More Oldies – and a Ten Year Old Problem Unsolved

Here are some more scans that I just made from a few of the old 8×10 RC prints that I wrote about recently. These images were made at a workshop at Big Sur in California in 2000. As with the previous set of 8×10’s that I posted last time, I never did print them larger.

Otherwise, I’ve spent my time at home this week just trying to clear off the pile of papers and envelopes that had piled up on my desk. I managed to do most of it. I also went to the opening night reception for a show of paintings at the Tibet House on Monday.

Regarding photography, I finally picked up all of the materials that I need to make the picture frames that will complete my new at-home photo exhibition space. I got the glass and foam core that I ordered yesterday, and went to get the modular frame pieces today.

I had ordered these things last week, but today while at the store I picked up some new modular pieces to make a 25×32 inch frame. This frame will finally allow me to display a large photographic print that I purchased ten years but has spent the intervening years in the darkness of a closet. Why? I bought a beautiful wood frame for it back then, but due to the difficulty in safely transporting the large print, I decided to just order the frame and the glass. I got these things, ordered the necessary matte boards from Light Impressions and successfully matted the print myself.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t reckoned on fixing the matted print into the frame, and after several attempts do so (without success), I gave up and basically just forgot about it. I’ve been thinking of it lately, and have decided that I just need to bring the stuff in to be taken care of professionally. The problem still exists of transporting the large photo and the heavy frame, and until I can solve that problem (or find a place where I can park my car nearby, unlike the framing shop in Manhattan), it’s just not going to happen.

Still, in the interim, I decided to buy the same type of black frame for it that I’ve been getting for my other photos. I already had the glass and the foam core from the wooden frame, so after eating dinner tonight, I put together the new frame. I was so looking forward to finally seeing that print on the wall.

The next step was to remove the foam core, matted print and glass from the wood frame, the whole thing secured (not very securely) with gaffer’s tape. I slid the glass into the new frame, followed by the matted print and then one of the foam core boards. Everything was going fine. All I had to do was to connect up the fourth and final side of the frame, then attach the hanging wire, and – voila! – I could put it up on the wall.

Before attaching the final section, I decided to check for any specs of dust or dirt between the matte board and the glass. I began to lift up the frame by one side to turn it over – and then it happened.

The bottom part of the frame slipped outward, and the glass slipped with it. I carefully tried to push the glass up back into the frame, but for some reason it wouldn’t go back. Then I looked over and I saw it: the glass had broken. Cracked into two pieces. Busted. Unusable.

Needless to say, I was absolutely livid. This was to be the night that I’d finally get to hang up that print after ten years, and it wasn’t going to happen. It seems to have some kind of a curse attached to it when it comes to displaying it – but beyond the glass, I was really really worried that the print might be damaged. I carefully slid out the foam core and the print, and thankfully it looked okay. (Had the print been damaged, ‘livid’ would have been a grand understatement.)

The print was undamaged, but it still needed to be protected – and I do not have any 25×32 inch print bags. So, I did the only thing I could: I slit the sides of four 20×24 bags, used them to cover the matte boards and print, then taped them up. I sandwiched that between the foam core, taped them together, fit them back into the wooden frame and finally put the whole thing – where? – back into the closet! Yup, after ten years in the dark, that print finally got to see the light, all right!!!

Still, it could have been a lot worse. The print could have been damaged, but it wasn’t. When I called up a friend to tell him the story, he thought I was about to say that I cut off part of my finger with the broken glass and had just come back from the hospital where it had to be sewn back on. (I did get a little cut to my finger earlier, but certainly nothing that bad!)

So, for the third day in a row, I will need to go to the art supply store, this time to order another piece of glass. I just hope that I won’t have to do it again.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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1 Response to More Oldies – and a Ten Year Old Problem Unsolved

  1. Five days before one of my shows (that has been in the works for three years) you will find me in the studio framing and matting the pieces. A typical open reception has me there with band aids on most of my fingers from the glass.In my studio will be a pile of wrongly cut mat boards, and a few that were just trashed because they had blood on them.Once in awhile there is one print that just refuses to be matted and framed, so it never makes it into the show. All good prints have souls. Some just can’t stand to be caged.

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