disasemble scroll-mounted watercolor

First, see General Framing Info or our Step-by-step Asian Artwork Framing Tutorial. Or, you might be looking for How to Care For and Hang Your Wall Scroll.
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Joined: Jan 16, 2008 8:57 am

disasemble scroll-mounted watercolor

Post by dthayer » Jan 16, 2008 9:13 am

I bought 4 scroll-mounted watercolors during a recent trip to China. My plan is to mount these watercolors directly on 4 adjacent sliding closet doors. In order to get the best results, I thought I would try to remove the silk border and backing paper and spray the watercolor surface with a fixative so it would not bleed when treated with decoupage-like techniques. I would then have a thinner piece of paper that would lend itself better to being adhered tightly to the door.
My main question is: does heat generally release the adhesive between the different layers? Secondly, I am hoping you could comment on any potential flaws you see in my plans.
I have found your web-site very helpful and will appreciate your reply even though I have not been a customer. Thank you.

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Post by Gary » Jan 16, 2008 11:59 am

There are two methods used to create wall scrolls. For simplicity, I will call them "the water and paste method" and the "heat-activated adhesive method".

Taking apart either form is tricky. At our workshop in Beijing, the labor to remove artwork from a mounted wall scroll is actually more than just building a wall scroll from scratch.

To take apart either style, it requires a lot of patience, and plenty of steam/heat. The pasted method scrolls need more steam/moisture but not as much heat as the heat-activated adhesive scrolls. The xuan paper must be carefully and slowly pealed away.

I am not the master artwork mounter, and as a novice, I would not try to do this myself. That is why I have a master artwork mounter in Beijing. I know where my expertise is (it's in web design, adventures, and befriending talented artists).

That serves as your words of caution. If I were you, I would cut the top and bottom off your scrolls (effectively making them into portraits with silk borders) and bond them to your doors in that condition. Chances of regret are much lower if you do it that way.

Good luck,