© 2019 by International Mountmakers Forum.

Designed by Sarah at Art/Tech/Space.  Proudly created with Wix.com   


Formerly the Mountmaking Forum Google Group

Welcome to the IMF Online Forum- The easiest way to connect with your fellow Mountmakers!

Archived topics are available to anyone- But we encourage you to create a Login, which allow you to post new topics, as well as receiving notification of new posts from other contributors.


To create a new Login- Just click the Log in/ Sign up prompt. You can use your existing Google or Facebook account or enter an email address and create a password- you're good to go!

To be alerted of any new Online Forum topics- Just click the Follow icon, located on the right side of each topic category and you will receive updates to new postings by email.


If there's anything we're missing, needs fixing or you'd like to contribute, just let us know through the Contact Us prompt!


We look forward to your participation!

Apr 12

Mountmaking Forum ›Tests on PLA

1 comment

Jamie Hascall 11/11/16

I received a query from a fellow mountmaker as to whether the plastic PLA (Polylactic Acid) has ever been Oddy tested? PLA is one of the various plastics that are used in 3D printing, but is probably better known to most people as the plastic that biodegradable tableware is made of. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid Any information would be appreciated. Thanks, Jamie  Jamie Hascall Craftsman, Trainer, Consultant Mountmakingfocus.com jamie@mountmakingfocus.com Seattle, WA 206-954-4141



Philip Brutz 11/11/16

Is it going to biodegrade in our cases?  What is life expectancy before it degrades? Philip Brutz Mount Maker Cleveland Museum of Art



Ralph Walter



Here is a link to a short article that may be helpful.  Apparently the biodegrading process doesn’t begin until certain conditions are met.  I’d say that whilst in the museum environment it isn’t likely to progress very far if at all. 


Ralph Walter

Preparator – Mountmaker

EMP Museum






Jamie Hascall 11/14/16

If you've got "bio" in your cases, I think you may have other problems... Jamie



Pamela Gaible 11/15/16

Hi Jamie, This is from one of the conservators here at the Field Museum. PLA is biodegradable in an industrial hot compost (90°C or higher), but as a practical matter it doesn't biodegrade below 55°C. 

We Oddy tested PLA. I can't find a record of the color tested, but it was probably white or natural since those are the only colors we've bought. It failed pretty hard, but this might be because the test is conducted at 60°C (i.e., at the temperature where it starts to decompose). Best, Pam



Jamie Hascall 11/15/16

Hi Pam,  Thanks for sharing your results. It looks like this material may need to be tested in a more “real world” manner to get a more unambiguous result. Sadly, that won’t provide answers quickly and by the time that the results feel firm, the formulation may have changed. Such is the hunt for new materials. Thanks, Jamie

Apr 12

We've done some initial oddy tests of PLA and ABS. The PLA failed, but the ABS passed. In the next tests we'll look to see if we get consistent results with different brands and colors.





BJ Farrar

Sr. Mountmaker

Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation

Getty Museum

Los Angeles, CA

New Posts
  • Greetings all! Tomorrow is my last day at the museum and then I'm out in the void! I've seen some photos floating around of oddly shaped fire brick forms for supporting weird or irregular brazing setups. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Not sure what to search for so I can't seem to find them. Any leads would be sweet. Here's a snap shot of similar forms...
  • For an upcoming exhibit, we need to include wigs on some archival Dorfman mannequins. I've tried to find nylon wigs that would be more likely to pass an Oddy test, but I haven't had any luck yet. Does anyone have a source for wigs that have either passed or might pass? I've considered making more of a sculpted hair and face combination, but I might not have enough time for that. Thanks, Ann Ann Prazer Mount Shop Supervisor The Field Museum 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60625
  • Hello everyone, Do you have a wood sealant product you would recommend for an exhibition case? The idea is to have a wall with wood shelves imitating a warehouse from the 1920's. The shelves and objects will have an acrylic top so it will be more or less sealed for several months. Because the exhibition designer doesn't want to use Marvelseal/fabric to cover the shelves (he wants the actual wood showing) we were wondering what products are recommended to seal the wood as best as possible to avoid off-gassing. Thank you! Silvia Manrique The Wolfsonian-FIU