Question asked 2017-01-09 16:55:26 ...
Most recent comment 2017-01-09 17:13:00
I have a growing stack of drawings on paper in graphite, charcoal, conte. Is it really necessary to interleaf the drawings? And is Tyvek the best material for these types of media? If you're on the site it says glassine is not good for long-term storage and mylar has electro static charge so I'm just wondering how I can store my drawings. Thanks.
Answers and Comments
EditDeleteModerator AnswerHi there, this is a great question. Before I answer, it would be helpful to know a few more details. Have you used fixative on these drawings? How are they currently stored? Thanks!
EditDeleteModerator AnswerYou're right to want to start taking care of your drawings, even if you feel you don't have the budget. Ideally, drawings with friable media (such as charcoal) should be stored framed, or matted and in flat files. But as you've indicated that none of these options are possible at the moment, there are other things you can do in the meantime which are *not* ideal but are a lot better than the current storage situation. You definitely do not want the drawings stacked on top of one another with no interleaving if at all possible, because that will lead to smearing, displacement of media, and transfer onto other drawings.
1) Glassine may be used for very temporary storage - a few months at most. The smooth surface helps to prevent friction. However, this material does degrade fairly quickly and would need to be replaced regularly.
2) Acid-free, buffered tissue paper can be used to cover the drawings, but it should be laid very gently across and care must be taken to avoid moving the tissue paper across the surface of the drawings, as even the tiniest amount of friction can displace and smear the charcoal.
3) Another option - one which would require a bit more space - would be to "build" a temporary shelving unit for the drawings. This would involve getting stiff, acid-free board from an art supply shop (the more rigid, the better) and placing stable, heavy objects a few inches high at each of the four corners (such as flat iron weights or blocks) before placing another layer of rigid board on top, and so on. In this way you build a sort of rack on which to store the drawings so that they are not on top of one another and nothing is touching the surface, but they're still protected. I haven't used this method for storage before, but it is sometimes used for emergency storage of objects which need to dry after a flood.
I hope this helps. Let me know if anything needs to be clarified or expanded upon further. Good luck!
EditDeleteModerator AnswerAlso, to add - the storage "shelving" I've described should only be used temporarily, and not long-term.
EditDeleteModerator AnswerIf this is just temporary storage, "acid burn" is not a huge concern (unless you are attempting to use very poor quality paper in your storage like newspaper which it sounds like you are staying away from anyhow). But yes, mechanical damage is the main concern here. I think if you follow some of the suggestions posed by Gillian you should be alright especially as this is only for temporary storage. The key here is the TYPE of interleave that you use...you want something that actually repels electrostatic charge even if there is a bit of movement. Ideally you do not want to directly stack but if you do I would use the materials suggested by Gillian. Even though you have not seen any damage yet with direct stacking does not mean that there is not potential for future damage. The interleaf materials are simply an extra precaution before your drawings are ready to be exhibited and sold.
EditDeleteModerator AnswerAs Kristin said, the concern here isn't with the acidity of the drawing paper, more the mechanical "smearing" or displacement of the media - the graphite, conte, and charcoal. As long as you replace the glassine a couple times a year (or even yearly, at a stretch), you can use it as interleaving. It's just another layer of protection for delicate media.
EditDeleteModerator AnswerI am copying and pasting Gillian's response about tissue paper from above: Acid-free, buffered tissue paper can be used to cover the drawings, but it should be laid very gently across and care must be taken to avoid moving the tissue paper across the surface of the drawings, as even the tiniest amount of friction can displace and smear the charcoal.
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