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Thread: flattening wavy print

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    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II Randall C Colvin's Avatar
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    Default flattening wavy print

    A customer has a print - 25x35, open edition on fairly heavy paper -looks like a coated paper. The print has been framed and has become very wavy, cockled. She doesn't want to mount it but would like to have it flattened somewhat if possible. Any suggestions as to the best method for attempting this?
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    Grumble Moderator Team wpfay's Avatar
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    A paper conservator can flatten it, but if it put back into the same frame in the same environment it will happen again. If it's an open edition that is still available, purchasing a new copy would probably be less expensive than going through the pains of having it flattened.
    The process involved in flattening require the paper be humidified and then dried under pressure. Unless you have the training and equipment to do the process, you are risking the art.
    A bit more information about the piece might help. I find it curious that the customer doesn't want to dry mount and open edition.
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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer DTWDSM's Avatar
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    I probably will be shot down for this but, come on, if it's an open edition print and does not have any monetary value just put it in the heat press for a few minutes and it will be as good as new. Conservator really not neded, Should not even be talked about. If you still don't want to put it in a press buy a new one if available otherwise tell them it either has to be mounted or it's going to be wavy.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Jeff Rodier's Avatar
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    I'm with you Tim and I guarantee that I would convince the customer to drymount the piece because once it is flattened it will pucker again under the same conditions. Once I tell the customer they can drymount it now or pay me to straighten it out once a year for the rest of their life they will go for the mounting.

    Open edition will only have value in 200-300 years bcecause all of the other pieces in the run will have been sold in frames repeatedly in garage sales at $5 until they are thrown away.

    How much value does the old "Poverty Sucks" poster have today. That piece is 25 years old and counting.
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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTWDSM View Post
    ...if it's an open edition print and does not have any monetary value just put it in the heat press for a few minutes and it will be as good as new. Conservator really not neded, Should not even be talked about.
    Yes, it would be silly to suggest conservation treatment for an open edition, easily replaced print. If it becomes collectible later, that would probably be because so few of the original printing survive bad framing or light damage.

    But DTWDSM, flattening it in a hot press it would only work for a limited time. It would likely return to its wavy state -- especially if bad framing caused the problem in the first place, and if it is to be refitted back into the same bad framing.

    Randall, why does the customer not want it permanently mounted? If it is a matter of money, she needs to understand that permanent mounting would be the cheapest and most dependable way to flatten it. If there is another issue, it is not obvious.

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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer Beveled's Avatar
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    What about a fusion mount? Not archival, but reversible.

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    PFG Picture Framing God janetj1968's Avatar
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    Lots of times I get in prints that are wavy because they've been mounted incorrectly. (Multiple strips or strips too long or strips made of material too heavy for the piece...)

    I flatten in my press (with the customer's permission, of course) and then hinge properly.

    I've never had one come back.

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    Hail to the CHIEF shayla's Avatar
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    Do you have the customer sign a waiver so that if the piece gets big creases in it they won't hold you accountable? Or is this not a problem? I know that some warped papers will do this if mounted, which is why I won't do it on such prints. Is there some kind of difference where 'normally curved' prints mount flat but things with uneven warpage from water damage are the ones that would mount with creases?
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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer Beveled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayla View Post
    Do you have the customer sign a waiver so that if the piece gets big creases in it they won't hold you accountable? Or is this not a problem? I know that some warped papers will do this if mounted, which is why I won't do it on such prints. Is there some kind of difference where 'normally curved' prints mount flat but things with uneven warpage from water damage are the ones that would mount with creases?
    Good idea. I usually just use caution, and after so many years of mounting I can tell if it is going to crease. So I don't do it. But the waiver for anything of that nature is a good idea. It may help them to see that we dont have any magic wands in the back room.

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    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II Randall C Colvin's Avatar
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    This one is an inexpensive print that the customer would like to re-frame for sentimental reasons - with as little fuss and expense as possible. It was originally framed (not by me) w/o mat or mounting, was later dropped - broke the glass. I don't think the wrinkling is really a big issue with the customer. She just asked if it was possible to reduce it before framing. Right now, the print is resting under a sheet of plate glass and will probably go into a frame w/o mount or mat (again) and, as you say, be in the same shape in short order. I'm not too big on upselling if the customer isn't really interested. I just explain the options and potential consequences and let the customer decide. Thanks for the input.

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