A Lamp Shade of Two Halves.
Some wonderful friends brought me this commercial produced Lamp Shade painted by Bill Hammond. It has been in use for many years before being knocked to the ground by over vigorous vacuuming and the damage resulted in a lamp shade of two halves.
The lamp shade was constructed on two metal rings with an internal structure of thin plastic which was covered with white paper for the outer face. This was then over bound with linen tape at the top and bottom rings. The upper ring supports the shade from the bulb with three wire struts. A standard lamp shade.
The plastic inner showed light damage darkening with aging produced by light and heat, and the paper outer exhibited surface soiling and fly spots. Apart from the obvious damage from the fall the whole was of good construction with no issues and the binding and metal rings were secure.
My initial thoughts were to take apart the shade and repair it in a traditional flat way by lining the whole with Japanese tissue, but once I examined it in the studio, it was well made therefore deconstruction was considered excessive and would create more problems
Plan B – working in the way you approach 3-D objects, as in paper-mache Globes and Tapa cloth masks I started repairing a small part each day, and worked my way around the shade.
This became problematic as the shade was originally constructed under tension and I had to line up the image and repairs and re-tension as I went, so working in a liner way in one direction was not producing the best results, I thought it could look better.
Plan C – I started again with a more robust Japanese tissue and Lascaux adhesive for strength on the plastic inner and I used pressure sensitive clamps to hold areas and tears together, while I worked. This worked really well and brought the image areas and tears that had splayed apart together.
With toned Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste, in keeping with the paper surface, I placed thin repairs on the recto to improve the visual integrity and image continuity over the tears. This was then re-touched to complete the work.
Phillipa Durkin, paper conservator