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Subject: Preserving pumpkins

Preserving pumpkins

From: J. Claire Dean <clairedean>
Date: Friday, November 1, 1996
Cathleen Mook <cathy [at] lis__pitt__edu> writes

>I need to know if there is any way to
>preserve, for a relatively long period of time, carved Halloween
>pumpkins. Can they simply be dried? Freeze dried? Is there some sort
>of fixative?

When I was still working back home (in the UK), I did a lot of
freeze drying work on water logged archaeological material.

I too think that it would work, however, due to the high percentage
of water in the pumpkin "fabric", I suspect that simply freezing and
then freeze drying it could result in a great deal of distortion,
shrinkage and other three dimensional changes, resulting from the
loss of the water with nothing to replace it.  Some sort of
pre-treatment may be called for, although what exactly in this case
I am not sure.

Forgive me if I am missing something obvious on this, as it has been
a while since I last loaded one of those wonderful machines.
Thinking of all of those wonderful carved creations that have been
lost to the microbes over the years--a belated Happy Halloween to

Claire Dean
Dean & Associates Conservation Services
3438 NE 62nd Ave, Portland, Oregon.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:45
                Distributed: Thursday, November 7, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-45-020
Received on Friday, 1 November, 1996

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