Indian painting on silk


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nov 19, 2003
Orange County, CA
First, here's the background:

Potential order ... coming back on Saturday with hubby in tow ... fairly tall painting on silk (17x43 or thereabouts)... client says it is from a famous Indian artist ... says it uses a "one stroke" technique ... picture of a tree in muted reds and golds ... she bought it in Bombay.

It appears that the silk top layer has been backmounted with some other material ... it is fairly thick (in total about as thick as normal canvas).

The piece has been rolled during transit from India and as a result is fairly wavy.

Customer wants it matted; wants to remove waves.

So here are my questions:

(1) Anyone run across something like this before? If so, any comments / info that you can share?

(2) What is best way to hinge/mount/eliminate waviness? Apart from customers desire for matting, it would not lend itself to a stretch as there is very little margin beyond the subject of the artwork. Whether or not its true, the client says the painting has value and is likely to appreciate over time, so dry/wet mounting is not a good option. Any thoughts on indirect application of humidity to help remove waviness? Japanese paper/Nori hinges? All suggestions appreciated!
First thing I'd do is put it between 2 sheets of rag board and weight it to see how flat I can get it without taking chances.
Mounted to some other mean some other fabric/textile or something completely different? If fabric, you might be able to stretch it after sewing some additional material to the margins.
The caution, as always, is that what the customer wants might not be the best thing for the art.
I'm not familiar with the kind of art you described. Should you be careful not to force the layers to come apart? Are the layers sewn, or glued, or can you even tell?

Maybe you could treat it like needleart. That is, baste its edges to a sturdy fabric backer, and then stretch the supplemental fabric to stretchers. That would allow you to gently pull out the wrinkles without undue stress on the assembled layers.

I like Wally's suggestion to put it under weight for a few days first.