Dry mounting onto 300gr handmade paper
I am unsure whether this had been asked before. But here it goes.
I am reviewing my options for mounting photographs for book making as I have access to a hot press now.
I have no prior experience dry mounting.
Is it possible to dry mount photographs on thick (about 300 gr) handmade archival paper ? Paper would be Fabriano, Arches or Somerset. Or can only one dry mount on mount boards?
Would this alter in anyway the flatness of the paper? What would the other reverse of the dry mounted paper be like? would the dry mounting create a relief or a contraction of the paper?
Can the dry mounting be neat, to hold the edges of the photographs (printed on FB) absolutely flat, with no visible sign of material from the dry mounting material around the photograph.
I read that the dry mounting tissue has to be cut about 2 mm shorter than the photograph, I am wondering whether this would not create a contraction somehow of the edge of the FB paper. I observed this when assemblying books when the very edge of the photograph is not glued to the paper.
As this is for bookmaking, I am looking for an impeccable finish.
Of course, one runs tests, but I would like to have your input as to the feasibility and the expected rendering before starting to look into dry mounting.
Many thanks for your input.
I don't have access to your paper but I have dry mounted to several different types of museum boards.
The tissue does not need to be cut 2mm smaller. I tack and trim the photograph and the tissue together so they are the same size. No bleeding or oozing out have been observed. I also use relatively low temperature and pressure. No embossing effect has been observed.
I *can* tell there's something on the other side if I look at it from the back side but that's because the paper isn't completely light proof.
When I take it out of the press, I take the whole assembly, the mat board sandwich assembly (mat board, release paper, photograph, mat board) and place it under a thick glass plate to let it cool. That prevents warping.
You'll have to test this yourself as the result depends on the paper, pressure, and temperature, as well as your complete process.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
It is possible to dry mount on thick paper since it is commonly done on mat board but I would test first. The heat setting would depend on the mounting tissue used.
After mounting the paper/print should be cooled under a dry mounting flat plate.
I have never cut the tissue short. I have always tacked the tissue to the print and cut both simultaneously with a very good rotary trimmer. Then tack three corners of the tissue to the paper. Let it all heat a bit before closing the press. It is best to use a release sheet and have 2 ply board between the platen and the release sheet print and page.
Be sure to test because the temperature dial may not be accurate.
When placing the print on the paper remember to account for the binding process. Also if you are using one sheet of paper folded to actually be four pages in the book it will present other issues. I have made a couple of hand made books but I printed the images digitally on archival dual coated paper.
Hope this helps... others may do things differently but this has worked for me.
I have a mounting press that I regularly use to flatten prints. About the only prints I ever dry mount are platinum/palladium when I print on vellum. I like the look and color these prints have but the vellum just never stays flat without mounting it. I normally mount it to either Weston Diploma (I think that is what it is called) or to Fabriano. I have had no problems. Looking at the back, I can tell that there is something mounted to the lighter weight Weston paper but not on the Fabriano.
I have not tried it but I think you might get some surface effects if you mount to a paper with a pronounced texture.
Enumclaw WA USA
Print Presentation > Dry Mounting
Originally Posted by delphine
Try it, and let us know.
Originally Posted by delphine
I don't see any particular technical issues with dry mounting onto substrates other than mat board, other than potentially poor adhesion and the possibility of embossment of the photo from some supports. However, aesthetically, I'm not sure dry mounting onto paper will give you the result you're truly after. Dry mounting, even on paper, will likely result in some very stiff pages, which I imagine might be stitched together artfully at the binding. I would suggest printing on your papers, a significant challenge to be sure, or tipping your photos into your book. Both of these are time-honored ways of producing hand made photo books.
Originally Posted by delphine
Last edited by ROL; 03-23-2012 at 11:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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I have made many hand bound books using original photographs dry mounted on 240 gsm paper but there limitations.
Only light-weight (remember that?) photographic paper works well. Single weight is getting too thick and bulks the book up unevenly unless you have very few pages. To allow for the thickness of the photographs extra slips of paper have to bound into the spine of the book. Double weight photographic paper is too thick and I have never succeeded in making a passably elegant book using it.
A serious problem is that photographic paper is "stronger" than book paper. The pages buckle and bend at the mercy of the photographic paper and it's responses to changing humidity and temperature. A work-around is to dry mount exactly aligned same size photographs on opposite sides of the book paper. The photographs pull in opposite directions and things stay flat, sort of.
An ideal photographic paper for book-making would be an emulsion coated on tissue. A possible alternative is emulsion stripped RC paper. With RC it is possible to pull the image off the substrate by splitting a corner and peeling carefully.
With the disappearance of light-weight and single-weight photographic paper it is still possible to make nice books of original photographs but dry mounting does not come into it. The whole page has to be a sheet of photographic paper with the image floating in the middle. And the binding needs to be well crafted to deliver a book that does not break when opened and lies flat to best display the pictures.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
Delphine, I've made quite a few hand made books using water-colour papers there's no problems. I used normal Double weight Agfa papers and thickness wasn't an issue.
It's important to dry the paper you're going to mount to first in the press, as well as the print. It's very neat and you can get that impeccable finish with no difficulty.
Thank you all for a very helpful input.
Thanks to Dan and Ian's experience, I will test dry mounting on paper.
For those of you who were concerned about the thickness of the paper or other practical issues. It is possible to accommodate with any sort of thickness when bookbinding. And the stiffness of a page is not an issue as long as it can be opened perfectly flat. So far, I have developed different solutions towards mounting and presenting photographs and the binding of the pages. My bookmaking strategy is always guided by the photographs themselves that somehow drives the presentation, format and eventually, the book concept itself. Such a handmade book has a soul, and is intrinsically unique.
The thickest I have bound was mount-board itself, in small and large format. This was not an issue.
Unfortunately, there is no literature dedicated to bookbinding for photographs and photo books other than the typical photo album. So I had to research a lot in existing bookbinding literature, notably single page sawing, and single page assembly to create my own bookbinding strategies and solutions.
As all my book projects are very well documented, after my next project which hopefully will use dry mounting successfully, may be it could be of interest to put together an article on APUG on hand made photo-books.
Just an update on this as I made my first attempt at dry mounting a small FB print on Somerset paper as a test. No issues to report, perfect finish. I am very happy with it.