So, whenever I get back home from my internship, my mom or dad (who, yes, I still live with because sacrifices people!, and my parents are supportive, etc, etc.) ask me "what did you do at 'work' today?" (I am always unsure, does a paid internship count as work? Or more like some sort of fantastic education thing? Anyways, in my family, its work, but I am hesitant to call it that, especially because work is generally not as supportive and educational, while my internship is pretty cool on all accounts).
Moral of the story is, I often simply respond with, "worked on the Law Scrapbooks," and don't explain what that means. So here is a basic introduction to my set up when working with the scrapbooks....
What I actually do with them? A lot of things. I've been very lucky that Northwestern identified the scrapbooks as a teaching tool for my development as an aspiring conservator. In the process of treating the scrapbooks, I've been able to pretty much dabble in a variety of approaches. Most of the time, however, I have been poulticing with methyl cellulose (A4M at either 5 percent or 2.5 percent) or filling losses and mending with Japanese tissue.
At work this week, I was alone for a few minutes so I snapped a couple of cell phone pictures (pardon the graininess), of an average fill I will do on any given day. This one is honestly not a great fill, but it is representative of the process of doing a fill with Japanese tissue and the greatest, time-tested water soluble adhesive, wheat starch paste.
So I begin with loss. How sad a little triangle of paper is GONE! Luckily, it is not where there is text and its simply visually unpleasant. Also, because of its location, if handled, the loss could potentially catch and tear the paper, so this must be fixed....
I recently learned how to tone paper, and made two different tones, a deep orange brown for the yellowing papers and a cooler bluish brown for papers that seem to have that hue. Both tissues were toned with acrylics and deionized water. I used a very lightweight tengujo paper that I often layer over heavier duty tissues when filling losses in thicker paper. In order to tone the fill but not make it too bright, I actually filled the loss first with an uncolored thicker tissue and then placed the toned tengujo behind, to layer the colors. Here is what it looks like from the back, you can see the color saturation where the tengujo is overlapping with the original paper and getting very dark.
I adhered the tissues using wheat starch paste. Instead of simply brushing the paste directly onto the tengujo I actually pasted up a piece of mylar and laid the tengujo onto it to minimize the amount of paste used in the repair. I really like this method when working with thinner tissues because it seems to making handing easier and reduce the amount of foreign substrate you are adding to your object. Its something I just learned, moral of the story: BIG FAN.
I sliced off the excess tissue after the paper had properly dried and voila! FIXED. Obviously you can still see a color difference, and that's okay, I'm not pretending the repair never happened, however, the toning allows for the colors to blend a little bit better than a bright white tissue.