Structural repair of plaster sculpture using polyvinyl butyral resin

L. H. (Hugh) Shockey Jr.


This article will focus on the design and use of an adhesive system for the structural repair of plaster sculpture. The parameters influencing adhesive system design and the choice of polyvinyl butyral resins as a consolidant will be explored, including methods for dealing with prior adhesive repairs, the issue of plaster’s structural strength, controlled reversibility, and planned stress relief. These topics will be illustrated through the presentation of a case study of the treatment and retreatment of a painted plaster sculpture over the course of 10 years. The information presented will be applicable to the treatments of conservators working with plaster in a variety of formats, including hollow cast, solid cast, modeled, and architectural applications.

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2017 | Chicago | Volume 24