A BRIEF HISTORY AND REVIEW OF THE EARLY PRACTICE AND MATERIALS OF GAP-FILLING IN THE WEST
ABSTRACT—This article will describe a wide variety of materials that have been or may have been used as fills for voids in three-dimensional objects in the Western world. Some of the materials discussed are ancient, and some were the result of 19th-century technical innovation, but all predate the introduction of most of the synthetic polymers. A brief introduction considers the different approaches to restoration of craftspeople working within a trade or craft and those who were menders and restorers, as well as the widespread use of proprietary adhesives and filling materials. A catalog of filling compounds drawn from European and American literature on the subject follows. It includes brief descriptions of such binder and bulking agent combinations as traditional gesso, common materials such as plaster and the “patent plasters,” as well as more complex compounds that harden by chemical reaction. Many of these are little-known today, such as those based on sulfur, water-glass (sodium and potassium silicate), various denatured proteins, rusting iron, and glycerin-litharge cement.
2. CATALOG OF TRADITIONAL FILLING MATERIALS
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