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Subject: Potting mix

Potting mix

From: David Stevenson <dstevenson<-a>
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014
In the next couple of months, we will be mounting an exhibit in
which it is proposed to include a large wooden sculpture/model that
is to be situated adjacent to a large pile (approximately 3 feet x 2
feet x 2 feet) of a soil-like potting mix containing: "a blend of
natural aged fir bark, aged redwood, aged chicken manure, earthworm
castings, bat guano and kelp meal".  This has been previously
exhibited elsewhere, in an almost-sealed Plexiglas case (apparently
the case was more for curatorial than conservation reasons).

As we don't normally exhibit large piles of this kind of organic
material in our galleries, this raises obvious concerns about how it
might invite unwanted insects into our building and our collection.

Any specific experiences or preventive techniques that you could
share if you've openly exhibited large quantities of organic
material of a similar nature would be appreciated.  I will press for
a sealed Plexiglas case surrounding the dirt, but I cannot guarantee
that this will accord with the curatorial vision, so I am interested
in other techniques that will be equally effective, if they exist.

David Stevenson
Restaurateur
Conservator
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920, rue Baile
Montreal, Quebec H3H 2S6
514-939-7001 ext 1204
Fax: 514-939-7020


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:34
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-34-022
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 6 March, 2014

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