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Saturday, June 1 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Book and Paper) Two New Techniques for Loss Compensation In Art on Paper: Integration of Surface Losses Using Textile Fibers and The Use of Sprayed Cellulose Powder To Minimize Foxing and Other Discoloration

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The integration of losses to the media in works of art on paper has traditionally been done using pastel, colored pencils or paint based media such as watercolor. In this presentation we will discuss the use of colored cotton and polyester fibers derived from machine made threads to reintegrate losses in design. The technique was developed to treat a large scale watercolor, "Tintagel on the Cornish Coast" by William Trost Richards, that had sustained gouges and abrasions to the primary support. The textile fibers, obtained from commercially available sources, were processed in various ways to prepare them for placement on the watercolor. To obtain finely divided fibers, the threads were immersed in liquid nitrogen and then cut while frozen. Admixtures of fibers can be made to approximate color tones, or successive overlapping of fibers can be done to build up color intensity. Methyl cellulose was used as the binder for both its' adhesive properties and surfactant action. Finely divided fibers tend to remain separated in methyl cellulose, a factor that helps in application. The stability of the fibers used was investigated. The removability of the fibers was assessed. Preliminary work indicates that this method has great potential for use with a variety of media where losses are small or linear. It has less potential for success over large areas, although the technique is evolving.

Cellulose powder has long been part of the inpainter's tool box and is indispensable for certain operations, such as in the concealment of foxing. The technique presented shows how cellulose powder can be made into a slurry with methyl cellulose and sprayed with an external mix airbrush to create consistent films of certain thickness and opacity. The dried films can then be shaped to the stained areas of the paper, then activated in situ with low moisture. The cellulose powder can be toned before or after application to refine the integration. A drawing by Nicholas-Touissant Charlet treated with this method will be discussed.


Stephanie Jewell

Assistant Paper Conservator, Balboa Art Conservation Center
Stephanie Jewell received a Masters in Art Conservation from Queens University in Ontario Canada in 2009. Ms. Jewell interned at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Denison Museum, the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and the Walters Art Museum. Her training includes an... Read More →

Elissa O'Loughlin

Senior Paper Conservator, The Walters Art Museum

Saturday June 1, 2013 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
JW Marriott White River Ballroom E 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204

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