Glue and pizza
Since we have mostly been focused on consolidating the canvas these past days, we now had to work on the finer details. Some paint flakes are really hard to fix with the airbrush. We therefore consolidate some of them manually. With the help of Japanese tissue, laid carefully on top of the paint layer, we applied Methocel A4C from above with a brush. This was then gently pushed through the paper with a rubber color shaper. Methocel is a cellulose based glue and remains on the surface. It is therefore a useful product when attaching loose paint flakes onto the canvas again. The Japanese paper also protects the paint layer from possible damage by conservation tools.
Another option when consolidating paint flakes is to gently apply sturgeon glue with a brush under each individual flake. The canvas needs to be pre-wetted with a mixture of water and ethanol (50:50). This lowers the surface tension and helps the glue penetrate the paint layer and the canvas. Finally, the loose paint flakes are secured with a color shaper.
We also reactivated the animal glue which was used to glue the extended parts of the border edges. In some areas, the glue is no longer active. However, it can be reactivated. This we accomplished by putting blotting paper wetted with warm water in between two layers of Sympatex. This is then cut to size and the Sympatex sandwich is slipped between the canvas layers that need reattaching. Weights were placed on top for 15 minutes after which the Sympatex sandwich was removed. The weights were put in place again and left overnight to secure a good bond.
Lunch was a highlight today: We had pizza! The staff of the historical collections joined us for lunch and treated us with different kinds of pizza, even a gluten free one. We enjoyed it a lot and had a nice time. Thank you!