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Mounting Crayon Paper And Platinum And Silver Enlargements

Wet in clean water a piece of muslin about two inches larger each way
than the paper you intend to mount, and lay it on the mounting board or
table, removing all the wrinkles with a wet brush; then place the paper
on this cloth, face down, and with some water and a brush, wet the back
of the paper, continuing to use the brush until all the wrinkles are
entirely smoothed out and the paper lies down perfectly flat. Any
number of pieces of paper can be wet at the same time by placing one
over the other, provided the larger sizes are laid down first and each
is brushed out flat before another is placed over it. Let the paper
soak for about fifteen minutes.

After having removed the surplus water from the paper with a cloth,
sponge or squeegee, apply starch paste to the paper with a paste brush,
going over it thoroughly, until it has received an even coat of paste
free from lumps. Then lay one of the back-boards on a table and, having
placed the strainer down on it face up, give the cloth of the latter a
coat of paste, using the same care you did in going over the paper,
taking pains to have the edges of the cloth well pasted, and to
remove, by passing your finger all around the outside edges of the
strainer, any paste which may be there. Now pick the paper up and place
it on the pasted surface of the strainer, which an assistant should
hold tipped towards you. (The help of an assistant will be found almost
indispensable in mounting). After the paper is in the proper place, lay
the strainer down and secure each corner of the paper, by first lifting
it slightly and then rubbing it down with a clean cloth from the
direction of the centre towards the corner you have lifted up. With a
sharp knife trim off the edges of the paper and set it away to dry, but
neither near a fire nor in too cold a place. You can very often save
the remounting of a paper by occasionally glancing at it as it dries
and by gently rubbing down a little with the fingers any places that
look as if they would not stick. Very often the paper will be all right
with the exception of this difficulty at one edge or corner. This is
invariably the lower part, and is caused by the water settling there.
It is therefore advisable to change the position of the strainer two or
three times as it dries, letting it stand on different edges.

After the paper is dry, if there are any places that have refused to
stick fast to the cloth, it will be impossible for you to remedy the
matter, and you must remount it. You proceed, therefore, to remove the
paper from the cloth. This you do by turning the strainer face down and
filling the back of it with warm water, allowing it to remain there
until you think that the paste has become thoroughly dissolved; then
turn the strainer over and carefully remove the paper. If it should not
come off readily, fill the strainer again with water, and soak it until
it will come off. After you have removed the paper, lay it on a wet
cloth, and with a case knife clean off the starch, using care not to
injure the surface of the paper, and also clean off the starch from the
strainer; then proceed to remount as before. When you once understand
that you cannot spoil an enlargement on account of defective mounting,
you will work more confidently. After you have tried three times to
remount, and the paper still insists in not sticking, you must take a
new strainer, as too many wettings will have spoilt the cloth and wood.
Sometimes there seems to be a difference in the stretching qualities of
the enlargement and cloth, which makes it impossible to produce a
perfect cohesion. When, therefore, it has been remounted three times
and does not come out perfect, your best course is to mount a piece of
crayon paper on a new strainer, and after it is thoroughly dry to then
mount the enlargement on that. This you do in the manner described for
mounting in the first instance, directly on the strainer, except that
you do not coat with paste the crayon paper already mounted.

It sometimes happens, that after the paper has been mounted and dried,
it is discovered that lumps in the paste have caused defects to appear
on the face of the paper in the shape of raised surfaces that unfit it
for the intended purpose. These can be entirely removed by wetting the
back of the strainer with some clean water immediately behind where the
lumps of paste are, and with a knife scraping the cloth a little at
these places; the surplus paste will work itself out through the cloth.

The starch paste used in mounting should not be made very thick; on the
contrary, it should be as thin as is consistent with still retaining
all its adhesive qualities. Should you fear that it is too thick or
lumpy, strain it through a piece of cheese cloth. In a former edition
of this book I advised adding to the paste a little white glue
dissolved in warm water, but I do not now consider this necessary for
crayon paper or photographic enlargements, and do not recommend its use
except for mounting paper of unusual thickness.

The foregoing directions for mounting apply to platinum or silver
enlargements, crayon or other kinds of paper, but not to bromide
enlargements. The bromide paper requires a different method of handling
on account of the gelatin surface, which when wet is destroyed by
contact with any dry substance, as the latter removes the gelatin.

For determining the proper position of photographic enlargements (bust
pictures) on the strainer, the following scale will be useful as a
general guide. When the size of the strainer is 16x20, 20x24, 22x26, or
25x30 inches, the distances from its top to the top of the head of the
portrait should be respectively 3-1/2, 4, 4-1/2 and 5-1/2 inches.

Next: Mounting Bromide Enlargements

Previous: The Strainer

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