/o using film...) you can ask one to give you scrap pieces of fully exposed imagesetter film (density something like log 4.0 - 5.0). You'll need 4 strips (width = about 1/2 - 1"), two long and two short, sized according to your printing frame's borders. You can tape those strips forming a window sized exactly to your image. You can adapt it to whatever image size you need. Imagesetter film is thin so it won't hurt sharpness in case you opt to place it closer to the emulsion - for sharper borders.

    Hope this helps,
    Loris.
    Last edited by Loris Medici; 11-30-2009 at 04:49 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo correction

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Ross- art supply stores here in the US still carry the stuff, even though its primary use was in pre-digital layout and printing processes. On your next trip in to Sydney, look for it in the big art supply houses, maybe around the universities. It is fairly inexpensive. Failing that, if you can't find actual rubylith, get some thin opaque mylar sheets.

  9. #9
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    I leave my brushed borders and don't worry about it. I consider it an artifact of the process. Some patrons (seems like many these days) really like the brushed borders, and float mount the whole piece to show the borders, deckeled paper edge and all, others mat to the image. I leave it to the purchasers preference. Personally, I think matting over the brushed edge is simply a display preference, and a clean edge that's matted over is just the same as the brushed one, so I'd rather leave the option. The money spends the same.

  10. #10
    Don12x20's Avatar
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    I personally prefer the look that Dick Arentz uses on his pt/pd prints -- clean white borders. I use rubylith.

    Last month when I went to the local supplier to get some rubylith, they indicated that their supplier for rubylith and amberlith was out of business -- and they had no substitute supplier available. Seems that the usage from print shops had completely stopped, and the volume from the "hobbyists"(that's those of us doing alt process, no one else) was too small to sustain the business.

    Fortunately they were able to find 63 sheets at various shops.

    If I were you, and you find some rubylith, I'd pick up what you need now.

    And if anyone hears of a new supplier, or even an old one (not Ulano), let us know....

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