plexi mounting how to ?


Grumbler in Training
May 18, 2005
Little rock
a lot of contemporary artists are mounting their c-prints to plexiglass. and the claim is that this process is archival. does anyone know how to do this. i can't find any info on the web about this process.
By "c-prints", do you mean Cibachrome or Ilfochrome?

Those may be static-mounted to a sheet of acrylic, but it's a good idea to provide additional support, as well.

Are we on the right track?
C-prints as in standard color photography perhaps. You could dry mount these to acrylic but you better be in a dustless environment. The photographers that I work with realize that the archival nature of a c-print isn't the same as a fiber based photograph and aren't so squemish about using less archivally rated substrates for dry mounting. The biggest villan of c-prints is light, both visible and non, and fading is a much bigger issue than what it is mounted to.

The photographers that are real picky about absolute flatness will use aluminum panel as a substrate. The primary issue with acrylic is its flexibility.
I thought that "Archival" meant reversible. Drymounting is hardly reversible. I don't think a C-Print will static mount.

Hinging with a reversible adhesive would be reversible.
I have a friend who has his very large c-prints (40 x 75) mounted to plexiglass. His photographs are not mounted to the plex as a backing or substrate though, the image side of the photograph is mounted to the plex. I'm not sure of the process myself but he assures me it is archival. He has his work mounted in San Francisco by a place called General Grafics.
You are speaking of "Static Mounting" this is done by few. It is getting a large audience, but still many do not understand the concenpt. Go to the top of the page and type in static mount it should come up in depth. It is archival, because the print stays to the plexi with static electicity. Take a look and see what you get in the search, good luck and Welcom to the Grumble.
Patrick Leeland
General Graphics huh? Haven't heard of them but the process you describe interests me can you elaborate? I would love to offer such a service at my shop in San Francisco.
I believe the image to acrylic is called Duratrans (unsure of spelling) and is used primarily in commercial application. I suppose if the artist makes the call then it becomes part of the art.

You are absolutely right Greg. Once the artist has completed what they do, we are then required to use only reversible attachments. If the artist chooses to use bailing wire and bubble gum to mount their art its their business. It's our job to try to preserve it in the original state.
Wally, could you elaborate on the bailing wire and bubble gum mounting process? I've had some requests for that.
thanks guys for the feedback. i suppose it will take me a while to sift thru the info and figure out which route to take. i apreciate you guys.
It's looking like static mounting is the best route in mind. I need to find out what the best material to print on would be i suppose.

I am having trouble finding the process. I've done a search here, which leads to much debate on the issue. PPFA seems to be where i am led to but am not a member. I'm in a small city and my local resources are limited.

I tried looking into a company in SF, GGE, but they're website is vague on what they offer.

I'm surprised you guys are willing to help me with this. thanks so much
i think the with the bubble gum process the trick is to keep things moist which will make for better tack. although of course this requires a lot of chewing i've heard.

The process for mounting the face of a photograph to plex is done in a roller-laminator. Commercial (big) photo processors also use them for regular mounting to substrates like Gator Board and foam board as well.

The process uses very clear adhesive between the plastic and the face of the photograph.

The fellow that says that the process is archival has probabaly been listening to some marketing pitch.
It is not static mounting. It is permanently adhered to the back of the plexi. You look at the image THRU the plexi. I had a few of these come into the store last year. They were mounted onto 1/2" plexi. Looked pretty cool. He wanted me to attach little blocks to the back so it could be hung. I passed on that one.

You are in Little Rock, isn't that where Bill Clinton's museum is located? If so, call them. They probably know where to have most anything of this nature done. They will at least know where the exhibit houses are. They are the ones who do trade show exhibits and museum exhibits and such.
OK if you are talk two different things here, Face mounting or Back mounting to plexi is bad. This does use and adhesive, which makes it not archival. It is a film of some sort that binds the plexi and image together as one. This is bad because the art is plexi. The plexi glass can scratch, so the image is junk. Plexi can break, image=junk. And it is not reverseable. This is expensive, because not too many folks do this process. It is very popular despite all the bad things...artists????

Static mounting is entirely different. It works best on Cibachromes/Ilfachromes (direct prints from slides), however it will also work on RC prints. With this process you take a piece of plexi (best if cut about an 1/8 larger all the way around). You unpeal the paper off of one side, this is where the image will be adhered. Now here is the kicker, don't clean the plexi with any cleaner. You use a cheese cloth (soft rag) to get the extrra grit off the plexi. Place the photoface down (not on the plexi) use your horse hair brush and wipe the uncovered plexi. Also do this to the photo, be careful not to slide the photo around, you can scratch the face that is face down quite easily. Then you pick up the photolay it on the uncovered plexi. You shouls instantly see and feel the static pulling the photo down. Now to help the adhereing of the static, you start in the middle and work the air out. Get the bubbles from the trapped air out. This is a static mount.

If it is a large photo I suggest using T hinges out of JLar. Hugh will not be happy with that, but it will come off. I do not know if that will leave adhesive that will yelllow over time. He can handle that one. So you got it, nice and is easy, and reservsable.
Patrick Leeland
now who is sexyy and informative?
so after i mount this photo, i can then place another piece on the face, is that the right idea? or am i still confused.
oh, and i just wanted to say. that before i was considering this adhesive idea, but the way you (leeland) put it i'm convinced thats a dumb idea. which is why i'm not giving up on figuring this out.
You would then use spacer to keep the glazing off the image/plexi and then have your outside glazing. You got the idea, try ti on a 4x6 image to get the feel, do it a few times before even attempting a real image.
Good luck, afterthis it is trial and error, maybe success!!
Patrick Leeland
Sorry I haven't posted info on General Grafics in San Francisco. I've been out of town for the last two weeks. Here is their address and phone number.

General Grafics
695 Minnesota Street
S.F. CA 94107