A TRANSLUCENT WAX-RESIN FILL MATERIAL FOR THE COMPENSATION OF LOSSES IN OBJECTS
SUSANNE GÄNSICKE, & JOHN W. HIRX
This wax-resin mixture has been useful for the compensation of losses in translucent materials, especially stones such as alabaster, marble, calcite, diorite, and anhydrite. The relative ease and speed with which it can be applied makes it a particularly attractive choice. Because the use of the material is based on modeling and the addition of further layers, any possible shrinkage can be compensated for with the addition of more wax-resin. The fills remain easily removable at all times and do not penetrate the original material. The wax-resin is used best on losses that allow for a large contact with the original, primed surface and on losses that are thicker than approximately 1/16 in. Shallow losses and small gaps, for example between break edges, proved to be somewhat difficult, as the fill is easily pulled out during surface manipulation. Similarly, the wax-resin seems unsuited for large, unsupported fills. Experimentations with mixture ratio and with other resins may lead to improved results; and their aging properties have to be further investigated.
Thanks to John Burke and Steve Colton for discussing their treatments and research and for supporting this publication. The late Jane Carpenter-Poliquin should be remembered especially for introducing the wax-resin to the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard University Art Museums. Carol Warner, National Park Service, Cultural Resources Center, Lowell, Massachusetts, was first to experiment with the material and to use it at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Arthur Beale and Timothy Kendall, both of the MFA, and Pieter Meyers, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, helped to edit the paper.