Handling Original Prints

the artists press, lithography, handling original prints

Prints on paper are fragile and are easily damaged by incorrect handling, often without the person doing the damage being aware of what they are doing! The following handling original prints guidelines will help to keep your prints in perfect condition. Contact us if you need further information.

1. Wash and dry your hands before handling prints and work on a clean flat surface.

2. Always pick up a print with both hands, holding it on opposite edges. For large prints it is best to hold on two opposite corners. (Holding or moving a print with one hand will cause a kink in the paper which will be permanent).

3. Keep prints stored flat, in acid-free folders which are larger then the print to be stored. Store in a cool, dry environment, and keep interleaved with acid-free tissue paper.

4. If you are going to be sending a print with a courier or in the mail, refer to our packing procedures and carefully follow the step-by-step instructions. Any prints sent to The Artists' Press packaged in a way that does not follow these guidelines, and arrives damaged, will be the responsibility of the person who packed it, and not the courier company!

5. If you need to write things down while working with prints, use a pencil not a ball point pen, as accidental pencil marks can be erased, but ink cannot.

6. Never put a drink, of any kind, in any container on the same surface as where you are working. Accidents happen far too easily, a splash of coffee happens in an instant and cannot be removed in an instant, if ever.

7. It is best not to work outdoors but to work in an insect free room. Flies landing on paper can cause damage by defecating on it and midges get squashed between pristine sheets of paper really easily and sneakily. One often only sees the smudge when it is too late.

8. If your print does get damaged you can send it to a paper restorer. Contact a local museum, public collection or auction house to ask for details of people who know how to handle original prints and who can restore them for you. In south Africa we are fortunate to have a number of people who do an excellent job of restoring work to its original condition.

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