Rainstorms and Consolidants
We were caught by a rainstorm while walking down to the theatre in the morning. We were drenched and our wet clothes were hung to dry in front of all the heaters in the storage.
The day continued then with an informative lecture by polish conservator dr Elzbieta Szmit-Naut about a selection of baroque theatre sceneries in Europe that she has visited and studied. She gave an overview of their contents, structure and painting techniques, whether they were conserved and how they were exhibited. After the lecture it was back to work.
During the open day on Sunday, the wing group continued working on side wing number 005 and completed the first part of the protective backing. Other areas of the wing were cleaned and minor holes repaired. Holes are mended using threads impregnated with a glue that is activated by applying a heated spatula. This very time-consuming technique requires a lot of precision.
Simultaneously, work commenced on wing number 006. It is not as old as the other wings, has just ne layer of paint and is made with a different type of canvas. This means that it might need a different treatment than the other wings. A series of consolidation tests was undertaken to decide if consolidation is necessary, and what is the best method.
An airbrush was used to apply different consolidant test solutions. The consolidants tested were: Paraloid B-72 in two different concentrations, sturgeon glue in a 0,5% solution, Methocel A4C in isopropanol and water in a very low concentration, and Methocel A4C in ethanol and water in three different concentrations. Tomorrow, we will get a chance to evaluate the results after the solvents have fully evaporated.