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Old 01-03-2006, 01:33 PM
Deborah Secor's Avatar
Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

I’m writing an article for The Pastel Journal on how to effectively and safely store pastel paintings that are finished and waiting to be framed. I’d like to know how you store pastel paintings, including a photo of your system, if you don’t mind. My questions are general:

Do you store unframed paintings in a flat file, drawer, or shelf?

Or do you store them vertically on a board or another method?

What do you use to protect them? Paper, glassine, a mat?

Do you tape paper or other materials over them—and if so, what do you use and why?

What kind of board or other support do you tape them down to?

Do you use fixative before storing the painting? Why or why not?

Do you use different methods for different sized paintings?

Do you then put them in a portfolio, flat file, storage bins—what?

How do you keep track of what’s to be framed?

I want specifics as much as possible, from brand names to methods you use. Describe the whole process, from finished painting through the storage process, up to the time you frame something. If you prefer not to list it here, I'd be happy to receive it from you privately. Just e-mail it to me!

I suspect this could become a useful thread if everyone will share how they do this. Aren't we always seeing questions about this?

So--thanks for any help you can give me!

Deborah
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:20 PM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Deborah, I've been wanting to share this method of storage that I've come up with for quite some time, but never found quite the right setting.

I have no horizontal storage left in my studio or house, but I did have a closet that wasn't being used. So I thought how could I put it to good use without stacking or piling on the floor.

I thought about hanging from the clothes rod and experimented with a few things - like using wire coat hangers and binder clips, but came upon this idea when hanging clothes. Why not use a skirt hanger - they have the clips and hang nicely on the rod.

Advantages: they can be scanned quickly, without bumping or scraping or damaging the painting. You can sure put alot of paintings in a small space.

Here's what I use - a Crystal Clear bag (they come in any size you can think of and are inexpensive); glassine (as I found the pastel does cling to the bag; and the hanger. Simple enough!

Here's a photo of the finished product. I have also matted some of my smaller paintings and put into the bag - that works too.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:37 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Wow--cool, Kat! Tell me more. Do you have glassine wrapped around it and then you place that in the bag? Can you reuse the bags? Don't they cause static? It might work better in humid climates--I picture sparks flying if I did this! And how big do the bags come? Are they costly? Save me some time and give me a ballpark, if you will, for an 11x14" painting and an 18x24" one. Thanks!!

Deborah
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:19 PM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

I have the glassine clipped to the front at the top only - it hangs free so that it does not rub on the painting. Yes, the bags do cause static if used alone, but the glassine provides a barrier between the painting and the glassine.

Let me find the web link - I see that Jerry's is selling the bags, but I am sure they are the same bags.

Conversely, if you don't want to use the bags, you could make a bag of the glassine only - it would take more time, and cost about the same I suppose. I bought a roll of glassine, so that I can cut the pieces to the size of the painting.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:29 PM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Here's the link for the bags:

http://www.clearbags.com/?category|BAGS4

I do think you can order less at Jerry's, but may cost a bit more. Let me investigate.

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/art-su...es/online/5328

Last edited by Kathryn Wilson : 01-03-2006 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:30 PM
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Mikki Petersen Mikki Petersen is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

I use the same Crystal Clear art bags for my paintings but I store them in Flat art boxes from Dic Blick. The boxes are 2" thick, archival and will store 20 or so paintings each. I love Kat's idea but I don't have closets, lol, not even for clothes. The boxes stack nicely on top of a supply cabinet in my studio.

The Krystal Seal art bags I order from Jerry's Artarama. Here's the link for pricing: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/art-su...es/online/5328

The boxes I order from Dick Blick at this link: http://www.dickblick.com/zz153/03/

Six boxes stacked are only 12" high. I have two of the 22"x30", one for storing paper and one for large unframed pieces. And I have six of the 16"x20" for storing most of my work.

I like the Krystal Seal bags because they are like viewing the painting under glass. I have been using Lascaux Fixitiv lightly over my final painting. It is expensive ($12.00 a can on Dakota) but does not alter the painting AT ALL that I can see. Just a light spray will prevent the dust catching that Kat describes. I don't reuse the bags just in case of pigment residue. They are inexpensive and I just toss them when I have a painting framed.

One other thing I do is I purchase 100 bag lots of 16"x20" and 24"X36" size and once the painting is in the bag I fold back any excess bag and tape it so the painting cannot slide around. Some of my paintings are mounted on frame size foam core board and some of them are already matted when I bag them. Since I use mostly Wallis paper now which is fairly substantial, I've gotten away from mounting the paper on board.

Good luck with the article. I will be curious to see what other ingenious ideas like Kat's that come up.

Mikki
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:36 PM
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Thanks, Mikki!

Before I came upon this idea, I was storing my paintings flat, but the amount of paintings got so that the paintings on the bottom were losing pastel to the paper I had inbetween due to weight pressure.

I suppose if you didn't have closet space, you could rig up a clothes rod in some unused space, or use a shower curtain rod with a spring load.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:37 PM
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Grrrrreat thread! Deborah, I can't wait to see the article. I would be a wonderful example of what NOT to do, so I think I'll just shut up and read here. I do cover them with glassine before I do all the things I'm not supposed to.

Mikki, those boxes look fantastic. I'm going to order some.

Love the idea of hanging them in the closet....but don't have a closet to spare.

Jamie
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:56 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Deborah - I too have an unused closet right in my studio - well half of it is unused anyway and perfect for hanging the pastels. Unlike Kat, I "wrap" the paintings in glissine. I make the lower edge about 1" longer than the artwork so if any dust falls, it has a place to go without getting the lower edge of the paper dirty. I'll send a picture later. I've tried other methods, but like this one the best for me.

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Old 01-03-2006, 08:12 PM
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Deborah- I put them in a portfolio- sometimes with glassine in between- or they go in a heap on a table... I am so terribly neat LOL
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:16 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

You guys are great--and I love the creative answers here! Um, well, Linda I have that heap too, I'm afraid. Maybe I'll be inspired by some of these ideas. I do use a portfolio and I keep some taped into a newsprint pad, which works, but I still have 'the heap'! I just get in a hurry, I guess...

Deborah
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:17 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

OK Deborah Here's my answers to your questions as well as some photos. Hope they are helpful to you.

Do you store unframed paintings in a flat file, drawer, or shelf?

Mine are stored in the closet in my studio

Or do you store them vertically on a board or another method?

They are hung vertically on hangers like this:

There are up to three like sized paintings on each hanger. I don't leave many paintings unframed.


What do you use to protect them? Paper, glassine, a mat?

I "envelope" the paintings in glassine (open on each side). The bottom edge is about 1" longer than the painting so any dust that falls doesn't damage the bottom of the painting.

Do you tape paper or other materials over them—and if so, what do you use and why?

Nope!

What kind of board or other support do you tape them down to?

Nothing

Do you use fixative before storing the painting? Why or why not?

Only if I've felt a need for it during the painting time - which isn't often, and almost never as a final coat.

Do you use different methods for different sized paintings?

I don't work any larger than 24" X 30". My closet allows for 24" depth just fine. If the horizontal is 30", I just hang it vertically. So far that hasn't been a problem.

Do you then put them in a portfolio, flat file, storage bins—what?

They are easily placed in a portfolio if I need to transport them. By having the glassine already in place this works very well for me. No static, no dust.

How do you keep track of what’s to be framed?

I look in the closet! Each piece has a tag listing the name, date it was painted, if a slide is available and if a digital image is available and stored on my computer. Like this:

If I change information, I just print another label and place it over the old one.

I want specifics as much as possible, from brand names to methods you use. Describe the whole process, from finished painting through the storage process, up to the time you frame something. If you prefer not to list it here, I'd be happy to receive it from you privately. Just e-mail it to me!

I buy the glassine by the roll so this method is cost effective. Once I've determined the painting is finished, I remove it from the backing board and wrap a piece of glissine around the whole thing from bottom to top. At the top, I fold the glissine over as that makes a nicer edge for the hanger clips to hold. I tried using clothespins, but the wire hangers are too flimsy for my liking. I switched to heavy duty plastic skirt/pants hangers, and am now satisfied. I don't need too many hangers, and have found I can hang about 3 full sized pieces of Wallis or Art Spectrum without a problem on each hanger.Once the painting is framed, I wipe down the glassine and store it in my portfolio to use again.

If you want me to send this directly to you, just let me know. I'm always happy to assist you, Deborah.


Now if I could just find as easy a method to store framed paintings.....

Peggy
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:21 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Whoa, Peggy! Thanks so much! As this becomes more fleshed out I'll be in touch with you. This is a great help.

Deborah
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:24 AM
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

I have 2 paintings framed and like some of purples, ALL of mine
Quote:
they go in a heap on a table... I am so terribly neat LOL

I guess the standard of your work is worth the effort of storing them properly though! Hopefully one day........
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:28 AM
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Re: Storing Unframed Pastels--info needed!

Kat, your vertical storage idea is absolutely brilliant! Please excuse my silly question of the day, but would hanging a dryer sheet over the metal hook on the outside of the Crystal Clear bag help reduce static?

A wardrobe would be ideal for people (like me) without closet space. Portable laundry drying racks might also be an alternative for those who are storage challenged.
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