Sticking Together Through Thick And Thin - The Photo Glue Saga
No matter whether you found it in Europe, Britain, Canada, or Australia, it was the same thing - a big glass jar filled with something gelatinous and stoppered with a lid that never fit. Frequently there was a brush thrust through the lid. It was sticky on the inside and sticky on the inside and exuded an odour of strange chemistry.
We all tried to eat it at some stage of the game. Wise schools invested in non-poisonous types...
As photographers we have also dabbled in glues - from the clear mucilages in bottles that we stuck pictures into albums with through various specialist formulae in tubes and then on to spray cans for bigger prints. Some stuck, some didn't - some ruined the photos and some left them untouched - it really was a by-guess-and-by-gosh situation for amateur shooters.
Professionals had their hot presses and sheets of varnish tissue that they could use to mount large prints to matte boards. These were reliable if served with good materials and a degree of skill, but could ruin a print in 30 seconds if you got any grit trapped on the platen. Plus they were hot - and big - and expensive. And the materials to mount with them also cost a fair bit.
Which brings us to the subject of the post - the Hahnemuhle Archival glue in a 4 oz. bottle. The stuff is more than just a Bunnings bottle - it is pH neutral and will not come boiling out of the frame to wipe your work off the canvas or paper. Unfortunately you cannot say that about many other products - slather them on and watch in horror over the years as they let go and everything falls apart or start to turn all sorts of colours and shapes.
As a model diorama builder I am keenly aware of the different reactions that glue and adhesives undergo when they are being used on different materials. I have watched careful work disappear under chemicals exuded by cyano-acrylates years after assembly. The awful part about this is that the parts may be welded for eternity with the contamination locked inside the structure - short of sawing it apart you can't get in to clean up.
A side issue was the discovery of the effect of humidity and the expansion and contraction under print display conditions. This robbed one of my exhibitions of all dignity a few years ago as matted prints twisted themselves into Dorito shapes and fell off the frames that were displaying them. Subsequent years saw different glues and tapes tried , and in the end the best mounting turned out to be pinning unmounted prints to a hanging muslin backdrop.
Any rate, come into the shop and browse in the Hahnemuhle section. You'll find Gallerie Wrap canvas kits and frames as well as the 4 oz. glue and Hahnemuhle mounting spray. It's the spray glue of choice for a number of professional client and they go through a good deal of it.