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Subject: Marking ceramics

Marking ceramics

From: Stephen Koob <koobsp>
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002
Georgia Fox <gfox [at] csuchico__edu> writes

>Over the years, in writing accession and artifact numbers on
>ceramics and other objects, I have tried using Acryloid B-72 in
>acetone both from my own lab and even the commercially prepared
>variety, but when applying the B-72 over the India ink numbers, the
>ink still smears.  Has anyone found a good formula that keeps the
>ink from smearing?  Is methanol a better base for the B-72  Any
>recommendations?  Many thanks in advance.

I would not use the commercially prepared B-72 for this application.
The National Parks Service published a very useful _Conserve O Gram_
in July 1993 (Number 1/4), titled "Use of Acryloid B-72 Lacquer For
Labeling Museum Objects".  They recommend a 25% (by weight) of B-72
in acetone; or if you need a white lacquer, add titanium dioxide and
.01% toluene (which is 1/10th of what is commonly found in nail

I have made up various mixtures, and 20-30% is a good guideline. The
NPS added the toluene to keep the titanium dioxide in suspension,
but if your lacquer is drying too quickly, you can substitute other
slow evaporating solvents (e.g., amyl acetate, ethyl acetate,
xylene) instead of toluene, but again, you don't need very much, or
your lacquer will remain sticky for too long. Just a few drops (or
.01%) is usually sufficient.  Make up a large batch and keep it in a
well-sealed container, and for application, use old, cleaned-out
fingernail polish jars (which have the advantage that they have a
nice brush!).

Keep in mind that you will occasionally need to add some acetone,
owing to evaporation.  That you will have to do by eye/feel.

Stephen Koob
The Corning Museum of Glass
One Museum Way
Corning, NY 14830
Fax: 607-974-8470

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:9
                   Distributed: Monday, July 29, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-9-008
Received on Thursday, 25 July, 2002

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