Neutral K7 Ink Fading

piezography

#1

I print with K7 neutral inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper with Studio Print and an Epson 9880.

I recently installed 6 - 32x50 images in a historic home for 4 weeks. The prints were fully covered on the front with 4 mil mylar that wrapped around the back 2" on all four sides. There was an 8" vertical band of mylar in the center back.

After four weeks, to my great surprise, all the prints had an easily seeable color shift only where there was no mylar on the back of the image. At first, I thought portions of the back covered by mylar had turned a blue shade, but when I compared the prints to others in the same portfolio, I could see it was the areas not covered by mylar that had turned a much warmer shade (more magenta than yellow). The color appears to have shifted more in mid and darker value areas.

The prints were installed in a hallway with good ventilation and a low light level (too low for good print viewing). The Mylar wast purchased from Amazon and was sold as an archival material. The prints were mounted off the walls about 6" on a metal cable system. No portion of the prints touched anything except the mylar and air.

I have never experienced strong color shifts with Cone inks except with early Sundance inks. Even prints install in my house exposed to sunlight have not shifted color noticeably.

Has any experienced a similar problem or have any idea why it may have happened. I am showing the work at a museum next week and have to reprint the 6 images because the color shift is so bad.

Thanks, Drew Harty


#2

Please email me (walker@inkjetmall.com) with photos.

This seems like a pollution reaction to the mylar between the paper ink and either acid or sulphur or off-gas from the plastic material.

When I ran a studio in Chicago I was next to a coal fired power plant. I would see HPR change in 2 weeks from sulfur pollution (if I didn’t keep 4 hepa filters running full tilt). If the environment or mounting adhesive etc is not [I]certified[/I]​ archival, these materials can react.

Edit> The paper is free? No adhesive at all? Please send photos.

Also, do you have the mylar product link?

best,
Walker


#3

I’ve been sitting here thinking (while editing a website). In retrospect it would not be the mylar. Re-reading your description it seems like there is something in the air that is causing a reaction to the paper base and ink. The mylar backing is keeping the air from polluting the paper/ink and the free standing paper/ink is what is shifting.

While these materials are archival (carbon and cotton), they do have polymers in them that will suck up pollution like a vacuum (especially HPR) and that can react. I looked up your purchase history and the inks you are using are not expired. This is a paper/ink/pollution reaction most likely related to the optical brighteners in the paper base.

Suggestion: spray the prints and seal them if they are going into this house again.


#4

[QUOTE=walkerblackwell;12035]I’ve been sitting here thinking (while editing a website). In retrospect it would not be the mylar. Re-reading your description it seems like there is something in the air that is causing a reaction to the paper base and ink. The mylar backing is keeping the air from polluting the paper/ink and the free standing paper/ink is what is shifting.

While these materials are archival (carbon and cotton), they do have polymers in them that will suck up pollution like a vacuum (especially HPR) and that can react. I looked up your purchase history and the inks you are using are not expired. This is a paper/ink/pollution reaction most likely related to the optical brighteners in the paper base.

I would agree with your assessment, but cannot figure where a sulfur pollutant would have come from. The house was Governor Ames house in MA and was built in the 40s - 50s. There is thick plaster walls, wood floors, and wall paper. Any off-gassing of these materials would have happen years ago. The house is located in a residential area southwest of Boston about 30 miles and sits on a large estate (now a park). Other artists were doing installations in the house. Would a modern latex paint or oil paint cause similar interactions with the inks and paper?

I have done other installation of large prints floated off archival backers but with no enclosed frame. I do it partly for cost savings and because I like the look and feel of having the paper not under plex. Would you not suggest I do this, if the paper is more susceptible to air born pollutants?

Thanks, Drew


#5

Drew,

Sorry to hear what happened to your exhibition. :frowning:

Hahnemuhle and others fine art inkjet paper makers have warned against things like freshly painted archival steel flat files, household cleaners, paints, solvents, rubber, ammonia, and many other things. We have a customer who varnished some cabinetry in an adjoining studio to her storage area and whatever fumes went into her storage room caused the Hahnemuhle paper to discolor (just those prints that were mostly towards the top of editions stored in flat files.) So without knowing what your prints were exposed to, there is some precedence that something happening indirectly, even in another room, can affect these types of paper.

regards,

Jon


#6

Thanks for the information. I will be more careful with how I install prints in the future.