Volume 9, Number 3, Sept 1987, pp.11-13

Technical Exchange

Chris Stavroudis, column editor

Become an Advanced Restorer in Three Months

Anyone may enroll; it only costs $10,000; and you get to study in Toulouse, France, in the heart of one of France's most famous historical and gourmet regions. Euro-Marketing Consultants, Inc. (500 Davis St., Suite 600, Evanston, IL 60201, 312/864-3344) makes it all possible. Two other names appear on the advertising brochure, by implication sharing the pleasure and responsibility of introducing the brochure recipient to "the old world methods of art and antique restoration": Air France and Catala d'Or. Here are some excerpts:

We offer a wide variety of training programs and topics allowing you to become familiar with areas usually reserved for a few experts. This program is intended for everyone: novices who want to know more about art and antiques, skilled professionals who desire to deepen their expertise, as well as those of you who intend to start a career in art restoration.

Two levels are being offered:

General level: Learn how to identify styles, materials, tools, recognize a good restoration from a bad one, a real antique from a reproduction. Learn how to estimate the value of an antique. Basic hands on training and the opportunity to carry out your own restoration. Course length: One month. Advanced level: In-depth training in all aspects of restoration. Training on actual pieces of the French National Museums. Course length: Two months.

Three programs are being offered: Wood restoration, Graphic Arts restoration and Porcelain restoration.

One wonders how much the course organizers know. They classified terra cotta, stoneware and crockery under "porcelain."

Ellen McCrady
The Abbey Newsletter; June 1987, v.11 #4
Reprinted with permission.

Pellon 910

Editor's note: Contributor Susana Zubiate declined to have this item placed in the online version of "Technical Exchange." Please see the print version of the newsletter.

Wisconsin Wood Study

The University of Wisconsin, Madison and the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory are conducting a joint study on the chemical and physical properties that change in wood during aging. The project seeks donations of 20 gram (as a minimum) samples of archaeological and old wood from a range of environmental settings. Information should be provided on the environment from which the sample was removed. For information contact: Cassia Freedland, Graduate Student, Wood Surface Chemistry and Property Enhancement, U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, 1 Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53705-2398, (608) 264-5814.

from: US/ICOMOS Newsletter V. 8, no. 5 (July 1987).

A Traditional Approach to Cleaning Lacquer

In April, 1987, Mutsumi and Misako Suzuki of Kyoto, Japan visited the conservation lab of the Asian Art Museum to demonstrate their methods of making and decorating lacquer in conjunction with preparations for an exhibition of recent Japanese lacquers at the museum. During their stay, they reviewed a traditional method of polishing lacquer that could be summarized as follows: After dusting the surface to remove any grime, less than a drop of vegetable oil was spread over a 4" square soft cotton cloth which was used to polish the interior and exterior of a small bowl. A dark grey discoloration was removed. Next, less than a drop of water was spread over a second 4" square soft cotton cloth and the bowl was again polished. A reddish grey discoloration was removed. Finally, a small amount of gilder's whiting (calcium carbonate, a traditional French furniture polishing material) was spread over a third 4" square cloth, and the surface was polished to a high luster. A light grey discoloration was removed. We used a slight variation of this procedure on ten pieces of a lacquer dining set, with good results. An additional part of the set has been set aside without any cleaning, as a control for future comparison with our cleaned pieces. It is hoped that the results of this treatment can be presented at a future art conservation meeting.

In conjunction with the "Later Japanese Lacquers" Exhibition (18 July 15 November 1987), Barbara Roberts, Conservator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, The J. Paul Getty Museum, will give a free public lecture, "Preserving Fragility: A Conservator's View of Japanese Urushi (Lacquers)", at 8 p.m., August 26 in the Trustees Auditorium, Asian Art Museum. This lecture is jointly sponsored by the Asian Art Museum and the Society for Asian Art.

Conservation Department Asian Art Museum

Silicone Coated and Uncoated Polyester Film

FLEXcon Company, Inc. is a world wide supplier of acid free silicone coated and non coated polyester film. [Mylar is a duPont trademark polyester film.] Nonsilicone coated polyester is available in 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 mil thicknesses in widths of 55 1/2 to 57 inches, depending on the thickness, priced $0.29-$5.10/yard. Single side silicone coated polyesters are available in 1.5, 2, and 4 mil thicknesses in 56 inch wide rolls and are priced $1.31-$2.18/yard. Any thickness above 4 mil can be sheeted or slit. [Minimum order, last I checked, was 50 yards or 100 sheets. -Ed] For samples or information contact:

Dick Mann
Director International Operations
FLEXcon Company, Inc.
Flexcon Industrial Park
Spencer, MA 01562 (617) 885-3973


Benchmark has designed an easy to use, professional line of bookmounts. The Butterfly Bookmount consists of Plexiglas book support-plates hinged to telescoping brass legs, a configuration which permits the book to be opened at any angle. There are two basic styles, Horizontal, for showing books parallel to the display surface, and Upright, for showing books at an angle 40 degrees off a flat deck or shelf. For more information:

Rosemont, NJ 08556
(609) 397-1131

Tensor Expansion Corner

Preservation Help (pH) announced they are supplying the Tensor expansion corner, imported from Italy. The device can be installed on original stretcher bars to mechanically expand the corners, keeping the paintings taut. The hardware conforms to almost any shaped stretcher bar. For more information contact:

Preservation Help
Meghan Williams
P.O. Box 2364
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
(805) 564-3438
Conservation Materials Ltd.
Box 2884
340 Freeport Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89431
(702) 331-0582

New Sales Office

Paper Technologies, Inc. announce the opening of their new sales office in Mission Viejo, California. Paper Technologies supplies an extensive range of high quality papers, paperboards, and conservation products. They also carry Tensor expanding corners for paintings.

Paper Technologies, Inc. 25801 Obrero, Suite 4
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(714) 768-7497

Padded Hangers

Conservators at the Museum of Church History and Art have discovered a quick method to make custom padded hangers for the storage of women's clothing. Wire adolescent hangers are padded with polyester batting and then wrapped with strips of stretchy cotton knit. A hanger can be made in 5 to 7 minutes. More information can be provided if anyone is interested.

Sharon Odekirk
Museum of Church History and Art
45 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

Mural Conservancy

The Los Angeles Mural Conservancy has been created to help maintain and preserve the public mural heritage of Los Angeles. The conservancy can be contacted by mail at:

Visual Artists Guild--L.A. Mural Conservancy
P.O. Box 876078
Los Angeles, CA 90087-1178

Patterns for Historical Costumes

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) offers patterns for historical costumes. These patterns are copies of historical garments and prices range between $2.95 (for a pattern of a sun bonnet ca. 1860) and $16.75 (for a pattern of a day dress, ca. 1880).

Order/Billing Department
172 Second Avenue North, Suite 102
Nashville, TN 37201 or order by phone (615) 255-2971.


An Olympus Polarizing Microscope with eye-pieces, interchangeable objectives, Kohler illumination, and case is being offered for sale. Suitable for microchemical testing and morphological analysis. For more information, contact:

Gloria Fraser Giffords
(602) 749-4070.

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