JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Flattening Roll-paper Prints

Feb 5, 2018

A simple trick using an empty paper roller. I had a couple things I wanted to include in this posting, but no new image – hey, it's early February in Maryland, and it's flu season, everyone's in hiding. So I posted a January iPhone shot of the $6000.00 hole in our side yard. Over the holidays the sewage draining system from our 97 year old house broke down, surprise. Thus this seven foot deep hole leading from the house to edge of the road where a new "clean-out" had to be installed.

     Naturally there was no indication of exactly where along the roadside the pipes were located. Fortuantely our neighbor was able to tell the plumbers approximately where to start with the backhoe. When they got to the house end they found that it began by going left instead of straight or right – it seems originally it led to the main street. Then when that had to be rerouted, they just cut in a ways across the yard withwhat had to come to more than 90 degrees in turns – that was over 30 years ago. Oh nos, that wasn't designed to fail was it.

     Ayway, we now have a whole new sustem, yay. And we don't have to worry about what to do with all that unused money laying around – if that's a silver lining.

Now to the reason for the posting:

 Flattening Roll-paper Prints – A simple trick using an empty paper roller

A little trick I use that just might help someone: I print with pigmented inks on an Epson 7800 – that's a 24 inch wide roll-paper printer. BUT roll-paper prints have a slight to drastic curl to them, depending on whether it's from the outside or inside of the roll, that can prevent hinge mounting them instead of having to resort to expensive mounting even on small pieces. While larger prints are at risk of expansion and bulges due to temperature and humidity changes, this isn't really an issue with smaller prints, so solving this dilemma is important.

     The question is whether to give up and purchase precut, boxed stock for these and avoid using the roll, or find a way to flatten the dang things. I've come up with a quick, easy and effective procedure for any roll-paper print 9.5 inches or less in the roll direction. Anything larger I'm willing to pay to be mounted.

     Simply, after waiting a short time so the print can be handled a little, reverse curl it just enough to slide it in the end of an empty 3 inch diameter roll-paper spool. OK, I guess a shipping tube would work too, and one could easily use a 4 inch plastic plumbing tube for slightly larger prints. The ends almost meet, leaving no overlap to threaten the image. And one will fit in each end so two can be done at a time. Leave it 12 to 24 hours depending on how close to the end of the roll the paper came off of (gets quite curly near the end). Then slide it out and, protecting the image with a sheet of paper, place a layer of mat board over it and place this under a heavy book for another 12 to 24 hours minimum again depending on the part of the roll the print came off of..

     Voila – a print that shows no sign of wanting to curl when hinge mounted and matted, it remains perfectly flat. I use this method for my 8.25x11 prints – printed on roll-paper and cut down to 9x12 (I get two side-by-side off the printer).

Changes to the Site

Home Page and Folios

     I've also cleaned up the Home Page, hopefully making it easier to navigate. The projects I'm presently working on, Havre de Grace Street and At the Opera House, have been treated to a new way of showing the images. And I've added a New Work section to include images from Current Projects that actually make it to Print form.

About the images page

     I've simplified mat and frame sizing. This makes for a lot less confusing price structure. Included is a new, slightly smaller size option with a very economical but nice non-metal 11x14 frame on 8.25x11 images. At the same time I am able to hinge-mount them, keeping the price down to $75.00 at the Gallery. Nan likes them a lot.

I'm presently putting a number of these together with Havre de Grace Street shots for a special showing at the Gallery. Anyone in town who finds themselves featured in one of these gets $40.00 off at purchase (hey, I gotta cover materials). This could be fun. First I have to get about 20 of these printed and framed up.