Securing the flaking off pieces

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There are many methods used to secure the falling of pieces right in the beginning , before we start with other treatment procedures of conservation. These methods are extremely helpful as they

  1. allow the conservators work with more confidence while removing the surface accumulations that are damaging as well as obscuring the art work and other relevant details.
  2. allow safe movement of the artifact while treatment or its transport from one place to another

These preconsolidation methods/procedures have to be totally reversible and should not leave any undesirable residue. CDD (Cyclododecane) is one such material that completely sublimes and provides the required binding for exactly enough time to carry out the initial conservation procedures without losing the loose particles of the original artifact. We also used facing with CMC (Carboxy methyl cellulose) or BEVA and Japanese tissue paper.

Following information from an article, “CYCLODODECANE: TECHNICAL NOTE ON SOME USES IN PAPER AND OBJECTS CONSERVATION” is quite interesting

In 1995, Hans Michael Hangleiter, Elisabeth Jägers, and Erhard Jägers published an article on a material that they proposed might be important in conservation treatments. The authors described their search for a binding agent that could be applied as a temporary consolidant during treatments. The ideal agent would have

  1. good film-forming properties,
  2. low melting point,
  3. insolubility in water,
  4. solubility in organic solvents,
  5. and little or no toxicity
  6. Most important, its application would be easily reversible.

Their investigation led them to a series of alicyclic hydrocarbons, compounds of a waxlike consistency that can be melted at temperatures ranging from 35 to 65°C. These materials have as their most important common characteristic the ability to sublime, i.e., to volatilize slowly from a solid directly into a gas under ordinary room-temperature conditions. This characteristic eliminates the need for other chemical or physical means of removal necessary with most other consolidants.

Four similar substances with the above noted characteristics, all differing mainly in their melting point temperatures and also in the rate or speed of their sublimation, were discussed by Hangleiter and his coauthors. These are camphene (mp 45–46°C); camphene-tricyclene, a mixture of two hydrocarbon types (mp 35°C); menthol (mp 31–35°C); and cyclododecane (mp 58–61°C).

Author: namitajaspal
Namita Jaspal, with inherited skills of art and aesthetics and passion for science, opted to pursue post- graduation in ‘Conservation of Cultural Property’ after her graduation in Science from Delhi University in 1992. Four year intense training at National Museum Institute provided the right foundation to start a career in Conservation. She is currently practicing conservation consultancy for Heritage property including monuments and collections. She has been doing independent research in conservation techniques and procedures in Indian context. She is currently working on the conservation of wall-paintings of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden temple at Amritsar. The project is nearing completion and getting a lot of appreciation for the organized and ethical treatment it is providing. It is for the first time in the history of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden Temple) that wall painting conservation and preservation is being done in a scientific manner, keeping the codes of Ethics into consideration while decision making. Another project just completed is of the Conservation of Krishna Temple at Kishankot, Gurdaspur, Punjab. In her private Conservation Laboratory, she is not only providing onservation services, but also mentoring young aspiring conservators and archaeologists by the way of training and paid internships. She has been a guest lecturer at DIHRM (Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management). With all the updated knowledge database and innovative practical approaches relevant to the Indian conditions, she could successfully do curative and preservative treatment of very old textiles like a nine feet long flag from nineteenth century that is regarded as priceless memorabilia of second Dogra regiment at Chandi Mandir, and four hundred years old (seventeenth century) Chola Sahib Ji of Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Sri Hargobind Sahib Ji. Apart from this she has done conservation of Photograph collections, archival records, numerous paintings, manuscripts and other cultural objects. She is also involved in preparation of up-gradation proposals for museums and such organizations. Her expertise includes Conservation and preservation technologies and procedures for conservation of varied material like wall paintings, paper, photographs, textile, ceramics, stone, metal and archaeological objects.

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