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 that cannot be performed properly or at all are:  We cannot trim the edges. We can not round the spine. Using needle on a brittle … Continue reading Issues in old books and traditional re-binding

Sticky post

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 version of sellotape has shown some changes in its physical and chemical properties over a longer period of time due to ageing. Initially such tapes … Continue reading Sellotape: How it deteriorates and changes with time

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 it would have been difficult and damaging to digitize them in bound state. It is always easier to digitize in a flat state. Continue reading Paper and book conservation – Part 8

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 infested with some deteriogen, only curators can voice their pain to the doctors of the cultural objects,viz, conservators. This fact makes us understand the huge … Continue reading Curators are the voice of museum objects

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 from wood pulp technology. Other feature found in such old paper getting brittle, is yellowing or browning. Paper becomes acidic either by absorbing pollutants such … Continue reading Paper and book conservation – Part 2

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 technique and composition as understood from various sources is as follows: The invention of paper by T’sai Lun, a member of Imperial Guard and Privy … Continue reading Paper and book conservation- Part 1

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’ Management Policy) and MAP (Museum Assessment Program) in place. First thing is to understand that museums can contribute in economy. They generate employment and can … Continue reading We need CMP and MAP in place for our museums

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, but at the same time creates positive vibes of satisfaction, accomplishment and  self worth. If the person involved in this form of skill has the … Continue reading Art and Culture as Rescue and Business

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 because they don’t seem to generate revenue. This viewpoint needs to be changed because they are actually always on the tourists’ interest  and with  proper … Continue reading Government Museums need more Government Care..

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 removing the surface accumulations that are damaging as well as obscuring the art work and other relevant details. allow safe movement of the artifact while … Continue reading Securing the flaking-off pieces

Restoring memories at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

The beginnings of Art Conservation work at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji… Much of the conservation work on the first floor was completed by mid 2014… After this, it took many months for the finishing and doing the added work of ground floor walls and some other areas too… Its a story that needs to be understood for its uniqueness even before being heard…………… Continue reading Restoring memories at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

A little recording from photograph conservation project of 2014

When we are handling old photographs’ collection, we must understand the simpler as well as the very technical aspects perfectly before starting any minimum or maximum intervention. We also need to keep the preventive storage or display case ready before we finish the treatment. Continue reading A little recording from photograph conservation project of 2014

Silk Conservation (2010)

Condition Assessment: Problems : The silk flag to be treated was very old and hence had deteriorated a lot by intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. It was shattering at the slightest handling. The major deteriorating factors have been: Silk being naturally susceptible to fast ageing, gets embrittled leading to splits and tears, and eventually a powdery and very friable fabric is left. Warp and … Continue reading Silk Conservation (2010)

Basic Management Requirements for Conservation of Tangible Heritage

Conservation of the National Heritage of our country is a very comprehensive study area and can be better dealt with if we take it up at state levels and then pick up the common as well as the unique areas for different states. What to preserve/conserve? Structures : Monuments, Memorials and certain landscapes Museums: various types of collections in each museum Archives: Archival collections Basic … Continue reading Basic Management Requirements for Conservation of Tangible Heritage

Workshop Concluded

Young and enthusiastic professionals from museums and cultural organizations were our guests last week and we were more than pleased to share our knowledge and understanding about the field of museum, conservation and collection management with them. Ms. Seema Gera, the Curator at Govt. Museum and Art Gallery of Chandigarh and Ms. Niyati Jigyasu, Professor, Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture, Chitkara University, were the … Continue reading Workshop Concluded

Role of Museum Galleries and Conservation for objects that are disfigured by past restoration attempts

The traditional role of museums is to collect objects and materials of cultural, religious and historical importance, preserve them, research into them and present them to the public for the purpose of education and enjoyment. Emmanuel N. Arinze President, Commonwealth Association of Museums Public lecture at the National Museum, Georgetown, Guyana Monday, May 17, 1999   What if the exhibits are vandalized or wrongly treated so much in their … Continue reading Role of Museum Galleries and Conservation for objects that are disfigured by past restoration attempts

Sinopia

noun (Colours) a reddish pigment derived from iron ore the preliminary sketch found on a rough underlayer called the arriccio on the wall, underneath the fresco    While treating very old wall paintings, i was surprised to see sinopia showing up at places different from the final figure’s outline. When i studied more and more sinopia history, purpose and real examples, i learnt that the sinopia usually … Continue reading Sinopia

Brittle canvas with Bad repairs and backing (part 1)

This pair of oil on canvas paintings has brittle canvas that had been repaired in a rush. Lets look into the problems they had, in the following pictures: These torn canvases were repaired with patches of canvas from back, which were in turn stuck to a wooden board backing. At one place in one of the two canvases, a very rough stitching attempt has been … Continue reading Brittle canvas with Bad repairs and backing (part 1)

Planning the next learning activity

We, at Heritage Preservation Atelier invite all those who are interested in learning more about Paper conservation to meet and plan our next practical workshop on paper conservation along with theoretic lessons. Here is what we propose as an initiative. You are all welcome to add/advise/suggest further. Duration : 2 days (Dates in the month of October and November can be suggested in comments.) Theoretical … Continue reading Planning the next learning activity

Sticky post

Humidification to relax stiff old documents

Humidity relaxes the paper stiffness. This relaxation is important for flattening paper that is out of shape because of folds creases etc. But, there are some questions and doubts about humidifying in the right way: How to humidify without causing a shocking reaction to the paper which has been in dry environment for ages? What might happen wrong when we humidify a very large paper … Continue reading Humidification to relax stiff old documents