U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: pt/pd mounting > not gum related

Re: pt/pd mounting > not gum related

On Sep 12, 2006, at 7:16 AM, Camden Hardy wrote:

I still think there's some confusion here.   The issue isn't whether
to use an acidic board or to use a non-acidic board;

Actually, Katherine, it is. That was my question. If you refer to the
original post, I was looking to either bust or confirm the myth that acid
board is good for pt/pd prints.

Yes, I thought I made it clear yesterday that I understood that that was your original question, when I pointed out that Gawain and Liam had initially responded to a different question (whether buffered board -- board where a buffering agent is used to raise the pH above neutral--may be bad for pt/pd prints) rather than your question, and that the answer to your question is no, acid board is not good for pt/d, or for any kind of print, no matter what someone may have told you. Acid makes paper turn brown and brittle and crumble into tiny bits, so you wouldn't want to print on or mount on or mat with acid paper (see also Eric's understated comment yesterday, "I think we can all agree that a pH where paper is happy is neutral and above?") So I thought we'd already disposed of that "myth." So, while the original question was about acidic vs nonacidic board, my point below was that regardless of the question, the only real issue in choosing a board is between pH neutral rag board (nonbuffered) board and buffered board.

Besides, as far as that goes, let's look at whether this "myth" makes any sense from a common-sense standpoint. Where are you going to find these "acid" boards that are supposed to be so good for pt? There are no acidic boards, for obvious reasons. Even wood pulp boards are treated somehow to make them start out "acid-free" even if they're not necessarily going to stay that way.


On Sep 11, 2006, at 3:41 PM, Camden Hardy wrote:

Well, it took a while, but we finally got some interesting conversation
going. Thanks to those who contributed.

So, to make sure I understand this, here's my take on the topic (please,
correct me if I'm misunderstanding). In theory, pt/pd has enough acid
problems to worry about without using an acid board, so use buffered.
However, there's no proof either way that buffered/neutral pH board
actually increases the life of the print. Right...?

I still think there's some confusion here. The issue isn't whether to use an acidic board or to use a non-acidic board; you wouldn't want to use an acidic board under any circumstances. The issue is whether to use (1) a pH neutral, 100% rag museum board (non- buffered), or whether to use (2) a buffered board where the pH is raised to 8 or even 9, to counteract the tendency for the print to become more acidic over time.