|Progress photo taken after linen backing, but before any restoration work started|
Jairo and I worked on prepping this piece together. (Jairo is a young, up and coming artist and you can follow his Instagram account Jairopersona for a peek at his work) The overall goal of prep work is to create a smooth surface for the restoration artists to work on so that after background, image and small details are added in you can't tell the difference between original and patched areas.
In order to patch a hole with paper we miter the edges of both paper and patch before gluing the patch in, this helps us to get a smoother surface. Additionally we sand and smooth the patch so that the join, while still visible, is seamless to touch.
|These two shots were taken after we had glued in the paper patches, but before we had begun smoothing them out so that the edges of patch and poster were flat|
For medium to large holes we are able to use paper, but for smaller holes and cracks like the ones you can see in the image below we use a filling compound which we smooth and sand flat once it is dry.
|A corner and small cracks that have yet to be filled with a textured compound.|
The paper of this print was reasonably thick. So while some cracks could be neatly patched with a filling compound, the larger or deeper cracks were harder to fill with just a paper patch or filling compound alone and get a smooth surface. Instead we built up a combination of thinner paper with an additional layer of filler on top to get the appropriate surface.
Showing Jairo how to build up layers in particularly difficult cracks.
This particular crack was just below the overlap of the two panels that made up this poster and it extended all the way across the print.
We spent an inordinate amount of time prepping this piece, but one thing that we did discover during the process was that there probably was large amount of gold paint applied over other pigments or mixed in with the inks in some areas. Its hard to see and extremely faded now, but originally this poster would have been quite shiny! Below is a great detail of the most badly damaged area after we had finished patching and filling all the areas that needed some TLC.
We've got a few more posts about this lovely lady to go, but tune in next week to see her go through masking and airbrushing in the first layers of restoration.
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