Friday, January 17, 2014

Lichtenstein Unhinged

                            Welcome back to the blog! The holiday nonsense is officially over and it's time to get back to business. We're going to start off with a tiny post about a large Lichtenstein silkscreen. This was a very simple and routine de-hinging project. The piece had been in a frame and was therefore hinged to a foamcore backing. This means there were two undesirable pieces of water soluble gummed tape on the back of the art. 

John begins by running a sharpened metal spatula underneath the print to cut the tape from the foamcore backing.
Here you can see the gummed tape on the back.

John and Gabe flip the piece over. Notice the white cotton gloves. These keep the bright white paper safe from smudges.
Melissa clears the remnants of foamcore from the tape before getting down to business. She massages a solution of water and cellulose into the tape in order to loosen up the gum.

She then carefully edges her palette knife under the tape. She has to go slow in order to keep from damaging the paper underneath.

The tape is removed and now the residue must be dealt with.

She paints more water onto the gluey debris. She has to be sparing so as not to allow the art to wave up or wrinkle.

The most satisfying part of the work, scraping off the residue with a blade. Notice all the bits in the foreground.

And clean! She takes a bit of cotton wool and wipes away any remaining evidence.
That's it. This is an admittedly drawn-out way to remove tape from an area no one is going to see. The reason for all the fuss is the high value of the artwork. It's not a mass-produced piece of advertising but an original piece which should be kept completely intact wherever possible. We were just lucky the framer used water-soluble material as it kept this project very simple.

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