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CURRENT COLUMN


Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 2)


Distortions and Dimensional Changes
in Paper (Part 1)

After treatment
Oscar Cahén: Innovative Conservation
for an Innovative Artist

Structural
Rigid Water Gels: New Treatment Options for Paper Conservators

Structural
Structural Remedies for Canvas Paintings

Digital
Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 4: Digital-based Material

Photos
Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 3: Photo-based Material

Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 2: Paper-based Material

First Steps
Organizing and Preserving Collections - Part 1: The First Steps

Natural Dyes
The Use of Natural Dyes in Textile Conservation

Butterfly
A Relocation Project

Challenges of Preserving Contemporary Artwork

Preserve Your Investment through Art Conservation

A Project Completed: Heritage Preserved

Old and New Methods for Cleaning Paintings

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I? Part 2

I Can See Clearly Now – Or Can I?

The E.J. Hughes Mural: An Expanded Project

Is She or Is She Not an Emily

Treating Art with Sensitive Media

Malaspina Mural: An Update

For the Artist: Testing Your Materials

Conservator as Art Historian

Alum Sizing and the Art of W.J. Phillips

Treatment of an Elizabeth Keith Wood Block Print

Structural Treatment of an Emily Carr

The Treatment of a Monumental Wall Hanging

Changing Images

Preserving a Rare Record

Gold Leaf: Imitation and Genuine

The Case Against Canvas Backings

Heritage Colours: Research Discovers Original Colours

Lighting Your Art: Balancing Seeing and Protecting

The Double-Sided Emily Carr Painting

Choosing a Period Picture Frame

How to Identify a Picture Frame

Stretching Canvas and Restretching Artwork

Mounting Textiles

Aging Paintings:
Some Causes and Effects

Chine Collé Prints

What's Your Favourite Color?

Backing Removals

Rips, Holes and Tears

Filling in the Gaps

DIY – Preventative Care of Paintings

Frame it Right

Fire, Water and Smoke-Damaged Paintings

Inherent Vice

Saturated Problems:
A Water-Damaged Painting

Moldy Paper

Conserving Time

Conserving Paper: Dos and Don'ts

Repair of Textiles

Conserving Wood

Rescuing Endangered Murals

Repairing Acid-Matte Burn

Art Services & Materials
Exhibition Openings & Events


Conservation Corner Back April-May 2016

Distortions and Dimensional Changes in Paper:
Prevention and Acceptance (Part 3)

by Rebecca Pavitt
fineartconserve.com

Minoxy® microclimate framing enclosure, www.minoxy.com

Minoxy® microclimate framing enclosure, www.minoxy.com

Knowing the reasons behind dimensional changes in paper (as discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this series) can help us reach accommodations with changes that are inherent to its creation or environmentally unavoidable. Foreknowledge can also help us prevent undesirable and unnecessary distortions.

In this article, we explore measures that can be taken to prevent or slow down dimensional changes.

Prevent changes in moisture content

For owners or artworks that cannot tolerate any dimensional changes, sealed framing or storage sytems are required. The high-end solution is to hermetically seal the art in a case or storage package with an inert gas. 

A lower-tech method is to use glass and aluminum vapour barriers to seal the art and framing package in an environment conditioned to the required relative humidity (normally 40% to 50%). A flexible aluminum-polyethylene laminate (i.e., Marvelseal) wraps around the reverse of the framing package and is attached to the front of the glass with adhesive.

Buffer changes in moisture content 

Conventional frames, especially those with plastic backboards (e.g., Coroplast) can mitigate normal humidity/temperature cycles and allow the paper to adjust slowly. Storage folders and boxes also buffer external environmental changes.

Allow paper to move

Choose framing and storage methods and materials that accommodate natural movement. Allow room for expansion.

Overall mounting

In special circumstances, it may be desirable to keep an artwork flat by overall adhesion to a rigid backboard. Such a decision is usually made by the artist or owner, in consultation with a conservator. Stable, and preferably reversible adhesives should be used.

Protect from water disasters

Choose storage and display locations wisely (i.e., not in the basement or under water pipes), have a disaster plan in place and, when practical, use waterproof or water-resistant enclosures.

Appreciate and enjoy 

One of paper’s many charms is the third dimension created by media and environmental history. The puckering and draws caused by strokes of watercolour, the light undulations and the gentle edge cockles that appear in response to seasonal changes are part of the subtle pleasure we derive from paper.

Previously: Next issue: Distortions and Dimensional Changes in Paper: Causes, Mitigations and Appreciation (Part 2)
Next issue: Next issue: Mending a Tear in an Aboriginal Drum

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 Thu, Apr 21, 2016