WAACNewsletter
Volume 9, Number 2, May 1987, pp.9-11

Technical Exchange

Various authors

Zora's Catalogue for the Art Store

Zora's Catalogue for the Art Store (11961 Santa Monica Blvd., P.O. Box 250036, Los Angeles, CA 90025 or call toll free 1-800- 525-5111 outside CA, 1-800-432-9964 inside CA) has recently come out. It features Golden Artists Acrylic Paints, Gamblin oil paints, COSMOS synthetic brushes from West Germany, a rugged studio easel which can accommodate a canvas 52" high and occupies ground space 21.5" X 24.75" and Zora's Own Paper Palettes (50 disposable palettes to a pad.)

The Balboa Art Conservation Center

The Balboa Art Conservation Center is currently investigating the techniques of the painters of the American West.

Artists in our examination include:

Albert Bierstadt, Oscar E. Berninghous, Ralph Blakelock, Ernest Blumenschein, Emily Carr, George Catlin, Maynard Dixon, Henry Farny, N. I. Fechin, Grace Hudson, Frank Tenney Johnson, Sidney Laurance, William R. Leigh, Thomas Moran, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Charles Schreyvogel, Joseph Sharp, N. C. Wyeth

Any information regarding painting technique, preparation of grounds, pigments used, conservation problems encountered due to painter's technique, information from letters, interviews regarding technical aspects of the artists, etc. would be of great value to us. Please contact Joan Samuels or Daniel Fabian at the Balboa Art Conservation Center, Box 3755, San Diego, CA 92103. Tel: (619) 236-9702 .

The Objects Laboratory at the PRCC

The objects laboratory at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center at the Bishop Museum has been working with a variety of object materials and structures and welcomes information exchanges in any of the following areas: Conservation survey instruments and techniques for large numbers of both natural history and anthropological collections; gourd containers and artifacts; condition surveys of bronze artifact collections; stabilization treatments of, and case design for ancient Chinese bronzes; repair and compensation techniques for coromandel panels and screens; systematic examination and stabilization treatments of cordages and netting; mechanical cleaning and treatment methods for feathers on artifacts; conservation of shell materials in artifacts; hygrometric half-time controlled exhibit case design for both small and large objects; repairs of taxidermied mammal specimens; monitoring isopropyl solution concentrations for preservation of zoology specimens; adhesives for herbaria specimens; anatomical reference standards for fiber, wood and herbatious material from vouchered botanical specimens for Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts.

It has been a busy period for PRCC with an unusual number of large on-site projects. We're presently gearing up for a new fiscal year that will be filled with conservation surveys for many of our member institutions.

Submitted by the Pacific Regional Conservation Center (PRCCJ)
Bishop Museum

The Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is experiencing outbreaks of a white efflorescence/crystal growth on the surfaces of metallic objects alloyed with lead. The objects had been stored in nearly airtight, painted, twelve month old steel cabinets. This preliminary report will identify the suspected causes for the efflorescence and describe the analysis of the white exudate.

(Abstract from a presentation given by Michael Connolly titled
"Creating Microenvironments in Airtight Storage Cabinets:
Warning" at the Spring Midwest Regional Conservation Guild Meeting.)

Paintings Conservation Lab at LACMA

Recently, the paintings conservation lab at LACMA received an order of screw-cap jars from Fisher Scientific. These jars are made by Qorpak Company and are used in the paintings lab for the storage of solvent mixtures, varnish solutions and other chemical substances. Unfortunately, the coloring agent in the screw-caps, which are a phenolic resin with Teflon liners, was sensitive to organic solvents such as Stoddard solvent. The green color dissolved and came off on cotton swabs in contact with the relatively 'mild' solvent. Previously, we had received similar jars from Qorpak that had black lids. The black lids seemed to cause no problems. In a conversation with Qorpak representatives, we learned that Teflon lined lids were now available in green only. Whether or not others have experienced similar problems with Qorpak jars would be of interest to us (213-857-6168). Perhaps other sources for solvent storage jars exist. We are currently looking into this.

Conservation Center, LACMA

A Cloverleaf Trick of the Trade

Are you ever in need of a quick molding technique with the capability of replicating finger prints? Here's a technique that I use at the studio all the time.*

  1. Mount the original piece with a holding rod made from a wood dowel, using an easily soluble adhesive.
  2. If the original is of a porous material, it must be sealed with a coat of shellac, lacquer, or a thin coat of wax.
  3. Decide where the parting lines will go and mark with a pencil. On a three dimensional piece use at least one parting line, but if the piece is extremely complex don't be afraid to use more. Bear in mind that all sections of the mold will be welded together later in the process.
  4. Now glue a fine wire (0.25 or smaller) on the parting line and wrap both ends on the holding rod. Use wax or hot glue to hold the wire in place while dipping in the wax.
  5. Melt a soft brown microcrystalline slush wax in a crock pot large enough to fully submerge the piece. The correct temperature for dipping is when a thin film forms on top of the wax which can be mixed back into the pot.
  6. Spray silicon release over the entire piece, allow to dry.
  7. Stir the top film into the wax and gently lower the object until submerged, immediately pull out and let cool upside down for five minutes.
  8. Now pull the wire off of the object in a downward motion separating the wax shell into sections, cool in a bucket of water for five minutes.
  9. Gently pull off wax shell sections, dry and spray silicon release on the inside of the mold. Weld wax shell back together with a hot wax tool.

You are now ready to cast plaster, hydrostone, urethane, epoxy and yes, even wax for lost wax casting back into your mold. Like all procedures, this one will take a little practice but it's sure to take hours off your project not to mention the fine detail you can attain at a fraction of the cost.

If you need any material or technical information please feel free to call the studio.

* This technique should only be used on physically sound objects, which can withstand immersion into hot

Joe Kleeman
615-E De la Vina
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

We Are Pleased to Advise...

We are pleased to advise that we have arranged for a special production run in P.T.I.--Blotting Paper #112/wl, 100% cotton fiber, acid-free, 300 g weight, approx. 20 pt. caliper, in sheets 38 X 25 inches, packed 100 sheets per carton. Price: $115.65/carton, delivered.

Our manufacturing specifications call for a blotting paper of dense quality, without surface linting.

If you are interested in participating in this production, please let us have your order reservation at your earliest convenience.

We also will be producing a limited quantity of the above blotting paper grade in size 38 X 50 inches and in rolls 80" X 40 yards. Price information will be submitted upon request.

Estelle Taylor
Conservation Products
Paper Technologies, Inc.

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