This week we are going to repair a Tyler Stout "Lost" silkscreen that was damaged in shipping. It happens every so often that a poster is shipped in a weak tube and the tube gets folded or crushed or, God forbid, rained on during shipping. A poster is ruined and a lesson is learned. Except we can fix that poster. This particular case calls for the John Davis-innovated Isinglass Gelatin Backing Technique.
Here is our silkscreen. Unfortunately in this photo the business of the image conceals the degree of messed-up-itude which I assure you is indeed disturbing. When the light hits from an angle the damage is very distracting.
|Pictured: "Lost" silkscreen by Tyler Stout|
|Here the front has been wet down but the back is still dry. Much of the image is visible through the paper.|
|Rinsing the back..|
|John uses his fingers to look for dents in the paper. In many situations your hands are more reliable than your eyes.|
The excess water is then pushed out with a squeegee and the poster is now ready for the isinglass gelatin treatment.
John innovated the gelatin technique as an alternative to linen backing. You can read more about how it's done here.
Once the print has been coated in gelatin and adhered to a sheet of hollytex, a sheet of mylar is laid over it and it is transferred to a clean, flat melamine board. All the air bubbles and excess gelatin are squeegeed out, the mylar is replaced with a second sheet of hollytex and the whole sandwich is left to dry and cure for about twenty-four hours.
|John lifts the Mylar, print and hollytex sandwich off the wet table...|
|...and moves them over to the melamine board.|
|He removes the mylar at an angle so that the print doesn't lift off with it.|
|And now we let it dry.|
|Adding another sheet of hollytex on top as an extra flattening precaution.|
|Removing the hollytex from the back of the print. Notice he pulls the hollytex backward rather than upward to ensure the paper won't tear.|
|Tah-dah! Flat as a dream, no evidence of it's former woes.|
An aside: This print is an example of a popular resurgence in contemporary silkscreens. Studios like Mondo, Alien Corset, New Flesh and Malleus are designing original alternatives to the posters issued by movie studios. One reason for this phenomenon is that we are in a time when most posters are designed by lawyers and financiers rather than artists, resulting in what might be called a certain dull sameness. Another reason is the unavailability and prohibitive costs of great original vintage posters. Here are some of our favorite new silkscreens:
|Rosemary's Baby by New Flesh|
|The Bird with the Crystal Plumage by Malleus|
|Dracula by Martin Ansin|