Panel-making with Bark White Paper
At times, we frame oversized artworks that require a large, seamless panel to accommodate pass-through hinges, where the hinge material is literally passed through slots on a backmat, so that the work can be secured. In making the backing panel for these works, we use our 79" wide Bark White Paper, a special ultra-smooth white paper we had made just for us.
First, 100% cotton rag board is mounted to Dibond. Rag board isn't made in sizes large enough for some of the art we frame, so we have to make a panel using two pieces of ragboard, faced with Bark White Paper.
Above, you can see where two pieces of 100% cotton rag board mounted to Dibond panel meet. We leave a space between them to accommodate any kind of shift, expansion or contraction, that might be due to changes in humidity or temperature. If we did not leave that space, the whole panel might shift, damaging the art.
We then mount a layer of the Bark White Paper over the Dibond and rag board to create a seamless panel, and one that is also then sealed off, as we would not want to hinge the art to rag board where adhesive or any other material is exposed that might hurt it. Covering the panel with Bark White -- which has a Ph level of 7.5% (nearly neutral) -- makes it archival. The built up panel serves as a heartier support for these large works. The process is detailed below.
Phil Kennedy and Murphy Chang unroll the 79"-wide Bark White Paper to "size" the panel. The paper is then cut to about the correct size to cover the panel, leaving a little extra.
Phil rolls out our wide adhesive tape to prepare to mount the paper.
Murphy trims the adhesive, so that there is no overlapping or bumps once the paper is mounted.
A detail of the Dibond panel, with the adhesive layer at the top, which is smoothed down with a plastic applicator to eliminate any air bubbles. Now, we are ready to apply the Bark White Paper, and create a seamless surface.
Phil rolls out the previously-cut Bark Paper as Murphy simultaneously pulls the backing off of the adhesive layer.
One the entire length of paper is rolled out, the excess is trimmed to size. The faced panel is examined, and any minor flaws, like dust, are corrected (using a blade, applicator, etc).
Now, slits are cut into the panel to allow for the long strips of the hinges to pass through, securing the artwork. These slits cut through all of the panel's layers -- Dibond, rag board, adhesive, and Bark White Paper -- so they must be filed down, so that none of the materials impedes the hinge or artworks.
The edges of the slits are sanded down with fine-grit sandpaper.
The finished panel, with its slots for the hinger. Now the oversized work can be mounted to a smooth, archival surface that fits and supports it perfectly.
Our Bark White Paper will go on sale starting Sept. 5, 2017 -- to pre-order at the sale price of 25% off one roll or 30% off 2+ rolls, call 718-752-1919 or email email@example.com
Text and photos: Jennifer M. Clark