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Print Restoration Information
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Print Restoration Information
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Print Restoration Information
Print Restoration
Because of its nature, paper will deteriorate if not properly stored or handled. Prints are therefore fragile objects due to the material they are printed on. The papers used in printmaking are of archival quality and less subject to alteration than papers composed of cellulose fibers from plants. Nevertheless, prints are all sensitive to temperature changes, to light, to handling, and to all kinds of wear and tear as well as humidity and excessive dryness Any restoring process begins with a careful examination of the work to be handled in order to diagnose the "health" of a print before deciding what treatment must be undertaken. The most common alterations found in:

• Tears, folds and wear due to improper handling

• Incorrect conservation (bad restoration work, poor framing, inscriptions, gluing)

• Light damage (yellowing of paper, alteration of tones)

• Damage due to smoke and dust (blackening, dustiness)

• Damage due to humidity (mildew, spots, wrinkling of support)

• Damage due to heat (crumbling  prints can be classified as follows: of paper due to excessive dryness)

• Damage due to various types of substances (greasy spots, acid burns, excessive acidity of paper)

• Biological damage (mushrooms, bacteria, parasites)

Once the problem has been diagnosed, it is essential to find a specific treatment for the print to be treated. It is important to remember that restoration is a specialized science and if not done properly, it can damage the print forever.

How to treat creases and dents Creases or folds are hard to remove, but can be softened considerably by wetting the paper and then pressing it between two sheets of blotting paper in a press or by placing it under two boards, weighted. Engravings and lithographs printed on rag paper take well to dampening by immersion while other papers such as rice, cardboard or sized papers would suffer greatly if dampened excessively. Prints with chine collé and those printed with waterbased inks can only be dampened with a sponge or slightly sprayed on the verso side of the paper.

Rips and tears For small tears, the two sides can easily be put together again gluing a light piece of paper (such as Japan paper) onto the back of the print (entire back of the print is best) in order to keep the two pieces together. The drying should then be done in a press. Gluing must never be done with adhesive tapes and especially not with scotch tape as it burns the paper irremediably. The glues used for this purpose are usually rice starch glue (mix one tablespoon of starch 5 tablespoons of distilled water. Heat and stir in a double boiler until thick) or wheat flour glue (mix 250g in one liter of water and bring to a boil for ten minutes). It is also possible to use some synthetic glues although old fashioned vegetable glues seem to work best. If the tear looks more like a hole, one must cut out a piece of paper of exactly the same size and shape as the hole. This piece of paper can be cut by making a tracing first. The piece to be inserted can also be cut slightly bigger and then evened out (so that the print and the cut-out are on the same level) with a paper knife. After drying the glue and putting the print in a press the missing part of the image can be reconstructed.

Alterations due to incorrect conservation

Marks made with ink are hard but not impossible to erase. For all the inks used in writing one can use oxalic acid (or citric acid) diluted with water to the point of saturation. When the ink mark turns red it must be washed with a highly diluted solution of lime chlorate (30 to 40 g in one liter of water). An "ink-eater" is another possibility for which two recipes exist.

Red solution: water sodium permanganatesulphuric acid 1000 g12 g 8 g

White solution: water sodium bisulphite 1000 g250 g

If the ink marks are spots or lines they can be removed with a fine brush dipped in the above mentioned solutions or by using pure lime chlorate. When the spot or line turns red it must be thoroughly washed with clean water.

Oil spots caused by greasy inks can be removed or at least reduced by using a fine brush dipped in alcohol or benzene. In order to avoid spotting marks, the print should be placed between two sheets of blotting paper that will absorb the excess liquid.

Prints that have been cut out of their margins are hard to fix since it is necessary to make new margins. These added on margins must be of one piece cut out of the same kind of paper as the original one, glued on slightly overlapping the print area. This is not always an easy task, especially in the case of old prints.

Pencil writing on prints is quite common and very easy to remove by rubbing the area with compressed bread crumbs or with a soft eraser. If the pencil mark was made with a hard lead and an intaglio mark has been left, it may be removed by rubbing the back side of the print with a rounded object so as to "raise" the line. Yellowed paper can be a problem, as the erased area can become white again. In this case the entire surface may have to be lightened.

Alterations due to light damage

Exposure to light causes two distinct kinds of damage: yellowing of the paper and damage to the tones.

Yellowing of paper A certain amount of yellowing is a perfectly normal process as it is the natural oxidation of an old print. A print will not become excessively yellow if placed away from direct sunlight or if kept in a portfolio, although every once in a while, the print should get some airing. Keeping prints in portfolios requires some care too: you need to make sure that they get neither too dry nor too damp, and that they do not get too dusty. The yellowing of paper is particularly problematic when it is irregular. This happens inevitably when the print has been framed in a poor quality mat made of ground wood pulp. The effect of the chemicals leeching out from the core of the mat board through the cut in the window mat will cause brown stains that follow the contours of the window in the mat. The effects may be more severe within the window area because this area is also exposed to light. Furthermore, when the glass protecting the print presents irregularities such as spots or marks which cast small shadows, lighter areaas or spots will appear in those areas where light has not oxidated the paper.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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