The photograph was presented in two parts as the photograph had separated from it's presentation support board many years ago. The paper support is of a heavy weight wove paper and has a strong curl memory, as the photograph had been tightly rolled and then unrolled which has resulted in fractures, cracks and emulsion fissures.
Once the work had been humidified for a period of time it was placed in a pressing stack, this would then enable further conservation. The tears and creases were repaired with Japanese tissue using a dry wheat starch paste. The tear was coaxed back together under magnification, re-aligning the paper fibers and emulsion layer.
The photograph was then placed back into the pressing stack while the backing board was repaired.
The backing board was surface cleaned back and front, taking care around the ruptures and tears. The board is of poor quality materials and in an acidic and friable condition.
Tears were repaired with Japanese tissue and dry wheat starch paste before the whole was lined with a heavy weight Japanese tissue to impart strength for the infill repairs. This also provided continuity of surface on the verso.These infill repairs were constructed from a base of acid free board and then up to four layers of heavy weight Japanese tissue on the recto, all were water-cut to templates, and using wheat starch paste as the adhesive. These were weighted with Remay and blotter for drying in the usual way.
The two final layers of tissue were toned with watercolour to impart visual integrity, so that the viewers eye is not drawn to a white repair.
Once the infills were complete they were trimmed to match the edge of the board and then the photograph was pasted in place with wheat starch paste. Reuniting photograph and board for the first time in at least 50 years.
Friends brought me this wonderful Cinderella children's book for treatment.
The construction is a case binding with nine heavy pages with guards all made of board, two are the covers and have a cloth spine. Remarkably, considering its age and use it is still all together and stable enough not to need rebinding
The cover boards are decorated with paper and cloth which shows a great deal of wear and tear especially the dog-eared and abraded corners. The boards also appear bowed and uneven and may have suffered water damage at some point. The whole is designed to open out into a carousel display book, held open with a leather strap and clasp, which is now torn and lost.
There are six sections or scenes that tell the story, made up of multiple layers of paper engineering, most of which are still intact and stable. The media is coloured lithograph prints on paper. Sections within the book appear bright and colourful and have had less light exposure, where as the edges of each page are severely faded. Also the outer most paper components, two or three layers show the most damage in the form of tears, folds and creases and some pressure sensitive tape and staining. Near the spine there are also some tears to what would be described as the backing scenes, causes by years of use. The pages also appear cockled and uneven although this does not prevent the enjoyment of the book. The manufacturer of the book recommends displaying it with a light from above to illuminate the colours and highlight details, this may have contributed to fading and degradation of the paper.
Translated from Italian.
Treatment consisted of surface cleaning through out with soft brush where possible, taking care with the cloth spine.
Internal repairs were undertaken with Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste without dismantling the binding, this was done using clamps because of the 3D nature of the book. Whenever possible the repairs were done flat so that they could be weighted properly for adhesion and drying.
Re-alignment of the tears and paper engineering was a slow process with some repairs needing to be done in sections and was governed by access to each page.
For visual integrity toned Japanese tissue was used on the decorated areas of the work. Minor in-painting was undertaken to improved aesthetics.
Before and after treatment images.
Parliamentary Collections asked me to view and advise for display on one of their objects, a Tapa-Cloth. The work had been tightly rolled for storage leaving it badly curled.
Once in the studio the work was fully documented and photographed involving examination of the work and noting any anomalies, cracks in the varnish and staining already present.
The work is considered as new and in good condition and therefore only required surface cleaned with a soft brush and no mechanical surface cleaning was thought necessary. Before beginning any treatment I spot tested pigments and varnish thoroughly to check moisture tolerances.
It was allowed to roll back into what was comfortable for the work and a humidity chamber was constructed to suit. Humidity was slowly increased over an extended period to relax the work, before being pressed between Remay (spun polyester), blotters and boards.
The work was now flat after weeks of pressing which has given it a “new memory” and it is ready for mounted onto a support board that will allow hanging.
The display area posed numerous problems as we could not attach directly to the wall in any way or use magnets, so an alternative hanging system needed to be designed so that the work could hang in front of the wall.
Two vertical wires were secured from floor to ceiling to hold the work off the wall.
An archival mounting board was cut slightly smaller than the Tapa-Cloth and attached to the back of the work with water cut Japanese tissue hinges and wheat starch paste as the adhesive. Invisible loops of cotton tape were threaded top and bottom of board to secure it to the wire that suspended the work.
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.
Not exactly a message in a bottle but this pot came from the Clyde Quay Marina, which is considered the historic part of Wellington Harbour. It has a wonderful history of sailing vessels and Launches dating back to 1904. The creation of this Harbour by the Wellington Harbour Board, formed an ideal small boat anchorage close to the city. The iconic boat sheds were added around 1909, constructed on reclaim land in sections. Also the Harbour was occupied by the American Navy during World War II.
The pot was found in April 2016 when a commercial diver, now my boyfriend was inspecting a mooring in the marina and always takes the opportunity to look around for objects and treasures.
Despite being full of black, smelly mud I was very happy to receive it as a gift at the time.
The pot cleaned up surprisingly well which indicates a good quality glaze as there was no damage, cracks or crazing. The design is hand painted very well.
The only indication that it has spent some time on the sea bed is the underside of the pot, where it has no glaze has a few marks from the encrustations and barnacles that were mechanically removed. The rest, along with the rust staining cleaned off with warm soapy water.
I researched the style and the red stamp on the bottom and only learned that it is a "Brush Pot" although I have no indication of age or manufacture - how it ended up at the bottom of the marina and for how long, is anyone's guess but I am happy to use it again for brushes in my studio.
A friend brought me a wonderful poster, she had seen it while in Warsaw pasted to a wall, and passing it on another day she noticed it had some new graffiti, and then again, ripped off the wall and left on the ground.
The short history of this protest poster’s display, with regard to protest and then support appealed to her and she removed what was left from the wall, folded it up and brought it home to New Zealand as a memento of her travels.
The poster was brought to me in a folded format and in four pieces, and with it the backing remnants of many previous posters that had been pasted in the same spot. Therefore the paper was thick with aged glue and many layers of paper.
After discussions on what was important to keep, the primary poster and what the owner wanted, which was to conserve but celebrate the history by not making the tears (scars) completely invisible, I began a wet treatment that helped remove the many layers of paper on the verso (back of the work).
Making the most of the poster being aqueously treated I lined the work onto a backing of four overlapped sheets of Japanese tissue using a mix of wheat starch paste and methyl cellulose which would aid slipping or the desired movement of the poster to align the pieces back together, like a puzzle. The work was left to tension dry on my work bench, similar to using a Kari Bari board (Japanese dying board used to line silk and paper)
Bloodymir was once again ready for display, with all his history.
Framed and photographed by owner.