Preserve/frame my pen and ink artwork
January 19, 2014 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I recently completed my pen and ink artwork on a poster board which is of size 54"(length) by 34"(width), then I glued the entire art in a big thermocol (the packing material that came with my elliptical). I always wanted to do big artworks but this is the my first one. Everything was looking good but now I don't know how to preserve it as the paper may change colors if I don't laminate or frame them. It has happened before but the artwork was smaller, so I used frames to preserve them. I need your expertise on this. Thanks in advance.

The picture looks like this.
posted by SunPower to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's hard to tell what exactly you did with the thermocol - is it the black backing and it's now acting as a faux mat/frame? Or the whole top surface is the posterboard and the thermocol is behind everything else? Is the surface flush or is the black behind? How thick is the whole thing?

Anyway, I'd first spray the surface of the poster board with a final fixative/clear acrylic coating, which should provide protection.

Then I'd do one of several things:

> buy a custom-sized piece of clear acrylic sheeting and attach that to the face of the thermocol and mount wire/sawteeth on the back to hang it (supposing the thermocol is sturdy enough to support the weight and fixtures without tearing)

> buy a custom-sized piece of clear acrylic sheeting and attach that to the face of the thermocol and cut down a sheet of masonite to the right size and mount that to the back, then add wire/sawteeth to the masonite to hang it

> if you want the whole thing framed instead you can try to purchase a deep enough custom frame or build your own

> or remove the posterboard from the thermocol and mat/frame it in a more typical fashion because the thermocol is adding bulk and will drive up the costs and difficulty of framing around it

Also try not to hang the piece in direct sunlight.
posted by vegartanipla at 7:55 AM on January 19, 2014

So frame it? Plexi frames are cheaper than glass and have come a long way; art shipped to me recently arrived with plexiglass and I am happy enough with the result.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:56 AM on January 19, 2014

Are you using acid free paper and ink for your art work? If not, this may be the cause of the discoloring. Victoria and Albert Museum has a wonderful article on paper and ink. Matter of fact, anything that comes in contact with your art paper needs to be acid free including the acid free mounting board.

It may be too late for this piece, but hopefully in the future you can use the proper supplies to preserve your artwork. Beautiful drawing you created.
posted by JujuB at 7:59 AM on January 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

I don't know much about preserving artwork but if you're set on framing it take it to a framing shop. They'll do atypical/ custom sizes.
posted by missriss89 at 8:00 AM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I do artwork on paper with ink. In my experience, just framing will not preserve long-term if you have not used acid-free inks and acid-free paper.

So, the ink, paper, glue and board should be acid-free.
posted by maya at 8:01 AM on January 19, 2014

If your posterboard is not acid-free/archival it will discolor and possibly even disintegrate over time. Same with the ink used. It may fade.

JujuB beat me to all that info.

But, don't let any glazing directly sit on top of your artwork. It needs to breathe or any moisture collected due to humidity changes may make the artwork stick to the glazing. Thus the reasons for mats and spacers.

Just kinda quickly browsed through this, but looks like good info on spacers.
posted by Rikocolin at 8:06 AM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

If the paper isn't acid free, they make spray that neutralizes it. I used that (but maybe not that brand, I don't remember) on a giant paper collage in my kitchen and it hasn't yellowed. It's framed with plexiglass.
posted by artychoke at 8:20 AM on January 19, 2014

Thank you all for wonderful suggestions.I learnt something new from all of you,which is the best part of coming to ask.metafilter.will update you on what I did.thanks!!
posted by SunPower at 8:28 AM on January 19, 2014

Vegartanipla!actually,it's the poster board on the top with thermocol color is also poster board which I used for border. thermocol is less than an inch in thickness.FYI
posted by SunPower at 8:33 AM on January 19, 2014

Oh, I looked at you question again - I didn't realize how big it was. When we framed our collage, we had trouble finding anything big enough that didn't cost hundreds of dollars. My husband made a frame on the wall that was an inch thick and bigger than the collage by a half an inch or so all the way around. We put the painting in the box made by the frame (I sat it on little clear plastic sewing machine bobbins so it would have space below it to match the space on the side. Sewing bobbins were just what we had lying around.) Then he screwed in plexi to the frame (The plexi was the same size as the outside dimensions of the frame) with screws and washers up against the plexi. We ended up using two sheets of plexi with a seam in the middle because the frame was about twice the size of the biggest sheets they had standard at home depot. The seam lines up with a seam in the collage though, so that wouldn't work as well with yours.
posted by artychoke at 8:37 AM on January 19, 2014

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