April 25th

Back again, carefully removing the spun polyester and blotting papers from my last visit two weeks ago. Things look good! Now to trim off some tabs like this one:

20130516-155857.jpgShowing a Japanese tissue tab on a finished repair – ready to be trimmed.

When preparing a piece of tissue for the repair, the wheat paste is applied with a paint brush. I leave a small, unpasted tab at the end of the piece so that I can easily grab it with my tweezers and place it precisely on the area to be mended. Also and maybe more importantly, it allows the tweezers to let go of the tissue more easily once I place it – no gooey stuff to deal with in that area!

In trimming the dry Japanese tissue used to make mends on paper, there are several things I remember about wielding a scalpel and ruler. A very sharp blade should be used to get the most precise cut. My father taught me how to hold a blade efficiently (he is an artist and also has done his share of mounting art, so he is familiar). One should hold the blade like a pencil – this way the blade meets the paper at a correct angle. Another technique, when making a first pass on a cut, is to not press down on the blade, but rather focus on the line you are making and that you are just skimming the surface. The next pass will be slightly deeper and so on. With the thinness of this paper, it is many times important not to put pressure on the cut you are making our the paper will drag with the blade and rip (especially if the blade is not sharp enough). Also the ruler should be steel – if you use an aluminum or wood ruler, your very sharp blade will cut into the soft metal or wood and misguide your cut and also ruin your ruler!

So here is the map with the final trim:

20130516-160625.jpgA finished repair of an edge on a fold out map.

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