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I am currently working on a project in which I crush fruits and vegetables on Hahnemuhle cotton paper using a cylindrical engraving press. As the plants are emptied of 95% of their water in one pressure the color remains on the paper, it does not yellow for the moment, so I keep my print in the dark.
I would like to protect the color of crushed plants from sunlight, UV ... would you have an idea of invisible lacquer, or colorless and matte varnish that I can pass on the plants without damaging or altering the paper?
I also thought of sticking a very fine paper, type rice paper 20 grams, on my print using rice glue or vegetable glue, to protect the plants (so they do not flake) and also protect them from light. When I do this the rice paper becomes almost invisible, I think that if on this paper I apply a layer of varnish to protect the colors from UV it would work, but what do you think?
I don't know what to use, do you have any idea ?
I have to find a solution to show the piece in February at an exhibition and I would like the colors of the fruits to be preserved during the exhibition.
Thank you for your help
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I can only suggest Lascaux Fine Art Fixative combined with glazing behind an ultraviolet-filtering acrylic, Cyro OP - 2. This will not protect the flowers from eventually fading but might buy a little time... And this is not an endorsement of Lascaux fixatives. Margaret Holbein Ellis
Really just wanting to echo Margaret Ellis' comments about UV filtering buying time but not ultimately preventing it altogether. While of course filtering UV is important, very fugitive colorants - which includes nearly all plant and vegetable dyes - will fade simply from exposure to visible light even without UV included. As an example, if you scroll about halfway down to Table 4 in the section, The Blue Wools as an estimate of the range of sensitivities in collections, from this article by Stefan Michalski of CCI on Agent of Deterioration: Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared
you can see comparisons of fade rates of Blue Wool swatches under light with and without UV. For more permanent pigments it might take 5-8 times as much exposure, but for very sensitive dyes, the filtering of UV makes just a very small almost negligible difference. Still worth doing, for sure, but just want to provide some sense of the likelihood of seeing color change even if UV is completely eliminated.
I wonder if it might work to add some sort of preservative to prevent browning from oxidation or discoloration from the action of enzymes released by crushing. Vitamin C is the standard kitchen anti-browning agent; it surely won't help reduce color change from UV light exposure, but it might extend the fresh appearance of fruit and vegetable colors.