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Subject: Soot


From: Jane D. Ketcham <ketcham>
Date: Friday, August 16, 1996
This is a follow up on the query by Robien van Gulik and discussion
by Barbara Appelbaum a few sessions back, on experiences with soot
removal. At the 1991 annual conference of the IIC-Canadian Group,
two papers were presented by conservators who had been involved in
cleaning the collections at the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural
History after a particularly sooty fire. Sarah Spafford and Fiona
Graham were the primary authors. Both, I believe, ended up leaving
the museum after what was apparently a quite awful experience. They
detailed a number of techniques that were used in cleaning a wide
variety of materials. An abstract of their paper is published in the
"Abstracts of the 17th Annual IIC-CG Conference, Vancouver, British
Columbia, 24-26 May 1991". I believe they also had a full text
available through the authors.

One particular technique they mentioned was a traditional
taxidermists' trick of using owl feathers to brush furs and
taxidermy mounts. I wondered about the "magical" properties of owl
feathers until I was reading a little book about owls which
explained that the ends of the barbs of their flight feathers end in
unique downy tufts, rather than stiff hooklets. This allows the
birds to fly with less air friction, and thus silently, and provides
the taxidermist with a fine and delicate brush.

Jane Ketcham
11236 S. Co. Rd. K
Beloit, WI.  53511

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:20
                 Distributed: Tuesday, August 20, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-20-003
Received on Friday, 16 August, 1996

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