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  • Writer's pictureadrianne

Tonight’s Project

While in Ohio, my friend gifted me this fabulous poster…

It‘s a Peter Max work from 1976, signed in 1976 by the artist on the left. It measures 25”x38”, and it is stunning! Stunning, I tell you!

It was framed, but I took it out to put it in a tube to get it home on the airplane. The paper seemed in very good condition, which gave me the confidence to take it out.

However, 45 years can make paper a little dry, and when I rolled it for the tube, two tears appeared on on side.

Let me tell you, I was a little heartbroken. Not because I felt the piece was ruined but because I had promised my friend I’d take the utmost care with it. I immediately started Googling how to repair it and came across the process libraries and museums use for repair work of this kind.


This technique uses Japanese hinging tissue and wheat starch paste to bind a tear. I found a shop in Brooklyn, NY, that carries the products and had them ordered before I went to bed that night.

My order came in today, and i set about this evening to do my repair.

You can buy the wheat paste either uncooked or pre-cooked. From my understanding, the uncooked is fresher, but it involves quite a tedious process to cook it and prepare it for use. I chose the pre-cooked—add four parts water to one part paste and mix til smooth.

This is the Japanese hinging tissue. One sheet cost about $10 and will be enough for my lifetime and beyond.

You can see how thin it is, and I got the heavier weight.

You tear strips instead of cutting because you don’t want a perfectly smooth edge. The torn edge will blend better.

After tearing, I placed them over the tears to make sure everything was covered. I had already carefully lined up the edges of the tears and added some weight to hold it in place.

Satisfied with everything, I mixed up my paste and coated the strips and put them in place.

I smoothed everything out and used a tool to rub back & forth to press everything down. And now we wait for it to dry. Do I expect perfection? Nah. I’m not a professional conservator, and this was my first attempt. But I bet it will be better than a Scotch tape repair.

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Feb 24, 2022

How well did your repair on the Peter Maxx piece work out?

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