Large statically mounted photo

Lars

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I recently encountered a problem after framing two large photographs.

These were the following https://www.arthaus.nyc/art-works/flamingo-kids-1 ARThaus New York - Flamingo Kids 1 and https://www.arthaus.nyc/art-works/flamingo-kids-2 ARThaus New York - Flamingo Kids 2

I framed these using the static mount method. The photos are sandwiched between the following layers. From front of frame to the back.

  1. 3mm Optium UV Tru Vue Acrylic
  2. Photo
  3. 3mm Standard acrylic
  4. ACM (Aluminium composite board)

These photos were nicely framed by us and looked great. I then installed these in the customers house, and they still looked amazing. Then a few weeks later I got a call from the customer to say the photo was uneven and rippling. My first thought was yes of course it would to some extend ripple and appear a little uneven, it is after all free floating and statically mounted. But then, upon a visit to their home it became apparent that this was a lot worse than I anticipated. The photo now has significant waves, and it appears that the static hold is no longer there. Atmospheric conditions appear similar in their home compared to our workshop. Only difference being that the project began in summer and completed in Fall, now winter here in New Zealand and more damp.

I am reluctant to mount these shiny large photos. Although if push comes to shove we do have the equipment (oversized Hotpress) to do this.


Look forward to some advice, recommendations.
 

artfolio

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I have heard of "static mounting" but in my experience it essentially assumes that a piece of paper will magically defy gravity and stand unsupported on its edge.

It wont.

Furthermore, there is no "pressure" in a picture frame to keep it upright because you only have layers of flexible material held together lightly at the edges. The 1.3mm acrylic would certainly be too thin and wobbly to resist the paper sagging. At best you may get away with framing an 8" x 10" photo this way without it cockling but you would still have the risk of it sticking to the glass.

Both sizes of the prints in your post are way to big for this treatment.

As they are rather expensive it would not be advisable to mount them down to the backing so the best way of preserving them would be either hinging them behind a window mount or floating them with a slip or spacer to keep the glass off the printed surface.

If they are glossy and you need to mount them down I would suggest cold lamination in a roller press rather than heat but first you will need to deal with the cockling. If it has only been a few weeks weighing them down between two sheets of clean matboard may work but failing this you may need the help of a conservator.
 

Lafontsee

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From the sounds of it, you're framing these without a matboard border around them. It seems likely to me that the edges are constricted not allowing the paper to move. As atmospheric conditions change, the paper will likely expand and contract.

Static mounts were intended for Cibachrome/Ilfochrome prints on polyester film. I'm not familiar enough with Fuji Crystal Archive paper to know if it is the same kind of substrate. It doesn't seem like it based on a quick google search.

I think you have a dilemma on your hands. Either you mount it so the photo will be flat, or you accept a certain amount of waviness. It would probably be best if it was matted larger than the photo with room for it to expand and contract. Size limitations may be a factor if it is the larger print. Possibly you can widen the rabbet by removing some of the inside of the frame?

Good Luck!
James
 

Ylva

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The Optium is static free, so that might be part of the problem as well. You would then rely on a pressure mount, but with flexible materials and no padding, that is not the right mount either.

If this is the look they require, you might be able to hinge around a smaller size mat board (half an inch smaller than the photo) and glue that package to the back of the acrylic. This way, the mounting board is glued, not the photo itself. It most likely won't be perfectly flat either and I am not sure if the photos will actually go back to not have ripples.
I am not sure if this will work, with this size photo.

At this price point and the limited edition, I would be very hesitant to drymount
 

Shayla

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Is the frame deep enough to allow for a Direct Contact overlay? The pressure from the batting, etc... behind the photo might cause the acrylic to bow out a bit, but would be more likely to keep the paper flat. If one of the experts knows a reason for not doing this, feel free to explain, but it's one idea. Also, how wide is your frame rabbit? Is it a standard .635 mm, or wider? (Not depth, but width.)

And I have a general question. If Lars ever does hinge a print like this, what material should he use for hinges?
 

Nikodeumus

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There is a similar situation happening to a piece of artwork hanging in a local shop near me.
I have been watching this largish (approx. 40" square) art piece become increasingly buckled while it has been hanging between 2 acrylic sheets, inside an active bakery!
The price being asked for this piece is over $1000, and whoever buys it will be purchasing a "pre-damaged" art piece!:shrug:

This method of display poses so many problems that can easily devalue and render "unpleasant to view" most kinds of artwork if done incorrectly, or used for items that can not deal with the method.
Anytime a customer asks for this type of display I make sure to mention the possible risks.
I will be adding some of the comments in this thread to my list of "tales of caution".
I'll do it if they ask, but only when I know they understand and accept these risks.
 

Ylva

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And when they know and still want to go ahead. Have them sign a waiver. It won't help you with any legal issues, but it might give them pause long enough to realize what they are asking for. They will also realize that you are serious about this and cannot assume liability.

At that point, some will still go ahead, but some will re-think and go with your recommendations.
 

auntiesarahjayne

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I did use static mounting with ilfachrome (cibachromes). to get the static, you cut the release paper on the plexi the size of the photograph and only used that part of the exposed plexi. This method also was to be used with matting. This way the release paper edges and the mat helped against gravity.
 

Rick Granick

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Static mounts were intended for Cibachrome/Ilfochrome prints on polyester film. I'm not familiar enough with Fuji Crystal Archive paper to know if it is the same kind of substrate.
I agree on the polyester/acrylic combo making the static mount work. From what I have seen of Crystal Archive paper, I doubt it would work for a static mount. I always thought there was a little voodoo involved in those anyway.
:coffeedrinker2: Rick
 

Lars

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Just thought I add some further information to the framing issue at hand.

No matboard with window opening was used in the framing of these photos.
All materials are in close contact.
3mm acrylic not 1.3mm as per "Artfolio"
Rebate size has been modified to be about 1 inch in depth.
There is a significant white margin around the photos, which now sits inside the rebate.

Thank you for you comments
 

artfolio

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Just thought I add some further information to the framing issue at hand.

No matboard with window opening was used in the framing of these photos.
All materials are in close contact.
3mm acrylic not 1.3mm as per "Artfolio"
Rebate size has been modified to be about 1 inch in depth.
There is a significant white margin around the photos, which now sits inside the rebate.

Thank you for you comments
Oops - I read that wrongly but even 3mm acrylic would still not support a piece this size.
 

clare

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If you are considering heat mounting it doesn't sound like these have to be done 100% archival. Why not use hinges and fold them over the top of your backing board and tape to the back, and then you can still use the "sandwich" of your acrylic and backing board for more support. The photos are framed edge to edge, yes? Unless I am not understanding the design....

Regards- clare
 

Lars

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I finally got the opportunity to amalgamate the ideas from the members, to come up with a solution that works for the statically mounted photo.
Here are the layers of materials I used from from to back.

True Vue Optium Acrylic
Photo
4 ply cotton board cut to the frame sight sizes
Bamboo/ cotton blend wool sheets (same material we use for wadding/padding) also cut to the same size
ACM board

All layers are in contact with each other

To counteract the True Vue Optium Acrylic from following the new contour of the wadding we also installed 8ply cotton spacer strips between the photo and the True Vue Optium Acrylic. These sit under the rebate of the frame. So now the True Vue Optium Acrylic remains dimensionally flat in the frame

The photo was hinged from above using rice paper and starch glue hinges

All the above meant that the photo now has gentle pressure from behind to create a flat look, with virtually no waves in the paper. Whilst still benefitting from the static.

The downfall of this technique (which the customer was very understanding of) is a slight concave look towards the sides/edges of the photo where there is a slight visual tapering of the photo.

I am sure I will find a few more useful applications for this technique besides glossy photos.

Thanks again for all who contributed.
 
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