Dry Mounting Photography - The pro’s and con’s
08 November 2012
Dry mounting is a precise process, popular with professional photographers for aesthetic reasons. The procedure permanently bonds an artwork to an aluminium or cotton fibre board, depending upon the type of image. However, the process carries long-term risks which all practitioners should be aware of. Our design team have pulled together this guide to clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of this popular presentation solution ...
• Dry mounting photographic prints results in a flat, flush surface which is very popular for the sleek aesthetic result!
• Dry mounted prints do not need to be presented within a mount board, so photographers can avoid the typical white border which surrounds the majority of framed photographic prints.
• If you are dry mounting your photographs to an aluminium backing, it is not necessary to frame the piece as well. This results in a more cost effective presentation solution.
• The dry mounting process results in a flat image which appears to float off the gallery wall, providing viewers with an uninterrupted view of the artwork.
• Dry mounting is not a reversible process. This means if at any stage your artwork is damaged and requires restoration, it is extremely difficult for conservators to remove the print from its backing and carry out treatment.
• At some point, all dry mounted artworks will begin to delaminate and bubble. If stored in a stable, dry environment at room temperature, it may be 10-20 years before evidence of this begins to emerge. However, if the print is stored in a humid environment with fluctuating temperatures, these negative effects may begin to occur after just 2-5 years.
• The film of your dry mounted prints will eventually deteriorate, causing staining and general discolouration of the photograph.
• Leaving dry mounted prints exposed without the protection of conservation framing means the work will be vulnerable to the long-term effects of ultra violet light, dust and airborne pollutants.
The John Jones team is currently conducting research into safer alternatives to dry mounting which can increase the longevity of photographic prints. Our policy is not to recommend the dry mounting process for any photographic artworks which are unique and cannot be replaced. However, low value artworks which can be re-printed may find dry mounting to be a cost effective and visually appealing presentation solution. John Jones has a fully equipped dry mounting studio at our north London workshops. For more information or to request a dry mounting quote, please contact a member of our team.