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Clear material for preserving paper writing on silver

What material (thin 1/16") plexiglass, thin polycarbonate, or something else transparent is best for preserving ink writing on paper that is then applied to sterling silver? The piece I am making is a reliquary.

How about using a VERY GOOD (high priced) Epoxy clear coat. One of the POR coatings, UV inhibited, water proof, abrasion resistant (REALLY difficult to get off of something you have to get it off of!!! I know as I have had to remove some!). Here is their URL Give them a call 914-636-0700 (the are in New Rochelle, NY). They have bee very helpful to me over the years. As usual, remember that liquid coatings like this do NOT build up on sharp edges/corners so if at all possible, round edges/corners as much as possible. The clear coating I used made a good 1/16 inch thick coating. If this is too thick, talk to them when you call, about what might be done like adding a thinner to the coating…… Remember if you use this stuff, it is near impossible to remove it once it has got off.

John Dach

It depends on what the paper and writing is. Is the paper the relic itself or merely a modern label?
If it’s a modern label then the epoxy John4 mentioned is a good choice. But if the paper is either the relic itself or something antique that you want to preserve then anything as invasive as a chemical coating, whether epoxy, shellac, acrylic varnish, or something else, is right out.
Indeed, plastics of any kind should not be used as the long term effects of the off-gassing or migration of plasticizers on an underlying substrate have been studied for less than a century.
If the paper itself is of religious or monetary importance, stick to glass.

Hi Bonnie - if paper comes into direct contact with glass or some such thing, it will deteriorate. That is why watercolours for instance are matter- the mat keeps the paper from touching the glass - or plexiglass or anything else - so I would advise using a mat - even a fairly think piece of cardboard will keep the paper from touching. If it were me, I would use a piece or two pieces of mica to encase the paper. And then seal the edges with something like caulking and then encase it in a bezel. If you need to talk further with me, don’t hesitate to contact me. Or perhaps someone else has a better idea. I just like mica - it would bring a sense of history to the piece.

John Dach - what about the ink on the paper? will that dissolve and blur?

Totally depends on the type of ink. Also the ink might be “fixed” by a fixer that won’t bleed if the ink bleeds in the resin. Epoxy or for that matter most any resin, have differing solvent material. Could ask the manufacturer of the particular resin you are interested in and see what the maker says. If possible to get some paper with the ink used as a test piece and see what happens… Not all things like this are “known” and require some testing. My deceased wife and I made candles some years ago and used prepared tissue paper with “regular” paper backing to print on via our printers and set the printed paper on candles and covered same with hot wax coatings to make custom celebratory candles for what ever occasion. The paper totally disappeared, the printing was crisp and clear and the candles were beautiful. Test, test and often, more testing……………

Good luck.

John D

I take it that the writing is the script of the deceased and cannot be replicated.

You might talk to an art conservator…Rob

Thank you to all who have given me such good advice. The writing to be attached to metal cannot be replicated, as the writer is deceased. I have talked with an art curator and it appears to me that the mica suggestion will work the best for my purposes. Has anyone cut mica successfully without chipping/splitting? I have located a supplier of mica for window use in woodburning stoves. I will soak with a rep from that company as well. Other sources for clear sheet mica that you can recommend? Thanks again! Bonnie