Conservation Mounting Primed Linen on Gatorboard

Topic of Preservation and Conservation

Horizon Line

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jun 27, 2024
Posts
4
Location
Sonoma, CA
Business
Michael E Bartlett Fine Arts Studio
Hello Grumblers, I am new here so go easy on me. I am also a painter but also do my own framing. My question relates to the substrate that I paint on.
I have been mounting primed linen on various boards using a PVA glue (Miracle Muck) and processing through a vacuum press. The vacuum press assures that there are no bubbles and by rolling the glue to both surfaces I get a very good bond. Dry 24 hours and trim the edges. Using 3/16 gatorboard has proven to be my go to choice for small paintings but I am having some conservation questions about moving up in size and using 1/2" gatorboard. I understand that this type of support raises some questions under the heading of 'Conservation'. So, I hoping that there are some knowledgeable in the ways of conservation framing that can give me some suggestions.

Here is my strategy; create a wooden moulding cradle to support the edges of the 1/2" gatorboard that will create a flush 1/4" collar around the outside edge of the gatorboard. Maximum size for this would be 32" x 44". The plan is to glue the primed linen to the gatorboard and cradle collar. press and dry then fold and glue the linen wrapped around the outer edges of the cradle.
  1. Should I consider making this support conservation friendly?
  2. If so, how should I address the following questions.
    1. Best wood to use? I am assuming poplar or basswood.
    2. Best method of sizing the wood to stabilize acid migration to the linen?
    3. Should the linen be mounted in such a way that it could be removed at a later time?
    4. What would be the conservators preferred method of mounting the linen to the gatorboard support? Size? Glue? Barrier fabric between?
    5. Anything else to consider?
I appreciate any comments on these questions even if you think it is a goofy idea. My considerations are to create a lighter weight, strong, stable, thin painting support. Departing from tradition perhaps, adapting to changing times.

Horizon Line
 
FWIW I have never liked the idea of permanently mounting original artwork to gatorboard. Not an archival
material, breaks can be catastrophic, can dent, poses challenges to conservators down the road. Just my 2c...

Dibond or primed and cradled sandeply might be better options.
 
FWIW I have never liked the idea of permanently mounting original artwork to gatorboard. Not an archival
material, breaks can be catastrophic, can dent, poses challenges to conservators down the road. Just my 2c...

Dibond or primed and cradled sandeply might be better options.
FF - Thanks for sharing you view on the subject of mounting on GB. You have certainly distilled the caveats for using GB as a support. I've used everything you've mentioned but the Dibond. Storage and weight are the driving factors, especially when managing many paintings. Panels take up a lot less space and are much lighter to lug around out in the field. I am trying to consider conservatorship. For instance mounting on GB solves the problem of the need to back and cover a canvas stretcher support preventing moisture, molds, and mildews from getting attached. Will these paintings be around in 300 years, who knows, but they do seem to take on lives of their own after they leave the studio.
 
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