Question on the way you mat your prints.
Soon hopefully I will once again be printing silver prints. The way I have done my prints in the past (fiberbase) was to flatten the print between board and heavy objects then use a hinge for the mat board and then a hinge fro the print. But from what I remember from years ago the paper really curls when drying. What is the best most economical way to mat and mount your prints? I do all my own matting so I am looking for a way I can do it myself. Budget is limited so any advice is greatly appreciated. I also use rag board for the mat and backing board usually.
Any ideas would be welcomed. Also archival process it the utmost importance as I am going to try and really start to sell my work.
I picked up a used dry-mount press on ePrey and been very happy with the results - use it for flattening a fiber print & then mounting. Except for the initial investment, this seems very economical what with tissue being relatively inexpensive. I presume that as long as use acid free mounting board & mat, its archival.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
There's a considerable amount of debate about that among photographers.
Drymounting looks good, and it's what many of us are used to, but most archivists and conservators will say that drymounting is not archival, because it is not easily reversible, even if you use "archival" drymount tissue that can be released by putting it back in a press. Imagine that 100 years from now you are a conservator looking at a drymounted print of historic and monetary value, and mildew has made its way into the mount board--do you want to heat it up in a press to see if the drymount tissue releases?
Many will argue that the tissue forms a barrier to pollutants in the air and that the backing board physically protects the edges of the print, and these facts may be true, but by definition, "not reversible" is "not archival" by current standards.
That said, a drymount press is still handy for flattening prints for hinge mounting or mounting with corners.
I think most people will agree that dry mounting looks best. Sometimes other methods can look almost as good. We spend so much time and effort with film exposures using large format cameras with the best lenses to get every detail. Then the most careful printing techniques. After all this work why compromise the final presentation.
As far as archival concerns, we know dry mounting lasts at least 75 years (and counting) because most of the photo masters of the early 20th century used that technique. I had the opportunity last summer to see the Ansel Adams exhibit in New York City and all of his prints were dry mounted. Even his early work from the 1920's were perfectly preserved. I'm sure 100 years from now if one of my prints has some mold, radiation ,microwave or some presently not yet invented method will be able to remedy the problem.