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Re: Adhering paper to cloth for scrolls

People interested in traditional Asian scroll mounting techniques and
materials can find a great deal of useful information in three books and
one film.

The film, _Art of the Hyogushi_ was produced by the Smithsonian
Institution.  While it is a well made film, showing how work was (is?) done
at the Freer Gallery, some accomodations were made when traditional
practices came into contact with the Federal Civil Service....

Carl Schraubstadter's book, _Care and Repair of japanese Prints_ was
originally published in 1948 (the text may have been written between
1908-15) and reprinted in 1978.  This is a useful text in many ways, but
some of the chemistry is very far out of date.  Use with caution!

Masako Koyano's _Japanese Scroll Paintings; A Handbook of Mounting
Techniques_ was published in 1979.  This is an excellent, well illustrated

Kenzo Toishi and Hiromitsu Washizuka's _Characteristics of Japanese Art
that Condition its Care_ published in 1987, should be on every
conservator's shelf.  It's a little on the technical side, but well

I'm not going to get into how many layers of how many different papers can
be used in a traditional scroll, nor how many ways there are to make paste,
nor the *mystery* of ten year-old paste.

However, anyone planning to produce a scroll of more than one layer should
take two sheets of paper and roll them together into a tube.  They do not
stay together; one sheet of paper will extend past the other sheet of

If they are pasted together and rolled up, the inside sheet will be curled
more tightly than the outside sheet.  But they are the same size.  A
multi-layered rolled scroll is under tension.  In time, the tension
destroys the scroll and it is taken apart to be put back together.  For
this reason, the paste used is only *just* strong enough to hold the parts
together.  This allows the next mounter to restore the scroll with the
least amount of damage.

We ignore this courtesy to our fellow craftspeople when we use Yes paste,
PVA, etc.  Not a flame; only a lament.


Jack C. Thompson

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)      "The lyf so short; the craft so long to learn."
                                                               Chaucer,  1386

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