Call for Papers – Cultural Heritage Management Sessions (ASOR 2017)

Session Chairs: Glenn Corbett, American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), and Suzanne Davis, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan

We are seeking abstract submissions for the Cultural Heritage Management session(s) of the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting, which will be held in Boston, MA, November 15-18, 2017. This session welcomes papers concerning archaeological conservation and heritage management in terms of methods, practices, and case studies in areas throughout the Near East. For the 2017 meeting, we are especially interested in presentations focusing on:

·         site conservation and preservation activities

·         site management planning

·         engagement and education of local communities

Interested speakers should submit a title and abstract (max. 250 words) by February 15, 2017. Please see ASOR’s call for papers and instructions for submission here: Note that professional membership ($130) and registration for the Annual Meeting (~$175) are required at the time of abstract submission. Student rates are discounted.

Please send inquiries or questions to Glenn Corbett ( and Suzanne Davis (

BROMEC 36, the Bulletin of Research on Metal Conservation, is now available

BROMEC 36, the Bulletin of Research on Metal Conservation is now available online at the following websites:

Seven research abstracts and 2 announcements are presented, together with the usual lists of related contacts and informative metal research/conservation websites and discussion groups.

You will find English, French and Spanish language versions for downloading as PDF documents.

To subscribe for email updates about BROMEC:

As a reader, or potential contributor, we trust you will find this issue informative and useful.

BROMEC Editorial Team

Anglophone Editor & Translator:

·      James Crawford

Francophone Coeditor:

·      Michel Bouchard

Hispanophone Coeditor:

·      Diana Lafuente

Francophone Translators:

·      Nathalie Richard

·      Elodie Guilminot

Hispanophone Translators:

·      Ana Cresp

·      Ana Pastor

Job Posting: Objects Conservator – National Museum of African Art (Washington, DC)

Objects Conservator

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only facility in the United States dedicated exclusively to the treatment and preservation of Africa’s traditional and contemporary arts.  With the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Museum is pleased to offer to an emerging professional the opportunity for a full-time, 2-year term position working with museum conservation staff on all aspects of collections care. Beginning in early fall 2016, the position is part of an initiative designed to promote conservation training, diversity in the profession, and African art scholarship. The successful candidate will actively participate in all aspects of practical conservation including:  examination, documentation and treatment of a range of inorganic and organic materials, both traditional and contemporary; preventive conservation activities such as monitoring the environment, maintenance of micro-environments, and materials testing; assisting in exhibit installations and deinstallations; participating in lab research projects; and the mentoring of undergraduate ‘explorer’ interns, pre-program interns and post-graduate fellows.

 The successful candidate will:

*Hold a graduate degree in conservation from a recognized training program

*Have 1-3 years of post-graduate experience

*Have demonstrable interest in ethnographic objects

 Salary: $53,500/year plus health and commuter benefits.

 How to apply:

Please send a letter of intent, resume and names of two references to:
Dana Moffett, Senior Conservator:
Closing date: August 8, 2016

44th Annual Meeting: Architecture and Objects Joint Session, Sunday 15 May 2016, "A Methodology for Documenting Preservation Issues Affecting Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq" by LeeAnn Barnes Gordon

Cultural Heritage Initiatives
Providing assistance in war-torn areas in Syria and Iraq is a complicated matter. The humanitarian crisis has resulted in protests in Syria against the government while a civil war led to the emergence of extremists groups, the most active threat being daesh (ISIS/ISIL). Collateral damage to the area has resulted in the militarization of archaeological sites and historic neighborhoods being obliterated. Organizations such as the ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives (CHI) are continually working on meeting the challenges of this cultural heritage crisis. Through diligent monitoring, CSI is able to assist the nations by documenting damage, promoting global awareness, and planning emergency and post-war responses.
LeaAnn Barnes Gordon gave an insightful presentation into the complications of providing international support to local residents and institutions. A highlight of Gordon’s presentation was showcasing CHI’s extensive digital mapping of over 7,800 cultural heritage sites. These maps help to assess the affects on cultural heritage by analyzing different types of damage as well as current and prospective threats. By utilizing satellite imagery, CHI can monitor changes over time in areas that have been damaged by military occupation or that have been illegally excavated. Information is compiled into reports using photographs and textual records of observations; some of these records are currently available online and others are being added regularly.
CHI is standardizing documents and terminology to avoid ambiguity during documentation (e.g. threats vs. disturbances). In the presentation, Gordon provided examples of types of documents utilized including field guide assessment forms, photo-documentation guides, and technical advice in Arabic to assist those currently living/working in Syria and Iraq. In addition, CHI is providing resources and funding for local institutions for efforts such as cleaning and removing debris and erecting temporary structures.
The presentation discussed ongoing CHI projects as well as general challenges faced when attempting to protect cultural heritage in conflict zones. Constant monitoring allows CHI to identify potential damages and share this information with conservation/preservation specialists in the area. These measures help prevent and decrease future damage to culturally rich sites and collections as well as helping to create standardized documents that can be used in other areas of conflict zones. CHI5
To learn more about CHI and the important work they are doing, please see:

44th Annual Meeting – Research and Technical Studies, May 17, "Binders and pigments used in traditional Aboriginal bark paintings” by Narayan Khandekar

This was the last talk I saw at the meeting and was a perfect way to wrap things up, with a travelogue-slash-fascinating research project on the materials and techniques of Aboriginal paintings from the northern part of Australia. Narayan traveled to various art centers and museums to look at and sample pre-1960s paintings, talk to artists and gather local materials. He took about 200 samples from 50 paintings (including some from Harvard’s collection), the oldest from circa 1878. He also obtained materials from artists working today, some of whom took him around to gather materials from local sources, including the beaches of Bathurst Island (part of the Tiwi Islands off the coast of the Northern Territories – thanks Google Maps!). Back at Harvard, he and his colleagues (co authors were Katherine Eremin, Daniel P. Kirby & Georgina Rayner) gathered information on pigments, binders and other materials present that may indicate previous treatments. Narayan pointed out that only two samples of similar paintings had been analyzed and published before, such that this study presents entirely new information.

Australia map

Of particular interest was the investigation into possible binders. Oral histories and documentary evidence recorded various possible binders, including turtle eggs and orchid mucilage, but it was generally thought that paintings made before the arrival of missionaries in the 1920s didn’t have binders at all (a similar question has been on my mind regarding the paintings made in the Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea). Binders were present in 77% of the samples analyzed. No proteins, waxes, fats or blood were detected. The analysis of the oldest paintings did reveal the presence of orchid juice, confirming that binders were in use that early. The techniques of using orchid mucilage could vary; the sticky juice could be mixed with the pigment, or laid down first before applying the pigments mixed in water.
As expected the pigments were largely ochres, and Narayan noted that the trace elements present in the samples provide a fingerprint that can in theory be used to begin to trace the occurrence of different ochres in different areas, but that more study and sampling is necessary to pursue this.

Colorful ochres on the beach

Other interesting findings included the use of dry cell batteries as a source for black manganese and zinc pigments on paintings from Groote Eylandt (yes a very great big island off the east coast of the Northern Territories); this area also shows the use of natural manganese-rich ores and charcoal for black pigments. A curious silver oil-resin paint on two paintings from the 1920s turned out to correlate with the roof repainting of a nearby lighthouse at the same time. The presence of DMP (dimethyl phthalate) in some paintings prior to 1957 resulted from the liberal use of insect repellent (FYI this is the main ingredient in Avon’s Skin-so-Soft; it fell out of use when DEET was invented). The presence of nitrocellulose on Groote Eylandt paintings was connected to records from the 1948 expedition suggesting that they had been consolidated with Duco.
As always, research continues, and Narayan mentioned that they would be looking further into the use of gums and of bloodwood, though I didn’t get down any details on that (I hadn’t actually planned to blog the talk, so apologies for any lacunae!). Also, I’m pretty sure there was a crocodile sighting mentioned, but that too didn’t make it into my notes, so here’s one of my favorites for good measure…

44th Annual Meeting – Saving and Preserving Family and Local History from Natural Disasters: Addressing Challenges from the Recent Earthquakes in Japan

This panel, presenting on the response to the tsunami in Japan in 2011, was composed of Masashi Amano, Kazuko Hioki, Tomoko Yasuda Ishimaru and Daishi Yoshihara. Drs. Amano and Yoshihara are both historians, and Ms. Yasuda is a conservator in private practice in Tokyo. Ms. Hioki is a conservator in the United States, and special thanks goes to her for her excellent translation during the question and answer sessions.
The presentations brought to light a number of interesting cultural differences that may be surprising to an audience from North America. The majority of public records (according to Dr. Yoshihara, the number may be as much as 90%) are held privately, rather than my public or governmental institution. This means that when a disaster occurs, it is often difficult to find out who is a stakeholder, what records are involved, or even where those records are. Often, historic sites contain records, but just as often records, historical and modern, can be found in attics and in community centers. This would include tax information, birth and death records and legal documents.
The prevalence of natural disasters in Japan makes creates another important It si very difficult for insurance companies, a very conservative business in Japan, to provide coverage in the event of a natural disaster. This means that public institutions and private collections cannot rely on the insurance industry to pay for recovery companies, and as a result, recovery companies have a much reduced presence in Japan. The end result is that, when natural disasters occur, Japanese individuals and institutions cannot rely on the same emergency response structure that we in North America.
The presenters spoke about their work helping disaster recovery after the 2011 tsunami, but much of their presentations focused on Shiryo-net (the Miyagi chapter which responded to the tsunami has an english language blog). Shiryo-net is a grassroots organization of historians and volunteers who respond to disasters specifically to deal with conservation issues, such as finding out where in a town records may be kept, rescuing those records, and performing triage treatment whenever possible. Shiryo-net formed after the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in 1995, and has grown to 24 regional chapters across Japan.
Since its inception, Shiryo-net has focused on saving those 90% of documents that are not in museums, libraries and archives. Its activities are entirely funded by membership dues and donations. The organization first came into contact with conservation on a more formal basis in the wake of a flood in Hyogo prefecture in 2004. During this disaster, they were able to work with conservators to develop first aid treatments that could be taught easily to volunteers, and the difficulties they encountered encouraged them to host workshops and become a center of volunteer training for conservation volunteers. When another flood occurred in Hyogo in 2009, the response was much quicker, and the level of care given to documents was much better. Shiryo-net is now an experienced organization, and focuses on leadership training and volunteer education as well as disaster response.
The second major focus of the talks given by the presenters was on Shiryo-net’s response to the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami. The obvious difficulties of working in a disaster area were present, as were the difficulties of working with a large, non-professional force. Over the course of the recovery, Shiryo-net worked with over 5,000 volunteers, and had to develop techniques for training, supplying and managing such a large and ever-changing population. Because of the scale and scope of the disaster, salvage operations were ongoing as much as three years after the disaster. Since the tsunami, Shiryo-net has rescued more 70,000 items, with at least 50,00 items still in storage waiting to be treated.
The presentation was informative and engaging. It was interesting to hear about the different challenges faced in a different country, and how those challenges have been met or overcome. I would like to thank the presenters again for being so forthcoming with their talk materials as I prepared this post.

44th Annual Meeting—Gap Filling for Ceramics Workshop

The Gap Filling for Ceramics workshop brought together conservators from various backgrounds to experiment while learning practical tips from Rachael Perkins Arenstein, Conservator at the Bible Lands Museum, and Elisheva Kamaisky, Head Ceramics Conservator at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem. The day passed quickly as the workshop was packed with PowerPoint presentations and hands-on activities with spackles, plaster, epoxy techniques suited to archaeological and fine arts contexts. Like many participants I took the class as an opportunity to learn from others and practice without the pressure of working on a museum object. Having focused on ceramics this year, I am familiar with the materials and techniques discussed, but I found it an opportune chance to break out of my familiar habits, review the properties and different reasons for choosing plaster versus bulked Paraloid B-72, for example, or ways of manipulating Milliput and refining plaster.

Elisheva Kamaisky demonstrating how she uses a balloon attached to the end of a plastic tube to create a backing inside a jug with a small neck and rim, which blocks easy access to the interior.

The program moved through the various stages of the filling process beginning with discussions of how to protect the surrounding surface from ghosting. For porous unglazed surfaces, common in archaeological contexts, Elisheva often uses masking tape or low-tack painter’s tape, pinching around the edges of fills to prevent the infiltration of plaster. Using tape is always evaluated on a case by case basis depending on the stability of the surface and its ability to withstand tape. Elisheva also showed different strategies she uses for backing of plaster fills, such as layering masking tape to conform to the shape of the ceramic, heated wax, and balloons.
My experimental flower pot generously broken and reassembled by Elisheva and Rachael. Here I have used masking tape to protect the edges and build a backing for fills.

Elisheva showing an example of a tinted plaster fill before drying

The class then discussed tips for mixing and refining plaster, such as how to use a rasp appropriately, when to begin shaving down a fill, and when to stop working it and allow it to dry for wiping down and sanding. Rachael talked about different uses for ready-made spackles and their different properties, pros and cons of using Modostuc, Flugger and PolyFilla. She also referred to different uses of Milliput and gave tips for how to refine it with water before it is dry. This I found particularly useful because refining as much as possible while it is still pliable saves an immense amount of time wasted with sanding or grinding excess material afterwards. I also found the discussion of problems related to B-72 fills helpful as Paraloid is not always easy to work with, and can be difficult to compact. At the end of the day I was very glad to have taken the workshop, and could tell that other participants felt the same as it was a great opportunity to discuss strategies, problems and challenges with conservators with a breadth of experience, and other conservators ranging from those in private practice, to museum conservators who brought expertise with other materials such as wood or stone. It was also a fun way to prepare for the conference, reminiscent of being in graduate school, and getting your hands dirty.

44th Annual Meeting – Objects-Wooden Artifacts Session, Monday 16 May 2016, "Decoys X-rayed: What Volume rad tomography and computed tomography contribute to technical study” by Nancy Ravenel

The Shelburne Museum in Vermont is home to a renowned collection of American wildfowl and fish decoys. During renovation of the Dorset House where the decoys are usually on display, Nancy Ravenel, Objects Conservator, had the opportunity to examine some decoys more in depth. In the process, she explored the pros and cons of two type of three-dimensional x-radiography: computed tomography (CT) and volume rad tomosynthesis (VolumeRAD – a GE Healthcare trademark). Since the museum does not have its own radiography capabilities and is located in rural Vermont, there was no access to industrial imaging resources. Instead, Ravenel explored how best to maximize the capabilities from the local medical community through collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center.
For this exploration of radiographic techniques, the decoys proved to be excellent patients since they are somewhat simple in construction, yet personalized between makers and specific when used for hunting versus collecting. As an added bonus, they are easy to transport to the medical center. Ravenel used the Barnes swan as a case study while she looked for a maker’s mark at the head / neck joint.

Right side of the Swan decoy, c. 1890 by Samuel Barnes. Formerly in Joel Barber's collection. Samuel Barnes, Swan Decoy, c. 1890 Collection of Shelburne Museum, 1952-192.4
Right side of the Swan decoy, c. 1890 by Samuel Barnes. Formerly in Joel Barber’s collection.
Samuel Barnes,
Swan Decoy, c. 1890
Collection of Shelburne Museum, 1952-192.4

With the CT scan, Ravenel found that the metal elements cause flares, which can be distracting. Beam hardening on the image was also apparent. Since CT scanning requires specialized equipment, it is harder to schedule causing limited availability. On the other hand, CT data offers 360 degree data with options for viewing in a variety of ways. Examples of CT imaging on two ducks in the Shelburne collection can be viewed here and here
In contrast, the VolumeRAD technique captures data with the same equipment as standard radiography offering better accessibility. It also requires less radiation so there is less impact on the image from beam hardening. Cons to the technique include that the data is non-isotropic, the edges are not distinct, and there are fewer options for how the data is viewed. Ravenel also pointed out that it collects data of a short depth, so she has to identify where the imaging should take place, otherwise the results can be fuzzy. This can require some trial and error.
Anterior posterior volume rad image of the joint between the neck and body, Swan decoy, c. 1890 by Samuel Barnes. Formerly in Joel Barber's collection. This image was taken at the University of Vermont Medical Center department of diagnostic radiology was part of a volume rad study of the joint between the neck and body of the decoy in order to locate a maker's mark thought to be within the joint. The technique takes a series of images at set angles, thus avoiding the effect of the fasteners in the joint between the head and neck. The numeral "III" scratched into the joint is easier to see in this technique than it was in a standard posterior-anterior view radiograph. Samuel Barnes, Swan Decoy, c. 1890 Collection of Shelburne Museum, 1952-192.4
Anterior posterior volume rad image of the joint between the neck and body, Swan decoy, c. 1890 by Samuel Barnes. Formerly in Joel Barber’s collection.
This image was taken at the University of Vermont Medical Center department of diagnostic radiology was part of a volume rad study of the joint between the neck and body of the decoy in order to locate a maker’s mark thought to be within the joint. The technique takes a series of images at set angles, thus avoiding the effect of the fasteners in the joint between the head and neck. The numeral “III” scratched into the joint is easier to see in this technique than it was in a standard posterior-anterior view radiograph.
Samuel Barnes,
Swan Decoy, c. 1890
Collection of Shelburne Museum, 1952-192.4

In the end, Ravenel felt that the VolumeRAD technique shows considerable promise and felt that she was better able to visualize the hollowing bit marks, dowels, and saw marks, which were all more distinct than in the CT scans. VolumeRAD, as a new technique, has considerable room for development and refinement.
An additional note beyond the presentation, there was some follow up discussion on viewing software. Ravenel noted in her presentation that she uses OsiriX, a DICOM viewer, for working with the data once back at the museum. An audience member pointed out that ImageJ is being widely used. Ravenel confirmed that she feels most comfortable with OsiriX and finds it to be more user friendly, while the audience member was quite happy with ImageJ and felt that it had deeper capabilities for the conservation community.
For more images of Shelburne decoys with radiographic images, visit their Flickr page here:

44th Annual Meeting – Objects/Wooden Artifacts Joint Session, May 16th, “A New Understanding of the Aging Characteristics of Asian Lacquer” by Marianne Webb

In this talk, Marianne Webb presented some findings from her ongoing research into the degradation of Asian lacquers.
She produced 11 different samples of lacquer formulated with Urushiol-based lacquer (sourced from Japan, China, and Korea), Laccol-based lacquers (from Vietnam or Taiwan), oil, and pigment. The sample boards were all prepared in the same manner, coated on both sides with raw lacquer, a layer with inert clay filler applied to both sides, and then ground smooth after drying in a wet box. The different lacquer formulations were then applied. The samples were artificially aged in a weather-ometer, exposing a new section of the sample each week for four weeks.
The degradation was evaluated using five factors: color, gloss, surface pH, autofluorescence, and microcracking.
Color – Fading was not a reliable assessment of degradation of black lacquer, but worked well for red lacquers. Microfadometer tests have placed red lacquers between Blue Wool 2 & 3, indicating that lacquer has similar light sensitivity to paper or textiles.
Gloss – Each sample had a different original gloss, with laccol on its own having less gloss than urushi, but becoming very glossy with the addition of oil. Transparent urushi retained its gloss well, but formulations with added oil lost a significant amount of gloss after aging.
Autofluorescence – chemical changes in lacquer seemed immediate once exposed to light (after 12 hours, the differences were obvious) but there is a maximum point at 1 week, then the autofluorescence decreases.
Surface pH –  The pH of lacquer doesn’t necessarily drop as it ages. Transparent lacquer seems to have the lowest pH after aging because the light can penetrate it and therefore it gets more light damage. There was not direct correlation between the amount of oil and pH after aging, but they generally had higher pH. After approximately 1 week the pH reaches a plateau and then after 3-4 weeks it goes back up. Clearly, lacquer’s pH does not have a linear relationship to aging. Disclaimer: All pH tests damage the surface of lacquer since they require water to solubilize degradation products, leaving a void.
Microcracking – All of the samples showed changes after exposure to light. The patterns were distinct and all different.
The level of detail in the investigations and results of the study was incredibly impressive. The study emphasized the number of factors that one should consider when approaching each individual piece of lacquer. The author also indicated a desire to investigate formulations with Thitsi lacquer (from Burma and Thailand) and the sudden fogging phenomenon sometimes observed when lacquer is exposed to heat and moisture in the future.

44th Annual Meeting & 42nd Annual Conference – Objects Session, May 17, 'Using Heat and Cold in the Treatment of a Lakota Winter Count,' Madeleine Neiman and Nancy Odegaard

Madeleine and Nancy presented a very interesting talk that shared their experiences using cold temperatures to achieve a specific treatment goal. Nancy began by introducing the object, a Lakota Winter Count. The object is one of a type of pictorial calendars that depict the history of the community and serve as a counting device. A historian would have been in charge of the count, naming years for remarkable events related to astronomy, the environment, or culture. Tribal keepers knew the name of the years, helping them to recall the oral history of the community.
The Lakota Winter Count that inspired this talk is from the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. At some point in the past, it had been folded so that the pictograph surface faced out. The interior surface had become stuck to itself, preventing the unfolding of the object. As the Heard Museum does not currently have a permanent conservation staff, the object was brought to the Arizona State Museum for treatment.
The primary goal of treatment was to unfold the count, enabling the viewer to see all of the pictographs at the same time. Additionally, there is bleeding, mold, darkening, and tears on the support. There was no history of fabrication or provenance associated with the object so the Arizona conservation team undertook documentation and investigation.
There are 121 pictographs on the non-coated side of the support that documents the years 1799 to 1918. The outlines are drawn in graphite and the limited additional pallette is consistent with other winter counts. These include two browns, a bright pink pastel, and blue and orange colored pencils. Specifically, the Heard winter count is very similar to a Long Soldier Winter Count at the NMAI. Sometimes, duplicates of counts were made for use or for sale, which could explain the similarities of the two pieces that cover roughly the same period. The Heard count is likely from a similar region in North Dakota.
The object was analyzed and the support was determined to be a piece of commercial oilcloth. FTIR showed the oilcloth coating is linseed oil and shellac. Fiber samples taken indicate that the fabric is cotton. This is consistent with commercial oilcloth produced in the late 19th, early 20th century; during this time period, commercial products began to replace local materials. Maker’s marks on the oilcloth identify the manufacturing company and Nancy and Madeleine shared contemporary advertisements, which demonstrated the prevalence of the product in the average household. The mark gives a terminus post quem of after 1901.
The fusing of the oil cloth to itself was likely due to ambient heat. A 1-2 cm opening along the edge was the maximum access before treatment. Dave Smith, conservation scientist at Arizona, was able to determine the glass transition period of the oilcloth coating is approximately 31⁰C. The average temperature in Arizona exceeds this from April to October, so the environment could have caused the shifting in the structure of the materials that led to the current sticking.
Madeleine undertook testing to explore options for opening the count. Organic solvents were not effective as the coating is cross-linked and now impervious. At this point, it was clear that whatever treatment was applied would be time consuming and invasive. The conservators asked the curators how crucial the treatment was to the object; however, the curators said that the current condition was fundamentally comprising the interpretation of the object as the chronological reading of the object was disrupted.
Knowing this, the conservators went back to the drawing board. Dave suggested considering cold temperatures, because polymers are long chain molecules whose movements are highly linked to temperature. If the temperature is below the Tg, then the polymers can no longer stretch and instead cleave, allowing for the two sides to be separated. Conservators tried compressed cooled CO2 gas, which was not effective. Similarly, overall freezing works at first, but the object warmed up too quickly for this to be viable for treating the whole object. Next, they used a Peltier cooler to apply repeated cold in a smaller area. The team worked to retrofit a USB beverage chiller to be able to consistently apply a 5⁰C. This system was used by applying the cooling plate to oilcloth surface for three minutes, then lifting the device so that Madeleine could use a stainless steel spatula to cleave small sections of the cloth from the opposite surface. She continued in this way for three months, working on the project for portions of each day.
After the cloth was opened, treatment turned to the tears, some of which appear to be linked to earlier attempts to force open the oilcloth. Stitching the tears was not viable because there was no safe place to secure the tears given the nature of the oilcloth. Adhesive backings also were not expected to be successful, as they would likely curl away from the coated surface over time. Instead, Madeleine found that by applying granules of textile welding powder to individual warps and wefts, she could control her mends and allow for a degree of reversibility. This process required four steps: relax the creases using Gortex, Dartex, and weights; pull misaligned fibers back into place; reweave fibers where possible; and, apply the granules of adhesive. The granules were heated in situ to a temperature at which they began to soften but did not completely solubilize, so that individual granules could then be mechanically removed if necessary. In some places, a secondary support was added where there were not enough wefts or warps. Small pieces of Remay were torn to the right shape, toned with dilute acrylics, dusted with the welding powder, and heated between silicone release paper in place.
Thus, the treatment presented benefited from the use of both low heat and cold temperatures. It was highly time intensive; however, this was considered justifiable as the object was a special project. The speakers also encouraged conservators to consider the use of cold for other treatment applications, as it seems to be underexplored when compared to higher temperatures.  
After the presentation, one question was asked:

  1. Q: Why did they not just heat the oilcloth coating to past the glass transition temperature? A: Doing this would likely have caused the cloth to become more sticky, more bonder, and more flexible. When the polymers are cold, they want to break due to the brittleness. The weakest point of contact in this case was with the other side, so cleaving the polymers facilitated the treatment goal.

This post was written from my personal notes, which may contain errors or inaccurately represent the author’s original intentions.