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Old 12-07-2002, 01:52 PM
hellerious hellerious is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 79
SOS! Crazed collagist losing battle w/ yellowed newspapers

Can anyone suggest a suitable varnish or fixative to spray/brush/put over newspapers when doing a collage or assemblage? I'm relatively new at this, but practically before I turn around, it is all a bleached out, faded, yellow mess.

Erica H.
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Old 12-07-2002, 04:39 PM
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Rose Queen Rose Queen is offline
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So. California
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 27,078
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Do you have a source for newspapers from the 1800s and early 1900s, before wood pulp became the main (or sole) ingredient in newsprint? If so, you'll have a lot less trouble with this because of the high (or sole) rag content.

Also, have you thought of just making color photocopies of the newspaper pieces and then using the color photocopies instead of the actual newspaper? Just a thought...

You might try varnishing your collages with Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS. It comes in gloss, satin and (I think) matte. It will slow down yellowing from light, but not from acidity. Check this guy's website for his truly terrific book on collage and other help; he's quite accessible, so don't hesitate to forward a question to him: http://www.talbot1.com/

If you absolutely must use newer newspaper, try this:

1. 1 tablet (or 2 tablespoons) Milk of Magnesia
1 quart of club soda
2. 2 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart water

In either case, mix well and dip each single page (or piece) carefully. Then hang to dry.
If you have some non-woven interfacing (not the iron-on kind), it can be good
to use as a support for the paper, since wet newspaper is pretty fragile.

This will pretty much reverse the acidity in the newspaper, but it works best with fresh stuff, not newspapers that have been hanging out in your closet for a few years, because the acid's already done its worst by then.

Good luck! Let me know if this helps...

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Old 12-09-2002, 08:51 AM
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TeAnne TeAnne is offline
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What a great recipe tnx from me
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Old 12-12-2002, 09:58 PM
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blkros blkros is offline
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Posts: 4,571
Hey Rosie, cool make your own acid buffer!
Also yes Talbot is very good, and generous with his advice.
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