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 or by phone 818.882.1214.

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