Monday, May 10, 2010

Where Is...

I got an email earlier today asking me where the second part of my Spring Cleaning Sale was. I had tentatively titled it, "Send My Debt Away Sale". It's true that there hasn't been mention of it on the blog and that it was postponed. I apologize for this, as there's a giveaway tied into it, but there is a very good reason why there is a delay. I could site my traveling or my seemingly insurmountable pile of deadlines, but the truth is that the components that I created utilize vintage papers. More specifically... vintage papers with adhesives on them... hint hint. One might ask why this slowed things down? The answer is that vintage materials weren't always created with posterity in mind. Some of the binders and adhesives used, over the years, have caused the papers to yellow and crack and if not kept in check will cause them to completely crumble into a pile of dust one day. Not to mention that some of the inks used are not archival and with any exposure to the sun will cause the images to fade or become completely bleached out. Even if embedded in resin, the process will in most cases continue and sometimes the resin will expedite the degradation. So what's an artist to do? Short of making reproductions of everything with archival inks on archival paper, there's a painstaking process of rinsing the papers in a chemical solution to neutralize the pH balance and effectively stop the corrosion of time. They are most fragile at this point and must be very carefully handled, sometimes even with tweezers and latex gloves. Then they must be specially dried so that the paper doesn't wrinkle or have an unwanted texture. Then they must be treated with a UV protectant. Here's the rub... the chemical that renders the paper pH balance neutral reacts to the UV protectant, causing a chalky powder to form. So the papers have to be rinsed again in a diluted mixture of distilled water and gel medium and dried again on the special system I built for drying them. At this point, they can be covered in the UV protectant and are ready to go. Additional steps can taken, using pH balanced glues like PVA or Jade glue.

This may seem like a lot of extra work, but I feel as though I'm preserving a sliver of the past and that the pieces I create with these vintage materials hold with them their histories, and with my efforts, will last a long time afterwards.

So, the "Send My Debt Away Sale" will start shortly, after everything is ready.

4 comments:

Janet said...

Wonderfully described Andrew. You make some pretty awesome things, and I have even more respect for you after reading this!

AJ said...

It's jewelry alchemy! I admire your patience with all those repeated rinses and treatments :)

Lynn said...

Oh my goodness! You've got to be the most patient man alive!

Jamar said...

All I can say is "You are Awesome!!!"