Works on Paper

I find paper restoration really interesting. To clean it, the conservators here actually bathe the artwork, sometimes in water and sometimes in chemicals, depending on the medium. Seems odd that you can clean artwork that seems so fragile by submerging it in water and chemicals. Of course, it all has to do with proper ratios and time, but it still seems unlikely. They’re putting this paper — with an image on it — in water, and not only is it not destroyed but it actually cleans it. They can even bathe certain watercolors, although they use solvents instead of water. Still — makes no sense!! But yet, somehow it works. I’m also fascinated by the bonding of tears: they barely show when done correctly, and to me it seems like it would be hard not to notice a tear in paper. Here’s a tear before and after, pretty remarkable.