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Thread: Stamping prints

  1. #1
    sim
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    Stamping prints

    Hallo,

    A question about stamping the back of black & white prints, with all the care that we can take with "archive" quality of b/w prints does the inks that are used with standard "office" type stamp pads have an effect on prints?

    I wonder if any of the fine-art printers have any thoughts on this?

    I am printing on Ilford fibre based warmtone papers, trying to adhere to archive qualities (just for something to aim for) rather than for commercial needs., wanting to stamp my details on the back of prints but not if this will ruin any longevity of prints or just ruin them anyway.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers in advance,
    simo.

  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Get 'photography safe' inks in your pads/stamps.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

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    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Basically most rubber stamp ink is nothing more than water with a dye in it. The water is the carrier and the moment you stamp a piece of paper, the carrier dries into the substrate which is the paper and leaves the dye on the top.

    Dependent upon the length of the fibres in the paper and the quickness the water and dye dry, you may or may not get a bleed effect. Which is when ink (dye) bleeds into the fibres of the paper and spreads.

    Usually specialist inks and pads often described for photographic paper, are in effect fast drying or quick drying, solvent based products. There is a difference by the way.

    The solvent is the carrier and the pigment based product is what is left behind when the solvent evaporates. Basically these work more of less like oil based house paint.

    I am a rubber stamp manufacturer, for the last 20 odd years I have been trying to find a genuine product designed for archival photographs, I haven't found one as yet.

    If you are wishing to retain archival quality in the truest sense, then I wouldn't use a stamp.

    Mick.

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    sim
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    I'm sorry to say this - but this answer really doesn't help in anyway at all.

    I suspected that standard office inks might not be the best for the back of a fibre based print - if you know where to get these "photography safe" inks from why not post a link? or give a brand name?

    Not too much to ask?

    simo.
    *banging head on wall*

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    Jerry Basierbe's Avatar
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    I've only seen stamps on the back of the mat board the print is mounted on. Never the print itself.

    Jerry

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    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Sim, if you read my reply I said that I have not yet found a photography safe ink for archival purposes yet. I get the impression that there really isn't such a thing.

    Most are really designed to go on the back of resin coated paper, which means they are either a quick dry or fast dry ink.

    Mick.

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    Not an answer Mick but a little related anecdote.

    About 6 years ago - when I had the store / studio a lady brought in a great B&W portrait of her grandfather and asked about reframing it. I looked and said it was very reminiscent of some Ansel Adams portraiture I'd seen - particularly some he'd done in Rochester, NY. Turned out that her grandfather had worked in Rochester so I told her that an AA portrait would have an AA Photography sticker on the back of the print; but it would have to come out of the frame to check it. We opened the frame and, sure enough, it was an AA original!

    I'm sure the sticker wasn't archival in any way - the inks, the paper, the adhesive - but the print was pristine. I was chuffed, 'cos the customer was well impressed that recognized the photographer from a print of Grandad!

    Maybe the paper from the sticker acted as a barrier - but then I would think that the adhesive would be a greater risk. I haven't seen archival stamp pad ink available. Could you ink a virgin stamp pad with india ink - that's been used a lot for spotting in the past.

    Interesting question - hadn't thought about it that much, but like a lot of other things, I probably should have.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  8. #8
    sim
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    I do not know the answer to this one at all, just having read an article about stamping the back of prints with the photographers details - which I thought was a good idea, it got me thinking about what might be in the inks/stamp pads & whether this would affect the chemicals/silver or whatever is left in/on a print after processing & washing to archive qualities or would the inks etc affect the basic paper structure over time - all a bit irelevant as I doubt anyone will want to see my pics after a year let alone ten - but heres hoping & possibly planiing!!!

    All thoughts/suggestions are helpful, thanks guys for yuor contributions so far.

    sim.

  9. #9
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobNewYork View Post
    I'm sure the sticker wasn't archival in any way - the inks, the paper, the adhesive - but the print was pristine.
    Well, that's the question. It might well be that this "sticker" was far more archival than you think... It's only with the introduction of all those petrochemical products starting at the beginning of the 20th century and really taking of sometime during WOII and after, that the real problems started I think... Some old type adhesives, like the ones used for archival tapes and watercolor tape, are completely harmless, they are simple starch based glues (yes, potatoes!).

    Well, at least as long as you keep the print dry, but I guess any humidity level capable of sustaining and allowing moult growth on the adhesive would be devastating for the print as well :o

    And the "ink" might well be an organic derivative of beets. sepia or something...

    Anyway, why not sign your prints using a pencil? (mainly clay + graphite and a bit of wax), doesn't get much more archival...
    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.

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    I can not say if this is the answer to the on-going question, however, folks who do scrapbooking have a rather extensive line of "Archival Safe" product. This includes adhesives and ink pads. My wife is a rather serious scrapebooker(works well with all the photos I take)and stamping is big part of what she does. If it is safe for fine art fibre based prints I can not say...but I know it is used on a long list of materials including cardstocks and such.

    The biggiest seller of these in the scrapbook world is a company called "Stampin' Up". Here is a link. You will have to choose the color you want.

    http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/Produ....aspx?group=11

    They also sell a number of pens and such all said to be Archival safe. I would think they are telling the truth as this scrapbook stuff is serious and folks spend a lot of money and time on it(you can take my word on that one).

    Something to look into. My wife has about 10 or so 12x12 books with 30-40 pages or so each, we plan for the grandchildren to enjoy them(my kidds are 3 and 5 years old so it will be awhile). If these products hold up as they say, then the great grandchildren will get them to.

    Jason

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