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Subject: Permanent markers

Permanent markers

From: Hans-Christoph von Imhoff <xoph.von.imhoff<-a>
Date: Sunday, May 25, 2008
Meenakshi Devi <meenakshi2258 [at] yahoo__co__in> writes

>We would welcome any suggestions on the use of surface coatings for
>improving permanency and the qualities of permanent marker pens that
>have better permanency. Has anyone done any research on the life of
>drawings done in permanent marker?

I will only deal with the marker side of your problem. The life time
of drawings done in (permanent) marker depends not only on the
paper, but also very much on the interaction of the paper with the
marker due to both their composition and quality, as well as the
quality and type of the markers themselves.

There has been a huge study done on markers' stability on many
different--if not the bulk of--markers available at the time, done
by CCI's Ray Lafontaine some long years back, published in Studies
for Conservation (but just now I couldn't find it in any of the SiC
issues between 1972 and 2002).  I might be wrong remembering it as
having been published in SiC; it might be elsewhere--some reader
might remember it or you start looking in AATA.

    **** Moderator's comments: AATA mentions

        Lafontaine, Raymond H.
        The lightfastness of felt-tip pens.

        Journal of the International Institute for Conservation,
        Canadian Group 4, no. 1 (1978 Autumn), pp. 9-16 [English w.
        English + French summaries]. refs.

            "An evaluation was made of the lightfastness of 543
            felt-tip pens. The effect of filtering the ultraviolet
            radiation component from the light was evaluated as a
            possible method of preservation. A color change
            acceptability evaluation test was developed to provide
            the reader with criteria for interpreting the results."

Producers will have changed composition. New producers might have
come up with new approaches, but the problems wouldn't have changed
much so it might still be of interest to consult this substantial
and important paper.

I had a special interest in this research: being at the time head of
fine art conservation at the then Conservation department of federal
Canadian Historic Sites and Parks Service in Ottawa Ontario, Canada,
my department had been contacted by Art historian Helga Goetz, and
another federal department responsible for contact and artistic
consultations with the Canadian Inuit. In 1976, together with her,
my department initiated a condition survey of the 180,000 or so
mainly feltpen drawings of the Cape Dorset artists cooperative.
These drawing are mostly of unbelievable artistic quality; they were
each produced by the Inuit artists as proposal for stonecuts prints
or prints in other techniques. I wrote a report in view of their
conservation and future.

This project was later turned over to the McMichal Collection in
Kleinburg Ontario, close to Toronto, and realized by the then chief
conservator of this collection, Cathy Stewart <cathys<-a t->rom< . >on< . >ca>.
The project was finalised a few years ago; Cathy now is chief
conservator (the titles may be different today) of the ROM in
Toronto, Canada. I am somewhat out of touch with the subject, but
Cathy might be able to help you, as she was busy with all aspects of
this project over a long period, which means she's certainly more
up-to-date about also felt-tip analysis results, applications,
procedures and sources of information.

I haven't seen or heard of many other studies on the subject, nor do
I know of many other applications of preservation and conservation
procedures during projects of this kind. If you want to know more,
try to contact her; I'll be happy also to answer any questions you
might have, perhaps in direct contact.

Hans-Christoph von Imhoff
Strada principale 30
CH 7603 Vicosoprano
+41 81 834 0284
Fax: +41 81 834 0285

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:63
                   Distributed: Friday, May 30, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-63-003
Received on Sunday, 25 May, 2008

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