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Subject: Workshop on pigment identification

Workshop on pigment identification

From: Joseph G. Barabe <jbarabe>
Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The College of Microscopy is pleased to offer a Special Applications
course in paint materials identification for conservation
professionals in paintings and architecture,

    COM420: Microscopical Identification of Pigments for Art
    Conservation and Architectural Restoration Professionals

The focus of this course is the identification of pigments using
polarized-light microscopy (PLM). A practical introduction to PLM
methods is taught using many examples from the world of pigments. A
more thorough treatment of PLM theory and principles is covered in
the polarized light microscopy course.

This course also introduces students to other analytical methods
used as confirmatory methods; these include microchemical methods,
elemental characterization using XRF or SEM/EDS, XRD, Raman, and
infrared spectroscopy. The students examine and sample paintings and
architectural artifacts, prepare specimens for analysis, perform PLM
analysis, and direct or perform further confirmatory analyses.
Methods for characterization of binding media and support canvas
materials are also discussed.

Course Outline

    Basic principles of stereomicroscopy including coaxial, oblique,
    and ring light illumination techniques used for inspection and
    recording of paint samples. Students will use the Olympus SZX12

    Examining and sampling paintings and architectural materials,
    specimen preparation for PLM, and other analytical techniques

    Mechanical and optical microscope alignment for optimal
    illumination considerations and a micrometry exercise. Students
    will use the Olympus BX51 polarized-light microscope

    Determination of particle morphology, color absorption, and
    other characteristics

    The principles of plane-polarized light with hands-on exercises
    on how to perform refractive index measurements, observations of
    color, and pleochroism

    The principles of crossed-polarized light with hands-on
    exercises determining isotropic vs. anisotropic, birefringence
    using the Michel-Levy Interference Color Chart, and qualitative
    extinction positions of particles

    Survey of artist's pigments

    Introduction to canvas fiber analysis

    Sampling architectural materials

    Confirmatory methods: microchemical tests, EDS, FTIR, and Raman

What You Will Learn:

    How to sample paintings and architectural materials
    How to identify artist's pigments
    Polarized light microscopy (Olympus BX51 microscopes and SZX12
    Canvas fiber analysis

Who Should Enroll: Everyone with the need for problem solving using
polarized light microscopy, including: Conservators, Archeologists,
Color Scientists

Student Learning Resources:

    Detailed course manual including John Gustav Delly's new book,
        Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy
    Olympus BX51 microscope for each student
    Olympus SZX12 stereomicroscopes for each student

Suggested Prerequisites:

    Familiarity with paints and pigments
    Familiarity with polarized light microscopy concepts is helpful

Satisfactory Completion Requirements: Students are expected to
successfully complete a variety of tasks related to the material
presented in the course. These tasks will be in the form of hands-on
exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and
quizzes. In addition, the students are required to have 100%
attendance during the course, participate in class, and complete a
student evaluation form.

Dates, Times, and Pricing:

December 3-7, 2007
Mon-Thu: 8am - 5pm
Fri 8am - Noon

Register online at <URL:>

Member Discount The American Institute for Conservation of Historic
and Artistic Works (AIC) is providing financial support for AIC
members who register for this course. The cost for AIC members with
current membership is $750. To register and receive the AIC discount
for this course, please call the Registrar at 630-887-7100.


    College of Microscopy
    850 Pasquinelli Drive
    Westmont, Illinois 60559
    Fax: 630-887-7417

Joseph G. Barabe
Senior Research Microscopist
Director of Scientific Imaging
McCrone Associates, Inc.
850 Pasquinelli Drive
Westmont, IL 60559-5539 USA
Fax: 630-887-7147

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:23
                Distributed: Sunday, September 23, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-23-017
Received on Wednesday, 19 September, 2007

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