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

mber 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.