At long last, Ye Map of Camp Bearskin is done and ready to go back up the wall of the Main Lodge. When last we wrote about the restoration, the map was undergoing a humidification process to help flatten it out. (https://bearskin.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/ye-map-of-camp-bearskin-part-3/) Mary Britton Clouse of Book & Paper Artifacts was predicting it might need to go through this step several times. The map never did get completely flat, but that is part of its character. It’s definitely much better.
The next step took the map on a bit of a journey. We want to be able to make reprints of the map, so it was taken to Albinson Reprographics for high resolution scanning:
Bert Clouse is the framing expert at Book & Paper Artifacts, so after the scanning was completed his work began. Here he is attaching acrylic spacers to the glass in preparation for “microsealing” the map, enclosing it in an airtight sandwich of materials to slow down the process of deterioration.
The microseal layers were assembled with the map inside the “sandwich” and then the edges were tightly sealed. This will prevent any future water damage:
The completed picture within its microsealed enclosure was quite a bit thicker than the original water-stained cardboard and tar mess that originally held the map inside the handmade frame. The log frame is just as much a work of art as the map, so it was important that the finished product somehow fit back into the frame the way it once was. Bert successfully repositioned the map into the frame and also replaced the picture hanger with much sturdier, more professional wire.
The finished map looks great. It still shows its age — it could not be made “new” again, but is much smoother, cleaner and stronger. And we especially appreciate that it is well preserved for the future.
We haven’t brought it back up to Bearskin yet. I was somewhat traumatized by paying for this restoration, carefully carrying the map out to the car and gently placing it inside, and then as we pulled away from Book & Paper Artifacts nearly getting side-swiped by a fast moving car turning onto Lowry Avenue. The map is now beautifully preserved from water and sun damage, but unless they encased it in titanium I doubt it would survive a car crash. We’ll get the nerve to carry it up to Bearskin soon, where hopefully it will safely stay for many, many more decades.
Addendum: The map is back at Bearskin, after a safe journey up north surrounded by a padding of dozens of toilet paper rolls (because that is what people who run resorts always fill their car with after a trip to the Twin Cities.) It is back up in its special spot on the Main Lodge wall, where it looks great!