Restoration project for ancient tiles from Teatro Colón at Argentine by Alicia Fernández Boan.

Historical considerations were of great importance for this restoration project and therefore the first part of the talk of Mrs. Alicia focused on them.

I found really interesting the account on the techniques that were behind the production of tiles. For this restoration work Mrs Fernández performed a very interesting research on XIXth century historical formulas for ceramic materials.

In a first stage of her research Mrs. Fernández studied original tiles which revealed to be composed of  56% quartz and 40% (mullite) porcelanite.

Mullite paper on original tiles was clear as it is a material that increases mechanical strength, thermal shock resistance and lows water absorption.

This research conducted the team to import stoke paste onTrent,UK. Original encaustic impression of tiles was substituted by a modern method of screen printing “enamel”, this was because of elevated cost, and long production time of the original techniques.

Coloration of tiles was produced with copper, cobalt and iron. Nevertheless this custom material is remarkable because of its physical properties while keeping aesthetical characteristics of the original tiles. At this point of the talk Mrs. Fernández distributed among the participants at her talk, some samples of this material. I highly appreciated this gesture, as it allowed us to have first hand information about material properties.

What astonished me the most was the performance of Mrs. Boan team work: in only a few months they were able to reproduce XIXth century techniques for ceramic production,  then they were able to mixing them with modern imprinting techniques to produce a custom material,  wich lead to a fast and great restoration job.