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 8:14 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

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.
Well, I meant within the range of quality art materials. Of course if you really wanted an acid board you could find something, like cardboard or such, but what I meant was that within the range of professional matboard, you don't find an acidic board especially designed for platinum, which should sort of shoot that "myth" down without even having to go farther into it than that.

But this may explain something I couldn't understand before. Several years ago I bought a platinum print from a gallery in the nearest big city, and was disgusted when I got it home to find that the print itself was backed by plain grey cardboard, held in the frame with masking tape (especially since the photographer's bio said she was a professor at one of the regional colleges and, I thought, should know better). I completely took the print apart and rematted and backed it with my own archival materials, before hanging it. But maybe she was a victim of this "myth" that acid board is GOOD for platinum, and thought she was doing the right thing by giving it a nice acid board to provide it with the acid it needs.