Year: 2018

Conservation Lab: removing old repairs

Many a times while treating certain artifacts, specially on paper, one might feel that certain old repairs or treatments might be kept as such. But, when we proceed with the treatment we find that it was better if everything added…

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Getting ready for next workshop: March 2019!

Another opportunity for budding conservators to understand and learn: Conservation scenario in India The basic material and techniques used in archival conservation The basic materials and techniques in oil painting (on canvas) conservation possible job and business prospects Queries can…

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Bookworms love spines of books and hate anoxic environment

Its our experience that insects that damage books are mainly attacking spine. This is because the spine receives liberal amount of adhesive while book making. After eradicating all the various stages of insects thriving in the books, book conservators repair…

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Aspergillus niger and Paper

Aspergillus niger is one of the most active cellulolytic fungi. The roll of drawings in the above picture is mainly infested by A. niger and Chaetomium sp. as identified from the cultures isolated from the deteriorating inner-side of the roll….

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Paper burnt or eaten?

  This black powdery sheet (!) is not burnt paper, but, paper eaten by fungus. Cellulolytic microorganisms are hiding nicely all around us and are much more destructively powerful than we can expect from the tiny spores. Storage enclosures that…

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Removing Foxing is doable, but needs thorough understanding and patience too…

In paper conservation literature, there are many ways and materials advised to be used to remove foxing or at least lighten its scars. Here i am not going to suggest what to use, but would like to mention the importance…

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Foxing

That peculiar smell/odor when some old books are opened, might at times be associated with mold and foxing. We come across books with foxing that may have very strong odor. All old books have vellichor, but some have stronger musty…

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Glassine stuck to a Photograph

We come across many different kind of problems associated with old black and white photographs. Fading, yellowing, redox blemishing, silver mirroring etc are some common problems with old photographs. These problems are generally due to the inherent causes or reasons…

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BoPET: Mylar/Melinex/Hostaphan

All the conservation labs/workshops have mylar or melinex as the most commonly used material while treatment procedures as well as in packaging and safe storage or display etc. Such widely and frequently used material is known to all by these…

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Case study of conservation of a map

Info from the print Condition Assessment We received the map in a folded form. There was some adhesive residue visible on the outside. On opening of the very first fold we found that due to the application of some adhesive,…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 9

Finally, all the books that came to our lab have been restored and given a kind of new life. They are going back to the library tomorrow morning. Following is a re-sharing of a summary of all the conservation processes…

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Team working towards final steps of an intense task of books’ conservation

Team Heritage Preservation Atelier had a challenging task of conservation of a set of books that could not be digitized by a library because of the extremely brittle pages and stuck up and deteriorated condition. We started with making a…

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Studying Paper for presence of watermark and bluish tinge: Case of 150 years old drawing

The drawing under study is made in 1868 (as evident from the signature) and the watermark mentions the paper manufacturing year to be 1866. ‘Watermarks’ are markings put into paper during its production, by making thinner or thicker  layer of…

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Case of a 150 year old engineering drawing

June 26, 2018   By Manit When we first saw the drawing on site, it appeared to be in a fairly good condition. Once it arrived in our conservation lab and we started a thorough diagnosis, there were a lot…

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Some deteriogens are very nicely hidden

One of the miniature paintings we came across last month was showing some signs of biological degradation, but no active microbes were visible on the surface. This was unlike other miniature paintings of the same lot, which had visible mold…

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Brief record of miniature painting’s assessment and conservation

When a conservator gets art works like the above miniature painting, it is not just the damages that interest him/her, it is also the history/mythology and story depicted in the painting that attracts the conservator. Story/history/mythology apart from the technique and…

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Flaking in Miniature Paintings

Indian miniature paintings have various schools and technical differences, but most of them have thick paint layer and impasto effects. Thick paint layers tend to flake off under certain circumstances. This flaking can be very unstable/powdering off or more stable…

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Rescuing Frescoes from ruins

At the edge of a jungle, we found some ruins of a temple which was still functional in adjoining more recently constructed room. Initially when i visited the site in 2008, there was another structure right in the middle of…

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Blue-prints and White-prints or blue-lines

(June 2017 These days we are working on a few blue-prints and blue-lines in our lab. Before starting any work, we tried to discuss the original material and technique used into making them, with our team.) Both these processes use…

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Painting, backing, conservation and Physics

Very often we have seen that old worn out paintings are pasted on thicker backing board or sheet. This initially looks good as the worn out or crushed paper or fabric looks much better as it acquires the smoothness and…

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one little observation while studying old miniature paintings

At times we find old sticky tape which leaves almost no adhesive on paper and does not make the paper brittle; instead, it makes its own plastic base brittle. Is this because of the adhesive chemistry itself or because of…

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Paper paintings and mounting issues

  We have learned while specializing in the field of conservation of cultural property (more specifically art, in the present discussion), about the specific type of material that should be used while mounting a painting on paper. The technique also…

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Issues in old books and traditional re-binding

When the pages have turned very brittle and there are tears, lost areas and old repairs with incompatible and damaging materials, it is not that simple to mend and rebind a book with traditional sewing technique.   Some binding procedures…

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Sellotape: How it deteriorates and changes with time

What is sellotape?  Sellotape is basically a brand of transparent, polypropylene-based, pressure-sensitive tape. But, this term is also used for any such pressure sensitive tape of any brand. Sellotape is generally used for joining, sealing, attaching and mending. The older…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 8

Once the old damaged binding was opened and stuck up pages of the books (to be treated) were separated/opened-up and the torn pages mended, the information in the books was digitally preserved. This digitization process was done before re-binding because…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 6

Last week we were busy tending each and every folio of the highly damaged and acidic books that we are restoring these days. Following pictures of just one of the books might give an idea of the kind of work…

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Paper and book conservation : Part 5

Among the books being treated in our lab, one is binding of 12 journals from november 1907 to October 1908. Individual pages were mended with skill and patience. They were then joined at the central edge and signatures or journals…

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Curators are the voice of museum objects

Museum objects have so much to say! But their voice is outside their own existence.. Only curators can tell what the objects want to say, to the world, and that message should be correct! Moreover, if an object is being…

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Paper and book conservation – Part 2

Two major problems associated with old paper manufactured during mid nineteenth century onward are: Brittleness Yellowing or darkening Breaking of paper due to brittleness (loss of flexibility to bend without breaking) generally occurs in very old paper which was manufactured…

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Paper and book conservation- Part 1

To understand and master paper conservation, one must understand the composition and manufacturing of paper. The composition of paper and raw material in its making has varied since its invention in 105 AD in China. The timeline of paper manufacturing…

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We need CMP and MAP in place for our museums

Museums are the priceless treasures of our nation. It is our duty and responsibility to take good care of the the tangible culture housed in museums. This cannot be done effectively if we do not have our museums’ CMP (Collections’…

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Art and Culture as Rescue and Business

The kind of involvement it takes to create an art work at the level of mind and senses, makes the activity a form of meditation. The focus and spontaneity required not only keeps the mind free of negative thought process,…

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Government Museums need more Government Care..

Museums are the reflection of any culture or city or a part of art/history. Tourists rarely miss a chance to visit any city’s museum(s) in their travel plans. But, museums are not taken seriously by their own caretaker government departments…

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Securing the flaking-off pieces

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 allow the conservators work with more confidence while…

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