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Mounting bowed photograph printed on very thick paper.

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NM

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I want to mount a 16 x 24 photograph but it is on very thick paper and bows slightly in the center. The photo is about 1/8 inch thick and more rigid than card stock.

What is the best way to mount this flat? It is going to be framed. I was thinking that a spray adhesive wouldn't be strong enough in this case. If I had someone dry mount it, would that be strong enough?
 

Ylva

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No spray adhesive

Dry mount depends on the substrate used, how rigid it is. Hard to determine when not seeing the photo in real life.
You might be able to sandwich it between plexi and backboard as well, depending on value of photo
 

Lafontsee

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I don't think I'd dry mount it. It might be appropriate to humidify it and allow it to dry under weight to flatten it. Then you could sink-mount or fill-around it to hold it in place.

It'll depend on exactly what is going on with it. Pictures might help.

James
 

JFeig

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Let us guess that the photo was brought into you shop for framing. This is "prior damage" to you touching it. Some things are just not repairable by a picture framer. Time to frame it as is or call a conservator or pass on the job.
 

DVieau2

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1/8 inch think,..... likely it's already been mounted and the mount may be the reason it's bowing.

I had a large ( maybe 8x24) pano print that was bowed very bad. Like a 3 inch deflection from center to edge. I used a 1/4 inch spare "shelf glass" in the frame package behind the photo. I called the customer with my solution and explained it would be very heavy. She was fine with the weight and happy with the result.
 
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artfolio

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No matter how much brutality is applied and how strong the adhesive is I would bet this pic will bow again and take any new substrate with it. If the bowing is too extreme to frame it as is I would suggest having it copied and frame the copy. If the customer is prepared to bear the cost having the image delaminated from the substrate, relaxed and flattened by a conservator would be the gold standard. I have met these thick cardboard substrates before and they are usually very brittle so definetely a no go area for framers.
 

wpfay

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Chances are it is already mounted, and that is the problem. Getting it off the current backing and on to a more stable mount will require special talents that conservators possess.
BTW, Nathan, Welcome to the G.
You will always get an answer, just not necessarily the one you want.
Trying to straighten this without a conservators assistance puts you in a liable position. Paper does not like being forced.
 

echavez123

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If your customer is willing to add a bit more cost, perhaps you could reproduce the image onto a nice flat paper. Then the usual framing can follow.

Ernesto
 

Jim Miller

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I'm with Ernesto on this.
Make a digital reproduction for framing. If you are faced with the cost of professional conservation work to prepare this photo for framing, then reproducing it could turn out to be your least-cost choice. That would also provide you with an image that could be enhanced or repaired (as needed), and it would probably be more resistant to damage from light than the original, and you would have a digital file to make future copies.
 

Nikodeumus

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I had a similar issue last year.
The customers emotional attachment to the item meant they didn't like the idea of framing something that was not the original.
That's what they wanted to see, the actual item, not a reproduction.
The old photo was bowed about 1/4" concave, it was about 16x20.
I made sure to use a frame that had enough depth to allow the bow to stay. Added a little structural support behind the edges of the photo, and added spacers to keep it away from the glass.
NO pressure, not trying to force the item flat. Basically it was a shadowbox, with the item just sitting inplace, with a little wiggle room for expansion/contraction.
The customer was happy with that.
Does it conform to absolute archival framing techniques? Maybe not, but I think was safer than trying to force the item flat.

Whenever someone brings me a damaged item, the very first thing I say is "I am NOT a conservator. I will frame what you bring me, in the condition it is in. That's my job."
I never try to repair damaged items. I am not trained, nor qualified to do so. I don't want the responsibility if the repair causes further damage down the road.
 
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wpfay

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Great perspective on the issue. Pretty much survival skills n this business.
 

Jim Miller

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The customers emotional attachment to the item meant they didn't like the idea of framing something that was not the original.
That's what they wanted to see, the actual item, not a reproduction.
I've heard similar objections to framing a reproduction, regardless of its quality. However, most customers do not realize that even the best preservation framing will not totally prevent deterioration over time. The ever-present agents of change - heat, light, and moisture - will eventually take their toll.

For example, 99% UV filtering glazing does absolutely nothing to slow down the damage from visible light, which is harmful radiation just like UV, except less powerful. Moisture comes in the form of dew point condensation when the conditions are right, and there is no prevention, other than assuring that the frame is never exposed to rapid temperature change. Heat can come from exposure to natural sunlight through a window, or perhaps improper transit or storage.

In reality, customers are poor custodians of items framed for display. Just one instance of storing a frame in the garage, attic, or basement for a few days during a remodeling project could result in its demise, which most consumers would not realize. Ditto, just one trip in a moving van or a car's trunk. So, keeping any framed thing in perfect condition indefinitely is largely a matter of chance.

After realizing that the visual quality of their precious image will almost surely diminish over time, many people relent and have a reproduction framed, which includes some bonuses:

1. Preservation framing is no longer necessary, so...
...A. Framing costs considerably less
...B. Many more design options are available
...C. Extreme care in display, handling, storage, and transit is no longer essential

2. The original can be kept in pristine condition, stored in a secure package which, in most cases, could still be opened for direct viewing or handling.

3. The process of making a digital reproduction involves a digital file, which can be used to make more copies in the future.
 
Last edited:
Beauty, Brawn, and Brains: Wizard Z1 CMC
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