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Subject: Support for large ceramic

Support for large ceramic

From: Marie Svoboda <msvoboda<-a>
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2005
Naoko Fukumaru <naokofukumaru [at] yahoo__com> writes

>We are currently planning to de-install a large 320 BC ceramic
>volute krater (120.0cm x 70.0cm) from the Greek and Roman gallery at
>the Detroit Institute of Arts for conservation. The krater was
>broken into many fragments and poorly restored. We are looking for a
>safe way to transport it to the conservation lab, which is located
>to in the same building, as well as safe method to disassemble
>krater. ...

A method I am familiar with for protecting a fragile and very large
ceramic vessel (as well as securing fragile cartonnage) during
transport, primarily from abrasion but it would also provide
structural support, was by wrapping the exterior of the object using
large strips of Teflon (3-12" wide).  The Teflon acts as a soft,
non-abrasive bandage. You have to be sure to overlap and add enough
layers so the vessel is evenly covered and secure.  If this krater
is so poorly restored that you fear it might collapse inward, you
should also fill the interior with padding.

For example: line the inside of the krater with de-stressed Tyvek
then pour non-static pelspan (loose fill) or use pre-made bags (soft
like de-stressed Tyvek) and pour the pelspan in.  Another option is
to line the inside with a soft material and put in a rolled up piece
of Volara foam, allowing it to gently expand inside (several pieces
in different areas should provide gentle outward pressure). This
should enable handling and placement of the krater in a large box or
crate for transport.  Using foam in the box to contour the exterior
of the krater will further protect it during transport.

The large strips of Teflon can be purchased in a 10 lb roll 12 inch
wide through Coltec Industries, Plastomer Products Division
215-968-5011 or through McMaster-Carr

A helpful article:

    Maya Elston and Catherine Atkinson "Re-treatment of a ceramic
    red-figure south Italian pelike"
    by Maya Elston and Catherine Atkinson
    in Triennial meeting (12th), Lyon, 29 August - 3 September 1999:
    preprints. Vol. 2

Hope this helps.

Marie Svoboda
Associate Conservator
Antiquities Conservation


Rita Gomez
Lead Preparator
J. Paul Getty Museum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:54
                   Distributed: Friday, May 20, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-54-007
Received on Thursday, 19 May, 2005

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