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Preserve Your “Paper” Art Works Behind Glazed Surfaces…

Glazing materials standards,greenhouse glazing materials,aircraft glazing materials

If you take the entire range of graphics that are presented on paper, they cover a lot—photographs, lithographs (prints), drawings, etchings, engravings, pastels, watercolors, gouaches (opaque watercolors prepared with gum), silk screens and wood blocks. Now, these will not last long unless proper preservation methods are adopted. The best protection that can be given to them is to place them behind glazed surfaces. Sounds perfectly easy, but there is a snag here—glazing materials can result in adverse effects on your precious antiques. So, certain precautions have to be taken to ensure that the art work does not come in direct contact with any type of glazed surface.

This is achieved with the aid of a window mat. Do ensure that you get an archival piece that consists of all-rug fiber and is acid-free. The window mat attached to the back board (with the aid of linen tape on one side only) is meant to help your art work stand “straight and tall”! The paper is not going to be harmed by accidents such as folding, bending, etc. when it is handled or touched. Additionally, the window mat provides a breathing space for your work of art, for it will remain separated from the glazed surface. The most important function of the window mat is to enhance aesthetic appeal.

Now, how do you bring together paper and mat? A process called “hinging” is used for this purpose. This means that your art work is attached to its support similar to the hinges between a door and the wall. You need to get Japanese rice paper, as well as wheat or rice starch paper. Do not ever go in for Scotch tape or masking tape. Another aspect is “dry mounting”—the entire back or the sides are not to be pasted to the support. This technique is discarded only when your paper has little value or nil value.
Done? Okay, let us get on with the glazing now. There are two kinds of glazing materials that are in use—glass and acrylic. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you should consider glass, it is more affordable as compared to acrylic. More resistant to scratches, glass is also definitely easier to keep clean and shining. Let us take a look at the disadvantages now. Glass tends to be on the heavier side, and if not handled carefully, will shatter easily. If the art work is displaced in a prominently sunny place, the glass will create a glare effect due to its highly reflective property. Finally, glass cannot withstand sudden changes in temperature.

Going on to acrylic or Plexiglas, it is lighter than glass. You need not therefore worry about your framed object crashing to the floor without warning and shattering into a million pieces! It is recommended for larger art works, since it can safely be termed shatterproof. An ultraviolet filter can be safely utilized to protect the art work behind an acrylic surface. Finally, Plexiglas proves to be a better thermal insulator than glass. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But acrylic is also a great attractor of dust; regular cleaning can become quite a headache! No, glass cleaners are not going to work on such surfaces. Plexiglas carries the property of static electricity. Utilizing it as a glazing surface for charcoals, pastels, or any other powdery pigment surface is inviting disaster!

So, weigh your options and make a correct decision about the glazing material you want to use for your art work. And ensure that you open up the glazing surface every few years to get rid of dust and allow circulation of fresh air.


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