06 September 2011

Storing Large Prints

HangingPrints The last couple of prints I've made are too big for my flat files, so I've been at a loss for how to store them. Right after the Great Wave prints were completed I rolled them and put them in a tube, but I was concerned that the curl would be hard to get rid of so I started thinking of other options.

I was considering setting up something in our basement, but we took in a couple of inches of water during Hurricane Irene so I'm very leery of using the basement now. Buying larger flat files is the obvious solution, but my spare-bedroom studio in our not-very-big ranch house is already feeling cramped with the flat files I have, so I'll need to figure out where I can put more. In the meantime I put out the question to the Baren Forum listserv to see if anyone had any ideas and I got some great responses.

For now, until I figure out something better, I'm hanging the prints on the back of my studio door simply using skirt hangers and some strips of foam core (photo) as suggested to me by printmaker Barbara Mason. You can see that there's still some curl at the bottom of the prints from being in the tube for a few weeks. There's also not much room on my over-the-door hook, so I'll need to upgrade that as I make more prints.

Woodcut artist Maria Arango pointed out that there are products made for hanging architectural drawings, so I'm looking into that option. I'd like to find a wall-hanging unit of that type, since I'm lacking in floor space.

Some folks seemed to think that rolling the prints isn't really a bad option. That would make it very simple if it were true, so I may try keeping a set of prints rolled and see how it works over time.

My favorite response came from Mexican artist Guadalupe Victorica who has a friend who stores large prints between 2 plywood boards under the mattress. Now that's a good use of space! Under the bed is possible too, although my dog likes to sleep there.

Of course, I could just sell all the prints! That would completely solve the storage problem.

I'm open to any other ideas if you'd like to leave a comment. Thanks for the help! xo Annie


Elisabeth Omdahl said...

You could put them between two matboards and hang it in your closet.Ceeps them straight and free of dust and UV-rays.Use clips both on top and bottom.

Hugs from Elisabeth

Unknown said...

Ha ha I love the selling all your prints plan. I think storing prints in rolls depends on the paper. I think thin paper flattens out better than thick paper. I have also found that you can uncurl a paper pretty well by curling it in the opposite direction and leaving it for an hour. Personally I know what you feel and would rather they be flat for long term storage. Rolling is nice for shipping but for years? Maybe not. I do like your skirt hanger system. The foam core is a good idea, I hate pinch marks. Maybe you could get a dry cleaner bag so they don't get dusty...