Following the demonstration of print mounting at the practical evening on 13th Sept, I said I would post some details.
- The cutter I used was a Logan Compact Elite Mat Cutter (Model 350-1). You should be able to find it on Amazon or eBay for around £100 (and at many other craft and photographic sites for a lot more!). We have a Tuesday evening talk scheduled for Nov 29th when Chris Longridge will talk about and demonstrate Longridge Mount Cutters. These are the top of the range models and I am sure you will be impressed by their capabilities, but they are much more expensive!
- You can buy Antique White Daler mounting board in A1 sheets from various local stationers such as Coleman's or Staples for around £3 per sheet, but an A1 board (841mm x 594mm) will only yield two 40 x 50 cm size mounts. In the past Jim Hartje has organised bulk purchase for club members of "Jumbo" sized sheets (1120x850mm) in packs of 10 (for around £40 per pack). You can get four 40x50cm mounts out of each sheet so they represent better value, but I don't know of anywhere locally you can get that size. There are plenty of places advertising these on the web (I think Jim ordered them from somewhere in Birmingham), but they are bulky items so the delivery is quite expensive. It makes sense to do a combined order and spread the delivery cost. I will email Jim and see if he is willing to organise something.
- The Brown Paper Framers Masking Tape comes from the same sort of craft shops that sell Mat cutters and mount board. It comes in various widths. I have 25 and 38mm width rolls (i.e. roughly 1" and 1½") and find both useful, depending on the size of the mount I am doing.
- Foam core board is available in A1 sheets in various thicknesses in white, black and grey, from local stationers and also The Works (last time I looked, Coleman's was actually the cheapest, but only pennies in it). I demonstrated using 5mm thickness board but you could also use thinner 3mm board. Clearly, if you are doing a block mount, the colour is irrelevant! I also find the white foam core board very useful as material for making ad hoc reflectors for macro shots.
- The spray on glue I used for block mounting was 3M PhotoMount. Again you can get it locally, but it is expensive (I buy 400ml cans from Amazon for about £11-12, Coleman's sells a 200ml can for £9.99).
For new members who want to enter our internal print competitions (the first one is on Oct 11th so deadline for entries is Tuesday 4th Oct) I would emphasise that prints DO need to be mounted (otherwise they are not stiff enough to stand up properly for judging and viewing by the audience) but you don't need to do anything fancy. You can produce perfectly acceptable results using stiff cardboard (a sheet of Daler mount board from Coleman's in you favourite colour will do fine) and a Pritt Stick.
- It is perfectly acceptable to have your photos printed by a Commercial print service. You don't have to print them yourself. Many established members do not do their own printing. DO make sure the print is big enough. As a rough guide, the image itself (i.e. not including the mount) needs to be at least A4, preferably a bit bigger.
- Cut out the part of the image you want to use. At least, cut any borders off. Probably best done using a craft knife or Stanley knife and a steel rule on a cutting mat. Cut a piece of mount board to leave a border all the way round the image. Something like 35mm works well for an A4 image. As I demonstrated in making the block mount, protect the surface of the photo with something like a sheet of ordinary kitchen, grease-proof paper whilst you are cutting it or rolling it down. This should prevent the surface of the print from getting scuffed.
- Use a soft pencil to mark in the diagonals on the mount board (to find the centre) and then mark out where the print will go so that it is straight and at least centred horizontally. (You may decide a wider border at the bottom looks good, but I don't think having the print off centre horizontally, or not parallel to the frame is ever going to look very nice!)
- Carefully stick the print on, paying special attention to the edges. If they are not properly stuck down, it will tend to peel off. I find a rubber roller is very useful for this - roll out from the centre and pay special attention to rolling down the corners and edges. Spray mount is really good because it applies a thin, even coat of glue all over, but a fresh Pritt Stick (i.e. not an old, semi-dried out and gobby one!) applied to the back of the photo does a reasonable job.
- Finally, wait until the glue has dried thoroughly and then remove any pencil lines that might be left from your marking out with a good, soft rubber.
However you make your prints, PLEASE remember to put your name and the title on the back! Unlabelled prints are a real pain for the competition organisers and do not comply with our rules - so they should not be accepted anyway! Just write on the back of the mount board, although I like to print a label and glue it on 'cause it guarantees readability. (Again, unreadable hand writing makes the poor competion organiser's job more difficult than it ought to be).
Hope this helps.