May 2000 Volume 22 Number 2

Technical Exchange

Monserreut LeMense, column editor

Wide Lining Fabric

For those conservators always on the look out for extra wide fabric, the French firm art et conservation makes a lovely linen-look polyester in a 224cm width, and a spectacular 320cm width. The wider width (unavailable for the past 8 months) is available as of May 1, 2000.

The canvas is made specifically for paintings conservators. It has all the qualities considered desirable in a lining fabric and is extremely pleasant to work with. The only real negative is the cost and bother of importing the fabric from France. A roll (224cm x 50 m) purchased in 1999 cost $1368; an added (and unexpected) expense arose when US customs insisted a Customhouse Broker be hired to pick up the fabric at the airport (in past years, it was delivered to our door without any problem). Broker fees came to around $235.

If this doesn't scare you away, contact art et conservation's helpful Secretary, Miss Favrel, and ask for a sample and literature. (English spoken, bad French tolerated).

SU112-211 AC221 320cm x 50m (10.5' x 164')

24002242 AC247 224cm x 50m (7.35' x 164')

33 av Trudaine
75009 Paris

Suede Snakes

Ever since reading the warning against using canvas weights filled with lead shot (in a past WAAC newsletter) the search has been on for a substitute. Our beloved snakes - 3" x 36" with a tab and a grommet for hanging - are constantly in use. The search got serious when 3 broke open over a two week period.

In desperation, we called the New Mexico Industries for the Blind, makers of those wonderful suede-covered "cow-pie" circle weights popular in Paper labs. Although they didn't carry weights in the shape or size we needed, they were kind enough to offer to do a custom job -- replacement snakes to our specifications. The new snakes are wonderful! Suede covered with an exterior seam, filled with steel not lead. They have a tab so we can "grommet" them and hang them just like the old ones. Price per snake came to about $20 with shipping. I encourage anyone with old canvas and lead weights to look into NMIB. New Mexico Industries for the Blind

fax:(505) 841-8850
tel:(505) 841-8844

Coroplast Inpainting Palettes

Coroplast scraps make terrific disposable inpainting palettes. If you're cutting backing boards or boxes, save the strips and corners. Cut them into roughly rectangular shapes. They're especially useful on-site but make terrific palettes in the studio too.

In Praise of G-10 for Counterlining

G-10 is an epoxy impregnated fiberglass sheet that has come into conservation use in the past 5 or 10 years. For those who haven't run across it yet, it's a thin flexible sheet, semi-translucent, greenish white in color. It makes a wonderful counter-lining for the very worst cases of quilting or multiple and severe complex tears. It's a great alternative to the dreaded solid support - a painting lined to G- 10 (with an intermediate fabric layer) feels and looks a bit like an old paste or glue lining.

G-10 can be cut with scissors to the size needed. The surface should be sanded for "tooth," and edges should be smoothed. It works very well with BEVA 371 and sheet Beva, and in some cases, it can work as a semi-translucent lining. Price runs about $20 a sheet (.020 x 36 x 48"). 48" x 96" sheets are also available.

Scott Blair of Conservation Support Systems is a good source for G-10.
fax: 1-805-682-2064
PO Box 91746
Santa Barbara, CA 93190-1746

Another source is:
Accurate Plastic, Inc
18 Morris Place
Yonkers, NY 10705
(914) 476-0700
(914) 476-0527
(Ask about the color of the G-10, it can be a horrific acid yellow).

Montserrat Le Mense

Solux Update

The first note about Solux appeared in the May 1997 issue of the Newsletter describing the 4700Kelvin (K) version. For those who do not know about SoLux, it is a light bulb that approximates the full color spectrum of natural daylight more accurately than any other light source.

SoLux is a 50 or 35 watt 12 Volt MR16 format bulb. SoLux is finding enthusiastic use in museums, stores, homes, and work places. Now there is a 3500K and a 4100K SoLux. All three color temperatures are available in four beam spreads (10, 17, 24, and 36 degree) and have virtually perfect color rendering abilities, (over 98 CRI with smooth spectral power distributions).

The 3500K SoLux was designed specifically for the art market and was used on the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Art and Los Angeles County Art Museum. The Van Gogh Museum (in Amsterdam) recently changed to 3500K SoLux bulbs. Numerous other museums have used SoLux as well (Rijksmuseum, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others).

The two reasons the 3500K SoLux gained such quick acceptance are 1) preservation and 2)presentation. The 3500K SoLux has extremely low UV output and its smooth spectral power distribution provides a presentation far superior to all others lights.

The 4100K SoLux also has extremely low UV, and some find it provides better presentation of more modern artworks. The 4700K SoLux is mostly used by those who do inpainting.

Fixtures for SoLux have also been developed. There is a task light fixture, a clip-on fixture, and a retrofit system for line voltage recessed fixtures and standard track fixtures.

The Task Lamp was specifically designed for the SoLux MR16 bulb, which is included. It features a frosted cover glass that spreads and softens the light and a 12 volt wall transformer. Its unique flexible design provides the user with an extremely wide range of motion. Base options: 1) desktop bases 2) rolling floor stand 3) floor stand. Color temperature options: 3500K, 4100K, or 4700K (all 36 degree).

The Clip-on takes the thermoplastic head from the Task Lamp and bonds it to a large clamp so that it can be remotely attached and provide light to a desk where space is at a premium. Like the Task Lamp, it features a frosted cover glass that spreads and softens the light and a 12 volt wall transformer (SoLux bulb included). Color temperature options: 3500K, 4100K, or 4700K (all 36 degree).

The Retro-system is a great way to allow a line voltage recessed fixture (the typical light can) to use a low voltage SoLux bulb (which is included). Within the Retro-system's extendable body is a 12-volt transformer that connects to a standard "screw-in" socket.

The wide range of tilt and rotation offered by the Retro-system makes it perfect for lighting art that is displayed on walls. (Far superior to "fish eye" trim on recessed fixtures.) It is available in black or white and with your choice of SoLux bulb. (I've been using one of these in a porcelain socket rigged on a rolling light stand for almost three years, still using the original bulb, 4700K. I've taken it on-site several times and even dropped it, to no ill effect. The light is indistinguishable from daylight and very pleasing. Ed.)

If you have any questions, please drop me a note or give me a call at 800-254-4487.

Thank you,
Philip Bradfield
Tailored Lighting Inc.
Email - soluxlamps@aol.com

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