Cooking fish bladder

Our polish professor Elzbieta Szmit-Naud from the Nicolaus Copernicus University arrived yesterday.  She is a specialist in conservation of the theatre scenery.

The group of students are divided into two teams, working on separate borders. The groups communicate regularly with each other, sharing information about damages and exchanging ideas about how we may treat the objects.

On the photo below, both groups are lifting one of the borders in order to take a closer look on the reverse side of the batten. This border has puzzled us. The canvas seems to have been stripped from the original nails and then refastened to the batten in a rather awkward way. For some reason, the canvas was refixed more to the left side, and the excess of the canvas was rolled over the left end of the batten. When was it done, who did it and why did they do it? This are the kinds of questions we pose ourselves when discussing the choice of conservation treatment.

Fig. 1 Moving the border


At the end of the day, Naja-Anissa Staats from the University of Cologne gave a short lecture on possible ways of dealing with water stains, accompanied by a demonstration of the tests she has been conducting throughout the week. Some of the students have also prepared a 1 % sturgeon glue. Sturgeon glue is made by dissolving some dried inner membrane of the bladder of the fish in distilled water by slowly heating it to 60◦ C . This mixture we are planning to use as a consolidant for the paint layers and will be applied with an airbrush.  


Fig. 2 Preparing the sturgeon glue


Back at the fort, we are keeping to vegetarian meals, at least in the evenings. This time it was Chili Sin Carne and a vegan cake, made by Naja-Anissa Staats, who unfortunately is leaving us on Saturday.

By Olga Dudygina
Published Aug. 11, 2017 1:28 PM - Last modified Aug. 11, 2017 1:28 PM