05 May 2014

Alternatives to Framing (SGCI Part 3)

My favorite presentation at the SGCI Printmaking Conference in San Francisco in March was called Before and After the Frame: Pasting and Presenting Wall-Mounted and Multi-Sheet Prints. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you're probably aware that I'm not too fond of framing. Framing is, unfortunately, a big part of showing works on paper, so I was excited about this event as soon as I read the title in the conference materials. Organized by Brian Shure, who literally wrote the book about chine collé, the panel included Shure plus master printer Paul Mullowney, artist Emelia Edwards who makes large scale prints that are often paste mounted on walls, and a conservationist whose name I unfortunately didn't catch.

Here are the tweets I sent from the event (the digital version of sharing notes from a class):
- Historic overview of print presentation: pinned to walls, pasted into boxes, pasted into books or onto vellum, put into pouches, pasted to walls…
- Prints mounted on canvas or wood as substitute for more expensive paintings.
- Scroll mounting with wheat paste, drying boards - China.
- Contemporary: prints mounted with paste for display, then misted and peeled for safe removal.
- Paul Mullowney showing how large Sandow Birk prints were printed and seamed (like this blog post):
-  Wheat starch paste on 1/8 inch seams, thin gampi, dry it, wet it, back it with large sheet sekishu, brush onto Mylar drying board.
- Dried again for a couple of days, then wet again and backed again. Can roll it, ship it, and it rolls back out flat.
- Entire edition of 25 can be rolled up into a tube about 10" diameter. How prevent splitting? Dry slowly, with humidity.
- Now hearing from Amelia Edwards; makes large tyvek prints. "Hard structure tyvek" like paper but less stretch. ("Soft structure" more like fabric)
- Tyvek: half inch overlap seams, don't dry too fast, coat back of tyvek and wall with layer of starch paste, squeegee to push out bubbles
- Removing tyvek from wall: large scale damp pack (bed sheets, plastic, tape) for about 8 hrs then peel.
- Tyvek variables: size, composition of wall, weather, type of tyvek. Sometimes need additives.
- Additives: thick methyl cellulose added to paste on smooth walls; rough surface use pva, max 20%
- Now hearing from paper conservator: Never use tape, including pressure sensitive (eg. Filmoplast)!
- Conservation rules for mounting art on paper: method must be 1. non staining 2. flexible 3. strong 4. reversible
- Linen tape great for mats, but not on the artwork. No Yes paste - stains. "Archival" only means "sold by an archival supplier"
- PVA is permanent, not reversible. Best paste is rice starch or wheat starch; hard to work with but will never harm artwork. Tested 1000 yrs (Japan, China)
- Coat wood with acrylic medium before mounting art to wood*

*My next post re: Japanese method of mounting washi (hyougu) on boards will dispute this.

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