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  1. #1

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    ARCHIVAL DRY MOUNT TISSUE

    When is a dry mount tissue considered archival? How important is it to be archival?

    I see Bienfang Buffermount claim to be archival, but I have not seen any other tissue claim this.

    Should I stay away from from other tissues, like colormount and others?

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    it is buffered, so is slightly alkaline -- not good for some applications where color dyes are sensitive to an alky environment.

    What probably really makes it "archival" is that it is removable with a little more heat.

    Without getting into the whole mounting/not mounting discussion (we've done that to death a few times), I think any dry mount tissue would be as "archival" as the next -- discounting the removable aspect of the Buffermount.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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    I actually found a very helpful article on the subject here:

    http://www.google.no/url?sa=t&source...4ijmhb5ubjt5JA

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    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Not a bad article. The only thing that I would have an issue with is the definition of the original artwork. To me, "the original artwork" the final print mounted on a board and window matted -- not just the photograph itself.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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    I agree with you. As I put my signature on the matboard, it very much becomes a part of the artwork.

  6. #6
    fdi
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    Quote Originally Posted by StigHagen View Post
    I agree with you. As I put my signature on the matboard, it very much becomes a part of the artwork.
    Although putting your signature on the mat board is fine, I would consider signing the back as well. Although an artist mounting and matting their own work may consider the mat board part of the art, others may not. In fact the #1 goal of conservative quality museum framing is to allow the “artwork” to be separated from the backing, mating and framing so that everything except the print can be replaced at will. Many prints sold already matted but not framed are taken to custom frame shops where the mat is often discarded. It the client chooses not to discard the mat due to the signature it limits the creative choices for the customer framing trying to integrate the artwork into the clients room where it will be displayed.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    I understand what you are saying, Mark, and once a photograph is bought, it is out of the artist's control on how (and where) it is displayed. But for some of us, the color and size of the mat board was chosen by us to complete the work -- not just as a framing devise to be discarded/changed. We might be as disturbed by someone changing the mat color as we would be if someone changed the size of the window opening and significantly cropped the image. As far as the conservator is concerned, the "original" print was not altered or changed, but as far as I am concerned, it is not much different than someone spray-painting a bronze sculpture so that it would match their couch.

    This is a personal POV. Many folks sell unmounted prints and let the customer do what they want with it -- and that's cool with me. And if I sold prints made by a machine or printed by someone else, I probably would not care as much about how the final piece (matted and framed) looked like.

    My carbon prints and platinum prints are hinge-mounted behind the window -- and are signed on the mat and on the back of the print. My silver gelatin prints are trimmed to the image and dry-mounted behind a window about a half inch bigger all around than the image -- signature directly below the image on the board the print is mounted on.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by fdi View Post
    Although putting your signature on the mat board is fine, I would consider signing the back as well.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Will do that!

  9. #9

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    I agree with Vaughn. The mat is integral to the work. I fully understand that museums like the print to be able to be separated from the mount board, but when I wrote the article on ArtCare board, which iconsisted mostly of an interview with the inventor, I discovered that dry mounting adds a layer of protection to the work from environmental pre-acidic gases, making a dry mounted print more archival than one that is only hinged. The pictures in my article show that. You will see that those who think not dry mounting is more archival are simply wrong.

    http://www.lodimaarchivalmaterials.com/lam/index.html

    I think that will get you there. If not, just click on the link on the left to "Article by Michael A. Smith."

    I have always signed my prints on the mount board. If one signs on the back there is always the danger, especially is one has a forceful hand, of having the signature show through to the print. And leaving a white border around the print, and signing there, is problematic for a number of reasons. 1) Later some conservator might cut off that border. But more importantly 2) If the white border is ever seen, particularly with a print made on glossy paper, it will be the whitest thing visible and will draw the eye and thereby be a major distraction--and it will greatly diminish the experience of the work. One can get around that by having an overmat go right to the edge of the print but if one uses the entire space of the picture surface (as I believe any serious photographer ought to do) then if the overmat covers the picture by even a millimeter, or less, spatial relationships of things at the edges are destroyed and the picture is no longer the same picture. Having an overmat cover part of the picture surface is like taking some notes out of a piece of music or cutting some words out of a poem. The problem with pre-cut overmats--ones made to a standard size, is that they are made so that they usually cover overlap the edges of the print. I use overmats that leave borders around the print of about 3/8 on top and sides and 1/2 inch on the bottom, which leaves a little extra room for the signature. And mounting prints that way--with a larger overmat than the print, makes is very easy. No measuring is required. One positions the print visually.

    A photographer was here recently and suggested we make a video about how we mount prints. We'll do so after we return from Paris Photo and Art Basel Miami Beach. We are giving a talk at the Art School at the Boca Raton Museum on December 10. You are all invited. It's free. Our "Vision" workshop follows the next day. Spaces still available, I think.

    Weston, Adams, etc. all signed their prints on the mount. As I have said on many occasions If a way of doing things was good enough for Edward Weston, it is good enough for me."

    Michael A. Smith

  10. #10
    fdi
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    When I mentioned the option of adding a signature to the back of the print it was because Vaughn mentioned matboard and I incorrectly assumed he was refereeing to the overmat which may be very easy for the client or a custom framer to discard. If you are drymounting the image and signing the mounting board (which may or may not be mat board) then signing the back is less of an issue since the mounting board is now a permanent part of the artwork, unless your overmat will hide the signature.

    In regards to t-hinge vs drymount it is similar to the question of zoom lens or prime lens. The answer is personal because it depends on what you are doing, who you are doing it for, what you are doing it to, and your financial and equipment resources. For instance, many people will t-hinge not because they think it better than dry mounting but simply because they do not have the justification for the purchase of a drymount press. Another reason to t-hinge is that drymounting will destroy certain types of artwork (not much of an issue for darkroom prints but some inkjet prints can’t take the heat). Drymounting is a great tool for photography since it gets rid of the issues of paper curl and makes it very easy to float mount allowing 100% of the image to be displayed.

    As far as which provides more image permanence the most critical aspect are the components you are using. If you drymount to a regular foamboard it will not be nearly as archival as a t-hinge to a Bainbridge Artcare rag mat board. The most ideal components have the following characteristics:

    100% virgin alpha cellulose or cotton rag - no recycled materials
    lignin, rosin and alum free
    fade and bleed resistant
    neutral pH (for non buffered boards)
    or
    buffered with a buffering agent (CACO3 - calcium carbonate) to help maintain an alkaline reserve (if not using an acidic printing process)

    These items will ensure the components used in the process are not harmful. Another option is the Artcare process Michael mentioned which Bainbridge holds an exclusive license on. Artcare is a Zeolyte technology that adds molecular traps to the mounting and mat board which provides a layer of active protection since they will absorb and neutralize harmful chemicals making their way into the framing package.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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