JAIC 1998, Volume 37, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 89 to 110)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1998, Volume 37, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 89 to 110)




Techniques of loss compensation for stone may be divided into two general classes: replacement and plastic repair.1 A replacement may fill the loss with a newly carved stone element or some other discrete modeled material that is adhered into place. Plastic repairs use a pliable material that hardens in place and thus adheres itself to the substrate while filling the void of the loss. The choice between the two classes is based on factors such as the size of the loss, resources available, and context. A large or protruding loss would be difficult to fill with anything other than a discrete replacement element, while local damage may require a plastic fill. Resources of time, money, and expertise must also be considered when choosing between repair and replacement. Carving a new stone element may cost more in time and materials than a budget allows. If a repeated element is to be compensated, the most practical way may utilize cast multiples. If a stone carver is not available, replacement stone pieces may be difficult to fashion.

Historically, fitting a replacement stone piece into an area of loss was the primary mode of treatment. Today, plastic repairs are often the first choice as a compensation because their use allows preservation of all existing original material. Preparing the stone surface to receive a new addition traditionally requires planing of the break edges. While the planing of broken noses to accept marble replacements was routine in the past, such intervention is now considered excessively intrusive.

Copyright � 1998 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works