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[BKARTS] Airbrush and Clay Coated Endpapers



Following up on an old post about uses of an airbrush in restoration, I seem to remember someone mentioning using an airbrush for making facsimilies of claycoated endpapers, but couldn't find anything in the archives.
I managed a set this past week that turned out pretty good and want to share here how they were accomplished. The pastedowns of this project were intact, but the flyleaves were so brittle and crumbling they needed to be replaced. They were large flyleaves (about 15" by 20") for an oversized "The Raven" by Poe from the late 1800's. Because of the large size, evenness of color was critical. My little Aztec airbrush has been great for toning and aging small areas, but wasn't up to even spray for large surface, so I bought an automotive detail sprayer ($30) at Home Despot. (It needs a compressor that can put out about 4cfm. )
I mixed acrylics for the right color, taped down a sheet of dove grey around the edges, and sprayed. The reverse side was toned with a mix of acrylics and Hewitt water-based dyes to match the text. To finish, I wrapped a very fine grade of emory cloth around my fingers and went over the whole "clay" side to get a smooth surface matching the originals. Very pleased with the results! 
Any concerns or responses from the chemists?

Bob Roberts

www.gildedleafbindery.com

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