Friday, May 19, 2017

Women Love Diamonds! Episode 4

This is the final post in our longest running blog project. I intended to finish months ago, and then the computer and I got into a fight. I lost patience and am only now returning to finish off telling you about this incredible project! Since we have been chronicling the conservation and restoration of this 1927 silent movie poster for more than two years, I want to give you a brief overview of where we started and how far we've come before I reveal the end result.

This poster literally started in pieces. Our first two blog posts give a complete description of what we went through to put it back together: Episode 1 and Episode 2

Back to the very beginning... 
Figuring out what we actually had to work with and realizing we were missing the entire middle.

 After a whole lot of work, the poster was finally linen backed and restoration began.

Our proud fearless leader! 

 Episode 3 goes into more depth about the process that Ravi went through to find a reference and draw in her dress.

This is where we ended Episode 3

 The dress was a challenge for Ravi, who at the time had just joined the Poster Mountain restoration team. What came next was a labor of love.

Progress photo was taken after Ravi had finished the dress.

After the dress, the major hurdle was the background pattern which had to be drawn in by hand and then masked over so that we could airbrush the dark blue background. 

Close up of the background pattern.

Fortunately for Ravi, the pattern was relatively "easy" to replicate since he could use the extant pattern on the rest of the poster, but it was time-consuming and eye-straining! Since this was a project just for us and not a client, Ravi worked on it when he needed an in-between project. Every time I went over to photograph this poster he had a little more done and slowly the full background pattern emerged.

Captions and pattern before airbrushing.

Post airbrushing background color.

He had to go over the pattern a second time in order to mask it for airbrushing the background color and then a third time to remove the liquid miskit he used to mask off the pattern. And then a fourth and fifth time when he went through the same process to airbrush the pattern itself. Ravi and I counted and all in all I think he went over this pattern about six times.

Removing the miskit that had masked the pattern.

Airbrushing in the light blue of the pattern itself.

Once the dress and the background pattern were in place there were only a few details left. The title and other credits were locally airbrushed where necessary and the border was airbrushed so that it was a uniform color.

We airbrushed in and did some retouching by hand to finish off the last of the damaged areas of this poster. 

This is the last progress photo that I took before we removed the last mask and revealed this poster in all her glory:

The big reveal: 

As I mentioned previously this poster was a labor of love. It wasn't for a client, it was for us and we now get to enjoy it every day since John had it framed and hung in our studio. You're welcome to come by and see her in person! (Although Crystal would appreciate it if you would call and let her know first and the rest of the team would appreciate it if you brought us another cool project!) 

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.

Also, check out our websites: and Please feel free to leave comments or questions on the blog. For daily photos and updates check out Poster Mountain's Twitter and Instagram: follow us on Twitter @postermount and Poster Mountain on Instagram. Our subsidiary company, LA Paper Group will be showcasing the fine art side of the company: @LAPaperGroup on Twitter and LAPaperGroup on Instagram.