Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Harvey Girls Part 2

When we left off with Part 1 of Harvey Girls the poster had been through conservation and was mounted to linen with a Masa substrate.

Pictured: Progress photo taken after linen backing and before restoration.

The areas where we had removed tape from were missing paper and all the fold lines had hardened. So, the first step was to patch the areas where parts of the poster were missing. We have a collection of old posters that have been donated to us that we use to patch. Melissa and I try to find the most appropriate paper in terms of color and texture for each piece we work on.

We miter in the paper patches (how exactly involves some voodoo and a couple of virgins), so that when you run your hands over the patch it blends seamlessly with the original poster. With something this big I trace and cut all of the patches out first so that I get into a rhythm with gluing them in. I basically work in a big circle so that by the time I've finished gluing in the last patch, the  first patches are dry enough to begin the next step.

Pictured: I am working on prepping all of the areas that need to be filled with paper patches, but the great thing about this photo is the massive Italian Taxi Driver billboard in the background. You never know what you'll see in our studio!

Pictured: There are 10 patches in this picture. Can you find them all?

Pictured: Forgive the blurry photo, this was the best of the bunch sadly, but here I am spreading glue on the back of a patch.

Pictured: Positioning the patch.

Pictured: Here is a patch that has been glued in and is in the process of drying. At this stage in the process the edges of the patch can still be felt.

Once the patches are dry, the next step is to trim down the edges of the patch so that they are smooth. After that we then burnish over them, essentially meshing the paper fibers together with moisture and heat. I also go through and burnish any fold lines or other areas that are raised up at this time. 

Pictured: Using my deadly palette knife to trim down the edges of this patch.

Pictured: Here I am burnishing the edge of this border patch flat.

Pictured: You don't immediately introduce heat to a wet area because it can lift up not only a patch, but other parts of the poster, but the heat helps to seal everything together.

After I am done prepping the poster it goes to Gabe for masking. Since this poster had so many patches in the paper color that was the first priority. Gabe masked off all of the image and text so that only the paper color was exposed. Then Aaron airbrushed the patches to blend in seamlessly with the paper around them. Once that was done there were a few areas, such as the Harvey Girls title and some areas in Judy Garland's face that needed Aaron's attention.

Pictured: This picture was a progress photo taken after the paper color had been airbrushed to blend the patches in with the original.

Pictured: There were still some larger areas, like Judy's face and hair, that needed airbrushing.

Pictured: Here is the same area as above after Gabe has masked it off for just the hair.
After Gabe and Aaron were finished with masking and airbrushing, then Katie took over. On this piece she worked on the fold lines and detailing the parts of the image that hadn't been airbrushed. Katie can zone in on small details and has the concentration of a Zen master! We startle her all the time because she is so focused.

Pictured: Katie working on a fold line. It's not even visible in these photos, but she sees it!

Pictured: Here she is working on the slight shadow around Judy's hair. She also filled in the small area in Judy's face at the bottom of the photo.

When this poster came to us it was a wreck, with tape and staining all over it and pieces missing. Just as a refresher here is the photograph we took after it was mounted.

Pictured: After linen backing progress photo.

And here is the final photo after full restoration! 

It should be noted that several crucial steps in our process have been omitted. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email at postermount@aol.com or by phone at 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!

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