Wrinkly old map... the tired ol' encapsulation thread

framinzfun

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I am framing an oooooold map, complete with wrinkles and creases and it is pretty fragile. So my thought is.... encapsulation.... however, I've read a lot about this but have never done it. I've read nearly all of the encapsulation threads in the past, and I have one glaring problem... can I buy Melinex by the sheet? This map is about 15 x 40, and I can't see purchasing a whole roll of it for one project. Any ideas, or options other than encapsulation?
 

Jay H

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I think encapsulation is a fine method. Having said that, I think that a huge portion of the items that need it should never be framed in the first place. I think I would warn them that the piece isn’t really a good candidate for framing. If they still want it framed you have no choice but to believe that the integrity of the pieces is a secondary concern and viewing it is a primary concern. I would drymount it (maybe artcare restore).
 

framinzfun

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Let me elaborate on this map... a woman brought it in because her boyfriend wanted it "restored and framed." I explained that restoring would require a conservator and most likely a fabric backing, and mucho dinero. She said that it was her boyfriends grandfathers map from WWI, or WWII, either way, it has more sentimental value than monetary, and he would just want it to not get any worse condition-wise. I would hesitate to DM anything this brittle and old... artcare or not. any sort of hinging would still allow the piece to break apart at the seams, and other than that, encapsulation would be the only other option that I can see.
 

JRB

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A few years ago, I framed the front page of the Washington Post or Gazette, can't recall. It was the day after Lincolns assassination. The customer brought it to my shop from the paper conservator.

The job the conservator had done was completely amazing. She had mounted it to what looked like rice paper. The only place you could see the rice paper was at the hinges, she left for me, and where newspaper was actually missing. Every where else, it was 100% completely invisible. This was a very brittle piece before the conservator took charge of it.

I was framing it for one of the university libraries. I had to suspend it between two mats so that the paper could be read and studied from both sides. It was to be suspended over a library table.

Anyway, the job that conservator had done was unbelievable. Whatever was charged for that project was well worth it.

John
 

Rebecca

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Hi Framingzfun,

There are many paper conservators on the Eastern Seaboard, so your client may wish to consult with one of them to decide whether conservation treatment is a viable option. As per JRB's experience, Japanese paper backing is the normal treatment nowadays (rather than fabric backing). As for price, why not have them get a real estimate/quote from a conservator rather than a vague "mucho dineros" guestimate?

Encpsulation is a very good alternative, rather than the irreversible drymount option. Good for you for chosing that option! Mylar/Melinex rolls are really not all that expensive, but if this is a real problem for you, why not contact local archives, museum, art gallery .... and ask to purchase the amount you need? This is a good way to introduce yourself, and may lead to future referals, friendships and good will.

Best Wishes,

Rebecca
 

Ron Eggers

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Originally posted by Jay H:
I think that a huge portion of the items that need it should never be framed in the first place.
Dangerous talk, Jay.

If we didn't frame everything that shouldn't be framed - either because it's too fragile or too valuable or sometimes too ugly - we'd all be working for health insurance companies.


Originally posted by JRB:
A few years ago, I framed the front page of the Washington Post or Gazette, can't recall. It was the day after Lincolns assassination.
Holy ****, John! I knew you've been framing for a really long time, but I had no idea . . .
 

Jay H

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You're right Ron.

This makes me think. Scarry huh? Deep in the archives our museums, how many pieces are just dying to be displayed? How many priceless documents, beautiful paintings, and irreplaceable nick knack’s are in some tray or shelf hidden away in the back because of their fragile condition? To frame them isn't realistic or display them too dangerous.

Something’s just don't belong in a frame. Wouldn't it be neat if some overzealous framer didn't insist on cramming our Constitution in a frame and displaying it so soon? We might just be able to read it today.

Good luck with this project. Don't forget the pictures when it's done.
 

JRB

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Ron, your right, it has been a long time. Ben Franklin helped me build my first miter box, it was his idea to use a back saw instead of that big two handled mama out in the barn, said I would get a nicer cut. And to think people used to call him a lay-a-bout because he stood around flying that darn kite all day.

Based on all these years of experience, I expect a little more respect around here.

John
 

framinzfun

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Here's a potentially dangerous idea... but as I was eating lunch today, I had a thought, (could've been the Coke buzz..... Coca-Cola, no jokes please), but how harmful is it to sandwich the map in between a sheet of rag matboard and reg plexi, use the static charge to hold it, and then space a mat over the plexi and some museum glass on top. Basically substituting acrylite for melinex. I've read that Acrylite does not outgass, but how bad is it to put right up against the paper?
OK, let the rabid dogs out of their cages.....
 

Rebecca

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All this to avoid buying a roll of Mylar???

Seems to me you're making a simple problem much more complicated than it needs to be. Ink can stick to acrylic, and the framing package would be pretty heavy. My opinion anyway.

Rebecca
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by framinzfun:
...how harmful is it to sandwich the map in between a sheet of rag matboard and reg plexi, use the static charge to hold it, and then space a mat over the plexi and some museum glass on top. Basically substituting acrylite for melinex...
Actually, it should work OK, so long as your frame is built to accommodate the extra weight and thickness of the acrylic sheet, and if you provide the recommended 1/8" minimum air gap under the final glazing for insulation of the mounted assembly.

But I agree with Rebecca and the others -- you should just buy the roll of clear film and plan to use it for other jobs. You will be amazed at its usefulness once you have it available.
 

Lance E

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I would be concerned that the weight of the plexi could make the adhesive start to lift the surface of the paper product, potentially creating gap between the parts allowing the map to fall into the adhesive. The first roll of Mylar I bought was many years ago and I shipped it from the US - it was a fantastic purchase and I would do it again if necessary although I can buy Melinex here now.
 

belinda

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We have had very good experiences with Oppenheimer. They do not charge to give an estimate, they just charge for shipping and they do an excellent job packaging the art. They work solely with paper artifacts as well.

http://www.audubonart.com/txtrest.asp

And Ron- though I agree with you, I do fear that we frame too many things that should probably be kept in a museum box hidden away somewhere. I always urge customers to make color copies of photos and things they have the rights to simply because I don't like the idea of what we do to valuables.
 
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