Friday, December 2, 2016

A Few Changes to the Blog

Hi All! I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. We are working on a couple of blog projects that will be up over the next few weeks, but I also wanted to point out some new features of the blog.

If you look to the right sidebar, under Pages we have added two new ones: About Us and FAQs. The About Us section gives a little bio of all of our team members and we will update that when necessary. The FAQs section has some basic information about us, how our most commonly used techniques generally work and other information that we have found we regularly get asked about.

We created this blog to make the conservation and restoration process more transparent because we not only love what we do, we take pride in the work and the way that we accomplish all the amazing projects that our clients bring in. I am in the process of working on a Glossary of terms as well, but that is taking some more time. However, if you have questions that you would like us to answer please leave a comment below or email me at blog.postermountain@gmail.com or Crystal and John at postermount@aol.com.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

One of our Favorites: The Little Prince Book Repair

In 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupery published a novella name The Little Prince. Since then it has been beloved by both children and adults, encouraging readers never to abandon imagination or hope. I love this book. My friends love this book. (Seriously, ask my friend who had the stars from the original illustration tattooed on her ankle.) So, when I got the chance to repair someone's beloved copy of The Little Prince I was thrilled. 


The first two pages, including the title page with the illustration of the Little Prince and the birds, were torn out.



This was a project where we were not doing restoration, just repairing the torn pages so our repairs had to be as seamless as possible. We used a combination of Okawara and Tengucho, both of which are Japanese made papers. Okawara is a thicker, sturdier paper that is usually a creamy color.The Tengucho is tissue-like, but is deceptively strong.


The first page of a book is called the front free-end page and it is often blank, unlike the title page which had text  and an illustration. Since I didn't have to worry about obscuring any image and only a little bit of the title on the free end page I used the Okawara on both sides of the page.  





For the free-end page that had the title printed on it, I also used Okawara and did my best to keep the title from being covered up. The iconic illustration of the Little Prince leaving his planet via a flock of birds we obviously did not want to cover anything if possible. This is where we used the diaphanous Tengucho to stabilize the tear that was being held together on the other side of the page by the Okawara.




We needed to stabilize both sides of the torn pages because if we had only put a paper patch on one side it risked tearing in the same way that the original papers had. The photos above show the tear even after I have repaired one side of the paper.



I traced out the smallest area we could cover with Tengucho and still stabilize the tear.


We used a starch paste to glue everything and it did not cause any reaction or discoloration of the paper, so once applied the Tenchugo was barely visible.





I am an avid book lover and this project made me so happy. I loved being able to repair these pages so that the owner could turn them and enjoy the illustration.

Certain proprietary steps and procedures have been omitted. If you have any comments or ideas for things you would like to see us cover on our blog, please let us know! Additional questions regarding other work or your pieces, please contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone 818.882.1214.

Also, check out our websites: http://www.postermountain.com and http://www.lapapergroup.com. Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For daily photos and updates check out Poser Mountain's Twitter and Instragra: follus us on Twitter @postermount and postermountain on Instragram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Women Love Diamonds Episode 3

It has been a while since we posted any updates about the massive restoration project that is the Women Love Diamonds poster. So, a quick recap: Last summer the poster was literally in pieces and missing a very large chunk right in the middle.



John and Madalyn went through multiple steps to get the poster linen backed and then prepped so restoration could begin. (All of which you can read in detail in Part 1 and Part 2.)


The main issue we encountered with this poster, besides the fact that it was originally in shreds, was that as far as we can tell it is a one of a kind poster and thus no reference exists for us to base our restoration off of. This is just the kind of challenge that we love at Poster Mountain! Ravi, Gabe and John had a quick consultation and decided to base the restoration of our leading lady's dress off of stills from the movie and other dresses from that time period.

Before restoration. 

At the end of Episode 2, Ravi had gotten a basic outline of  our leading lady Pauline Starke's body. The next step was to begin to give the dress shape. 


In order to get the dress just right and to connect the top half to the lower portion, Ravi drew a simple sketch of Starke's form. 


Ravi spent a lot of time looking at stills from this silent movie, although most of them were of Starke sitting down, so he had to get creative with how the dress probably looked.


I promise, Ravi really is working here not just surfing the net. 
Once Ravi had a good idea of what the dress may have looked like, it was time to get to work and connect the upper half to the lower train of the dress.


"Don't mind me, Ravi, I'm just lurking and watching you draw so I can take photos."

Preliminary drawing done!

This was one of the most incredible transformations to watch. Ravi worked on it when he had a free hour or two in between other projects and every time I looked up or went over to take a photo he had added more detail.


Here the background is masked off to protect it from the airbrushing that Ravi used to put in base coats of color.

After he had the outline of all the lines of the dress, Ravi masked off the rest of the poster and began to airbrush in a base coat. This color blended in with the original color of the dress and softened the lines of his pencil drawing, allowing him to add in more layers of color and pigment that would recreate the look of the original poster. 


Here is a close up of the preliminary sketch and the first round of airbrushing.

Base coat of color is in!

I had hoped to finish up Women Love Diamonds this week, but the post was just too long! So we'll have one last update next week! 

Certain proprietary steps and procedures have been omitted. If you have any comments or ideas for things you would like to see us cover on our blog, please let us know! Additional questions regarding other work or your pieces, please contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone 818.882.1214.

Also, check out our websites: http://www.postermountain.com and http://www.lapapergroup.com. Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For dail photos and updates check out Poser Mountain's Twitter and Instragra: follus us on Twitter @postermount and postermountain on Instragram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cacao... Coco... Chocolate! (Part 3)


This is the last part in our Cacao series! Part 2 ended with all the borders being replaced and all the holes in the poster filled.



Restoration is the final step and is often the most time consuming. This poster needed at least five different colors airbrushed, which also means five different masks. Pete got to work, laboriously covering up or opening up areas using a low tack tape, acetate, frisket and misket. He has quite the arsenal of tools!



Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Aaron in action during airbrushing. However, his work speaks for itself. Pictured below are before and afters of several of the layers of colors he was working on.


It's been a while now, but I think this is the border was the final area that was airbrushed. 
After airbrushing, the boys (excuse me, men) with all the colored pencils get to work filling in all the small details that make a good poster. My favorite photos of Gabe were when he was working on the longitudes and latitudes of the globe.



The final step was to put the original printing house's information in, which had been partially trimmed away at some point. In order to do this Gabe first found the correct information and then scaled it to the appropriate size before he and John silk screened it back on the border.

  


Just as a reminder here is what the poster looked like before we began work:


After several weeks of work, here is the finished poster:


Voila! Fully restored poster!

Next week we will do our final post about the Women Love Diamonds poster!

Certain proprietary steps and procedures have been omitted. If you have any comments or ideas for things you would like to see us cover on our blog, please let us know! Additional questions regarding other work or your pieces, please contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone 818.882.1214.

Also, check out our websites: http://www.postermountain.com and http://www.lapapergroup.com. Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For dail photos and updates check out Poser Mountain's Twitter and Instragra: follus us on Twitter @postermount and postermountain on Instragram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A quick update!

We've been busy the last month! I always have good intentions of putting up short weekly updates of what we're working on to tide you over until we have time for a longer post, however I have not lived up to my intentions. But I'm going to get better! Starting with this week.

We've had several large scale projects that we've been working on, but the most interesting and time consuming is probably a Sarah Bernhardt poster designed by Alfonse Mucha. We have done quite a few of these over the years, so we're not going to do a start to finish post. However, I will put up some process photos and eventually a final photo when we are done.

This particular poster is owned by our friends over in the UK at AntikBar. Their website is worth checking out and they recently opened up a brick and mortar shop in London, so if you're over there stop by to see what they have. And in a few months this poster will probably be available!


As John likes to say, this poster was well loved. It was mounted, but that previous backing was in just as bad a shape as the poster. Sorry, I only have a good photo of after we demounted it and then relined it so that it was stable again.  


We will have poured several hundred hours of labor and love into this poster by the end. One particular labor that is just barely visible is redrawing by hand the text at the top of the poster.


We've also begun airbrushing, starting with the leaves of the flowers.

So, that's all we've got for now! Next week we will be finishing our series on the French Cacao poster.

Don't forget to check out our websites:  http://www.postermountain.com and http://www.lapapergroup.com. Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For dail photos and updates check out Poser Mountain's Twitter and Instragra: follus us on Twitter @postermount and postermountain on Instragram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Cacao... Coco... Chocolate! (Part 2)

Part 1 of this series finished with the old backing being removed from an early 20th Century French Cacao poster. After taking the backing off we washed the poster again to try to remove as much of the leftover adhesive as possible. Then it was again put through the isinglass gelatin process and left to dry face down on a board overnight.   

John and Ravi moving the large and heavy melamine board over to the shelves so it can dry overnight. 

There was still a thin layer of adhesive remaining on the back of the poster. John used a fine grit sand paper to remove this last layer of glue.

John checking and sanding down any uneveness leftover from the remaining adhesive.


Next, the poster was removed from the board with the hollytex facing still on the front. The poster was then washed one last time before glue was applied to the back and it was mounted to masa and linen.

John washing the poster and hollytex for a final time.

After applying glue to the back of the poster its time to linen back it so it will last another 100 years.

John and Robin linen backing the poster (while it still has the hollytex facing on). 

After the poster had dried for a few days we removed the facing.


The next step was prep. During the demounting process Robin and I saved a few of the larger pieces of the poster that came off along with the old backing. I was able to save some, but not all of these, and to put them back onto the poster where they belonged.

Bits and pieces of the poster that tore off during the demounting process. Some of them I was able to save, others were just too stuck.

In addition to the obvious holes, we were also adding borders back in. Putting borders back is one of my favorite prep projects, although it is time-consuming. Often when we are adding in borders we first have to determine if we have straight edges to base our measurements off of or if we need to use the image/printing to get the dimensions that the poster is supposed to be. Fortunately for this piece we did have relatively straight edges that we could use.


I traced out the borders, then began to look for paper that was similar in color, thickness, and style. However, one of the issues that we encountered with this poster was the poster paper itself. French commercial printing paper from the early 20th century is very thin. Think newsprint thin. So in the large areas, like the borders or the big hole in the globe, we used paper patches. However, other areas were so thin that paper patches weren't going to look good once restoration was started. We used a compound filler for these holes. It is white, so it is difficult to see in photos.

Tracing out the borders.


This is the pile of vintage paper that I thought might work and was sorting through to find the most appropriate.

This photo was taken after the borders were added back, but before the rest of the damage was filled.

After a few days of work, we had borders and all the cracks and holes were filled. Next week's post will be about the restoration of the poster.

A process photo after prep and before restoration.

Certain proprietary steps and procedures have been omitted. If you have any comments or ideas for things you would like to see us cover on our blog, please let us know! Additional questions regarding other work or your pieces, please contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone 818.882.1214.

Also, check out our websites: http://www.postermountain.com and http://www.lapapergroup.com. Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For dail photos and updates check out Poser Mountain's Twitter and Instragra: follus us on Twitter @postermount and postermountain on Instragram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.