Tape is Evil

21 11 2007

All paper conservators know the agony and the ecstasy tape brings to our lives: the joy of warming our hands with a blow dryer while joyfully peeling still-sticky polyester tape off of a smooth-fibered paper…and the wretchedness of cross-linked, stubborn, horrible, awful, no-good masking tape that refuses to let go of the brittle, brown paper held in it’s clutches. Hours of swearing, hours of hunched scraping, and in the end, we hope, a bit of paper that might live a little longer, be a little prettier

And am I the only one who, every time, is sent back to pleasurable childhood memories of peeling things off of other things? It’s a kind of disgusting version of Proust’s madeline, isn’t it, to remember the deep satisfaction of peeling off intact inches of dead skin after a sunburn – the bigger the surface area that came off whole, the better. I remember practicing with Elmer’s glue – covering my palm with it, letting it dry, and trying to peel it off whole. I think of these things every time I sit in the zen-zone, peeling tape off of someone’s beloved letter or book or watercolor.

So, I’ve created some stuff you can buy to celebrate the struggle. Check it out at http://www.cafepress.com/tapeisevil

Enjoy!

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3 responses

9 05 2008
Jeff Peachey

How about “Oil is Evil” for your next project? Jeff Peachey

2 12 2011
gideon

Hi ladies
Good to read about other people passionate about paper. I have a question however, about how to not damage one’s works of arts? I am a graphic designer and is the self-appointed one to do the paper recycling at the office. Being seriously about the art market, I want to know apart from the obvious elements etc if varnishing my sheets (works of art paper) onto board is recommendable to preserve it ??

2 12 2011
bethhellerconservation

Hi, Gideon. Thanks for your question. I can recommend a couple of websites for you to learn more about how to make art that is lasting.

The Getty’s Conference on The Object in Transition has some interesting videos.

And CAMEO: Conservation and Art Material Encyclopedia Online can help you understand what is known as the “inherent vice” of certain materials – that is, the aspects of a material that cause it to deteriorate over time or with exposure to light or other conditions.

Best of luck with your art!

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