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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Preserving kraft paper, construction paper, and other non-archival papersApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-03-10 10:16:02 ... Most recent comment 2019-03-10 21:18:12
    Chalk Flexible Supports Pastel
    Question

    I have tested some kraft paper (the brown one used for packing) and construction paper and concluded that the surface works really well for drawing, even better than some art papers. I tested them and it appears both have good pH, but I know that they will probably still deteriorate with time.

    I read in the Flexible Supports advice that paper can be attached to a rigid support to preserve it for longer, and wanted to make sure  whether this applies to all papers, including ones not strictly intended for artist use?

    My plan of securing them would be: attach the paper to an HDF or hardboard cut to a slightly bigger size using a heavy acrylic gel (or acrylic gel medium) spread on the board surface, remembering to press the paper so that there are no air bubbles/creases formed. I know that the paper will likely still discolor, but I don't mind that. Considering the durability of acrylic, I would expect the drawing to last indefinitely in the right conditions, since even though the paper would become brittle, the strength of the acrylic medium would hold it together. Can anyone knowledgeable about this subject comment? Should I be worried about pigment discoloration, if I plan to use lightfast pigments like charcoal, sanguine and white pastel?

Answers and Comments
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ‚ÄčIn my opinion, selecting a durable paper at the start is always a better choice than trying to "cure" a self-destructing, scholastic-grade paper. In addition to the difficulty in stabilizing the materials, there is also the challenge of preventing acids from affecting other artwork in storage. For artists who feel they must use paper that is known to be acidic or prone to deterioration, it's advisable to take high quality photographs in case the original becomes too delicate to maintain and display.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2019-03-10 21:10:02
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ‚ÄčOf the two types of paper mentioned, if I had to pick one it would be kraft paper. The sulfite stock used to make construction paper becomes yellow and brittle in a relatively short time, and the dyed colors of this type of paper tend to fade rapidly on exposure to light.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2019-03-10 21:18:12
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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu