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.

Frescoes vs Tempera

When we talk about wall paintings or mural paintings, most of us call them ‘frescoes’. This might not be technically correct for all the murals.Technically, if the painting is created ( or we can say that the colours are applied)…

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Internship Experience – June post 1

Interns: Keerat, Chetna, Lovely, Subhashini and Manit 24 JUNE 2017 We are a group of youngsters (Chetna, Subhashini and Lovely) pursuing Masters in Conservation and Archaeology .We have come to beautiful cool city of Chandigarh to gain practical experience in…

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Blue-prints and White-prints or blue-lines

June 2017These days we are working on a few blue-prints and blue-lines in our lab. Before starting the work, we tried to discuss the material and technique used in making them. This write-up is the summary of our discussion on…

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Anoxia for Museum collections

Anoxic treatment system isolates the objects to be preserved into anoxic (without oxygen or oxygen deprived) micro environments, protects them from insects, aerobic biological threats and dust. Over the past decade many museums have increased their use of inert gases to eliminate…

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Art conservation of Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji (The Golden Temple), Amritsar, India

Namita Jaspal Heritage Preservation Atelier, Chandigarh, India namitajaspal72@gmail.com; heritage.atelier@gmail.com http://www.heritagepreservationatelier.com Introduction When we are trusted upon the responsibility of doing art conservation services for an active religious site, we tend to get a mixed feeling of gratitude and anxiousness. Gratitude…

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Old Photographs

We started  our discussion regarding old photographs (https://heritagepreservationatelier.com/2017/05/20/historic-photographs/https://heritagepreservationatelier.com/2017/05/20/historic-photographs/) with an example of a silver albumin print. In this blog, we’ll see some other examples from the same collection,but all different techniques of photo-prints. 2014 and 2015 were a bit busy…

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Historic Photographs

Photography has been a great invention around first half of nineteenth century. It created possibilities of experimentation for the creative minds interested in making real images on paper. Following is a picture of a badly restored and mounted photograph created…

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Gild playing peek-a-boo

We had already completed damage mapping at Sri Darbar Saheb Ji, in the months of October and November 2013, but gilding started playing peek-a-boo once test patches of cleaning were started later in November and December. There were many places…

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December 2013

Conservation and personal scene at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji (My personal dairy of professional and personal scenario in December of 2013) December 2013 was strange, i had committed to start actual on-site work at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji  and at…

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Instructions of Gurus

Working on Hukumnamas (2015)

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Extent of damage in wall paintings (Darbar Saheb Ji)

Since the paintings were created by Bhai Atma Singh directly over the paintings done earlier by Bhai Gyan Singh, the grip or binding to the ground (earlier painting was serving like ground layer) was minimal and there was huge amount…

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Wall paintings(at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji), as we found them before starting our work

Initially it took some three to five trips to Sri Amritsar, all by myself as a conservation expert and with managers of Sri Harmandar Sheb Ji to understand the extent of damage to the wall paintings and gold plates. Following…

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Walls of the first floor at Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

Golden Temple or Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji is a sacred site visited by thousands of people every day, but not many go to the first floor. Even among those who go to first floor, not many take the parikrama at…

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Conservation lab loves to elaborate even an extremely simple job of fixing a broken ceramic

(Just that this piece of ceramic is unique and historically important.) Small jobs like cleaning are actually meditative and provide, much needed peace, focus and purpose. Conservation lab tends to glamorize the small jobs too, with a pinch of specific…

Continue Reading Conservation lab loves to elaborate even an extremely simple job of fixing a broken ceramic

Conservation lab loves to elaborate even an extremely simple job of fixing a broken ceramic

(Just that this piece of ceramic is unique and historically important.) Small jobs like cleaning are actually meditative and provide, much needed peace, focus and purpose. Conservation lab tends to glamorize the small jobs too, with a pinch of specific…

Continue Reading Conservation lab loves to elaborate even an extremely simple job of fixing a broken ceramic

Solvent gel cleaning, consolidation and in-painting

…continued from the previous post A Case study of an oil on canvas painting It was important to remove the old varnish from this painting because, it was very thickly applied almost every other year of its lifetime and had…

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A Case study of an oil on canvas painting

A painting that came to our lab some five springs back makes a very good study for the students who have just started learning the practice of conservation. It was a portrait of great-grandfather of Maharaja of Kapurthala. Ignorance of…

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Workshop April 2017

The April 2017 workshop was on Preventive and Curative conservation practices in museums and archives. It was a very enriching experience for both the participants and the organizers. This workshop was organized by the joint efforts of  State Museum and…

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Research work on paper and microbes infecting paper

This is an attempt to share the research work we did some two decades back on paper and microbes infecting paper. Following pictures are just glimpses of the complete research work. A shorter version of the research work (four pages)…

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Case study of a silver gilded artifact

A beautiful piece of silver gilded artifact depicting a war scene came to our lab in 2007. It was previously wrongly restored by applying a thick layer of silver acrylic colour to hide the faults. Our first step was to…

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One of the cleaning treatments of an oil on canvas painting: step by step approach

Cleaning seems a simple process and i have seen people in charge of historically important collections doing disastrous actions leading to irreversible damage of important art or history objects. It might apparently be a simple cleaning job, but it is…

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Conservation of Archival Material

Conservation of archival material is a specialized field of work. We need to understand the structure and chemistry of paper, ink, binders, adhesives etc. This video is actually making a tough job seem quite easy. Whenever we need to separate…

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Beginning of a story writing job

Namita “Sometimes professions are created and offered to you as a gift!” I never planned to be a conservator (of cultural property). I was just a curious kid who wanted to know about life, how living bodies work, how the…

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Treatment of an oil painting on canvas

The treatment process we are showing in this video was recorded in 2013, but because of a very tight schedule over the last few years i could not upload it. I just found this old video while searching for some…

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Fresco Conservation Workshop

Learning is fun at Heritage Preservation Atelier. It was free of cost too this time, with a two day site trip, cool stay at a beautiful British period guest house. Physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry met history and architecture in…

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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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Gilding

Gold and Silver gilding techniques have evolved over the centuries. We love to apply gold and silver on surfaces like, wall plaster, stone, wood, metal, paper and textile. During my visit to the Calico Museum, i was amazed to see…

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Ulysses gets rid of rust before restoration

Rust was all we could see on the day we first saw Ulysses by Sri Satish Gujral and rust was what we had to struggle with, for nearly a month! In spite of all the struggle and initial confusion about…

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Temple coming out alive

The temple i am discussing these days is unique in many ways. One major point of interest is its paintings that have such a diversity. Mythological stories and characters (apart from the Gods also), Kings, Sikh guards, British warriors, Train,…

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Wall painting conservation

Life is beautiful and hard at the same time. This temple whose walls stood the ravages of time, survived in the middle of a jungle to tell the story of its time. How artistic, full of character and co-existing humans…

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Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

Camera fails to capture what eyes see here….. The place i am sitting right now is the place where our Gurus used to meditate.It is the first floor of Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji. It is truly meditative. One tends to…

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Conservation/restoration Challenge: Graffiti

Should a fresco painting like this be left as such with the graffiti overpowering the original beauty of the art work, or should it be treated meticulously subduing the damage bringing out the original beauty of the painting? We find…

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Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

Namita Jaspal Wall paintings: Tough decision making Beautiful wall paintings of sacred Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji were flaking off and crumbling when a professional advice was at last sought in 2013. Till 2013, these paintings were retouched or repaired by…

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Sikh Art- Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

Sikh art developed around middle of nineteenth century. It has  borrowed extensively from Hindu and Muslim traditions and art forms but depicted them in their own way and in a new setting. Not much research has been done on this…

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Vice Regal Dining Conservation

The vice regal dinning car built by Ajmer workshops of the BB & CIR (Bombay, Baroda and central India railway) in the year 1889 is juxtaposing the luxurious special rail carriage used by the Viceroy of India then during his…

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Patiala Monorail Restoration

It was a unique experience restoring the monorail at National Rail Museum in 2013. Not only the structure was restored, it was made functional too and we all took a ride on the day of inauguration.    

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Old Research on Paper infecting Microbes

Namita Jaspal Some two decades back, (i) was not so good and patient with writing stuff, but the study and research that i pursued was unique and real hard work. That time, was not keen on getting pictures of myself…

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Cracks in a canvas painting due to Fungal growth

Cracks in the paint layer are a usual observation in case of Oil on Canvas paintings. They are generally due to ageing and the oil content and composition. This particular video discusses an unusual case where the cracks are mainly…

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Mending 

While preserving old acidic and brittle paper, we come accross torn areas that need transparency in the mending material used because of the text or illustrations, and there are torn areas like corners or edges where transparency is not required…

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Conservation of a Janam Saakhi

Janam Saakhi is basically the story of life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. This particular Janam Saakhi that we treated in our lab seems to be from eighteenth century copy hand written and illustrated by a very interesting artist with…

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Types of Records we keep of Conservation Projects

We at Heritage Preservation Atelier, keep detailed records (paper documentation and video clips) of condition and treatment of the collection or objects. Following pictures are about records of a Photograph Conservation Project: Following is an example of one informal video…

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Chola Saheb Ji: Bandi Chhod

Conservation of an object that is an integral part of the culture of a village and  is a pride possession of the villagers who have protected it for centuries, calls for a lot many additional considerations in decision making for…

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Open and healthy discussions are fun and Welcome

Transparency about the treatment procedures is what we strive for. But, this is not always so easy when you are sharing info with people who are trying to judge without paying attention to the details of the science and many…

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