Cleaning day

Today there were a lot of things to do before we finally could start to consolidate the paint layers.

Cleaning is a necessary step before consolidating the paint layers. Without a thorough cleaning, one would also consolidate the dust onto the surface. This could cause a faster deterioration and could attract microorganisms. They just love dust. The paint layers are rather powdery and certain areas have a lot of loose paint flakes. Therefore, the dry-cleaning was done only in certain areas and with great caution. In the areas which were too fragile, we applied either Methocel A4C or sturgeon glue depending on the damage. This way we consolidated them before moving on with the cleaning.

The area that is rather difficult to reach is in between the canvas and the batten. For the cleaning of those areas, a soft and flexible bird’s feather was used.

In the morning, we started with a short lecture about the Baroque theatre sceneries in Europe given by Elzebiéta Szmit- Naud. The lecture consisted of the history of the theaters, their machinery and the sceneries themselves. We also learnt about the condition, older treatments, pigments and the binding media that were used at the time.

 
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Because of the Open Day on Sunday, we had to prepare our working spaces again before we could start with our treatments. During the Open Day one of the borders had been presented to the visitors using the storage cases as  a table. We therefore had to move it down to the floor again.

Next, each group started with the cleaning of the batten from which the borders are hanging. First we used a Hoover with low suction, lifting the dust from the canvas with a soft brush. Then we used pieces of smoke sponge to remove the remaining dirt. During the treatment, each person had to wear gloves and a dust mask. After finishing the batten, the paint layer was cleaned using only the Hoover and a soft brush.

 

Fig. 1 Removing dust with a feather.
By Alize Nowack and Lea Vieler
Published Aug. 15, 2017 5:09 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2017 5:09 PM