JBC: White Patriotic Jumper Treatment, Oil Paint 4


Our White Patriotic Jumper had treatment of his parts:
Treatment, Tail, Part I;
Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Treatment, Knees and Thighs, Treatment, Belly Split and Preparation for Finish Work.

The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client, Restore Oregon, can see the process from start to finish!

This post is about oil painting the Patriotic Jumper!


We left off with Patriotic at this level of color, above.

DAY 7

One problem with painting the horses is that the carvings are not consistent.  Above, you can see two different carvings, which makes a consistent painting difficult.

First coats on the hooves, above.

 

The calico corn gets a thick glaze that is worked into
the dents and lines,
then wiped off.

Interesting fact, that dent corn (which is the manner the corn was carved) is not a calico corn, but these horses were painted in this manner and we are following that pattern.

Finally our sunflower is looking like it should, and a second coat is placed on the blues.

DAY 8

Horseshoes get their silver coats…

… and silver is placed into the tail carvings for emphasis.

DAY 10

 

The red gets its second coat.

I painted the final coats
on the flag on the
anniversary of September 11, one of those days where
we know where we were
when we heard the news.


He is really beginning to look like he is complete…
But not quite!  Nose, ears, mussel… there is more!

Next post (when published), Patriotic is completed…

Follow us for updates on the happenings at the stable!

We will continue to take you behind the scenes!
Search “JBC” or “Jantzen Beach” in our search feature (right) for more posts.
To keep abreast of our post, follow us here or
on Instagram (@mpfconservation) or on Facebook !

 

Written by Kate Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, conservation techniques, Interim Report, painted objects, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dutch Ladderback Ca 1600

Edit, update: The chair featured in this article is very old. It was probably well into it’s use at the time Henry Hudson first made his way up the river which became his namesake.  It was originally a woven seat. It was never meant to be upholstered.  Once the die was cast, the first upholstering created untold damage to the old and fragile rails, and there was no
possibility of going back to its previous woven construction.

There are many things about this chair’s construction and materials which deserve defining and exploration.  In this brief article I only alluded to those particulars. That said, all the decisions made relative to materials and engineering were considered relative to the impact of the historic parts and the long term preservation of this historical, structural, decorative object.  Once tacks and staples were introduced to the foundational members the seat structure was evermore compromised, as we discuss. The lignum vitae side-rails were split making it impossible for them to withstand the shearing forces created by a woven seats tensions.

As the piece was to continue to grace a home (not a museum), I settled upon a plan of practical engineering which would allow for weight distribution to be spread over the surface of a cushion while also minimizing the impact of downward forces upon the historic structure.  Ultimately, almost all downward and oblique forces were removed from the fragile side rails and instead transferred to the newly fashioned front
and rear rails, floating plywood platform and goose down cushion. MRP

It started when our client noticed her family chair collapsed in the front.  Prior to the 20th century, this chair was a woven seagrass seat.  Someone decided to upholster it.  When we brought it in for treatment, we were not prepared for the “hack job” performed during its last  conversion.  A previous upholsterer used an old plywood sign to bridge
the aprons, and applied one piece of webbing to secure the platform, along with various nails and hardware.

When we fully and carefully excavated
the chair, we found both front and
back apron were terribly eroded by
beetle infestations.  The cause of the
collapse of the apron at the right-facing
leg to apron join was that a good deal
of the apron was missing.
Rather than repair the problem,
previous poor upholsterers had
continued with their “slap-dash” fixes,
this time using a single piece of
webbing to hold up the platform,
or seat deck. Also, the pressure of the
right-facing apron not holding its own weight caused the left-facing apron
mortice to pull down and split the
left-facing leg in multiple places.

Further, the lignum vitae siderails had been split along multiple radial lines
from prior successive indiscriminate applications of decorative nails.
Compounding these splintering breaks and voids fragmented sharp staples protruded from the surface and deep gouges to the surface from the sloppy use of previous upholsterer’s ripping chisels used during the removal of previous upholstery covers.

The first thing we did was to remove a gazillion staples and repair the damage previously created by many tack holes in the side aprons. Nail holes were filled with hide glue and hard picks were tapped into each.
This effectively fills the voids in the lingum vitae and creates a stronger side apron.  Due to
age and tight construction,
we elected not to disassemble and replace the siderails.

A Japanese saw  carefully cuts
the pins to the surface, and
these are gently sanded flat.


Old mortices were carefully bored of remnants of mortice and glues.

The centuries old chair was too fragile to be taken completely apart, so an innovative apron was designed to allow a new apron to slip into the space.  Having seldom seen this kind of response to the dilemma of age,
my parameters for the new aprons were:

  1. to lock or snap into place as
    the legs could not be splayed to
    insert a new apron,
  2. to conform to the original
    hand-shaped legs,
  3. to be no bigger than the slim
    profile of the original apron,
  4. and when all parts were in place,
    to be locked into position as
    a strong unified structure.

To that end I designed an interlocking tenoned bridge.
I used Eastern hard maple for both its slight surface crushing ability and its ability
to hold a tenon when kerfed.  For the kerfed bridge spline/tenon I chose
a thick sliced tangential grain rosewood with white oak locking pens.

Each new apron was made
of several pieces:

  1. Two hand-shaped
    Eastern hard maple
    parts to make each
    apron with Eastern hard maple dowel inserted
    into each end,
  2. A long locking tangential grain rosewood bridge,
  3. Two smaller locking
    center joints at the fulcrum, also of rosewood, top and bottom,
  4. Four hard white oak pins to unify the center joint.

Once assembled using hide glues and a mixture of gap-filling PVA,
the apron was stronger than the originals, and also beautiful.
I was sorry to have to cover it up!
The new design prosthetic accepted the upholstery perfectly.

In an ideal world the chair might have been returned to its original woven seat.

I did not want to place webbing around the side aprons as an additional seat support because of their modest connection (girth of tenons) and their previous mishandling by upholsterers.  I settled upon the structural bridge and attached the plywood to the
two new rails.  The original plywood signboard was actually a piece of
early 20th century ply, which was made of solid wood core instead of layered veneers.

The plywood was cut in the center to allow for a cushion drop, and furred out to accept foundational webbing.  This effectively dropped the center of gravity in the seat allowing for greater comfort during sitting once the fresh down cushion was installed.

Our client did not want a new silk showcover and asked us to utilize the existing show cover.  Our second problem was the previous upholsterers had cut the original silk seat deck show cover with NO extra margin beyond the eroded stapled edges — they had literally cut it to barely cover the edge of the desk.  The edges were tattered from the staples.  I used a second piece of silk to reinforce and allow for a new secure edge, and also cleaned up the tattered edges by overlocking the edges so they were no longer unraveling.

Hair and cotton batting to soften the edges, and the new deck
was placed onto the repaired seat with just enough room!

The previous cushion was replaced by a new handmade down cushion with baffles to keep the feathers from migrating.  I also reinforced the edges of the original show cover as the prior upholsterers had not overcast the edges, so the cushion silk would not unravel.
Note:  The shape of the cushion was not redesigned, just restuffed.
Now, as the cushion is sat upon the down will compress over time, allowing the sitter to not only drop into the seat properly, but will also insure that the sitter’s weight will now be evenly distributed over the entire chair’s structural surface, mitigating the potential destructive downward force upon the four hundred year old frame.

With a little bit of extra care by the owner and the careful choosing
of future upholsterers, this chair should grace their home for another century.

Before and after, with
and without cushion, above.

     

Written by Mitchell Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, art, conservation techniques, decorative motifs, Interim Report, painted objects, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

JBC: White Patriotic Jumper Treatment, Oil Paint 3


Our White Patriotic Jumper had treatment of his parts:
Treatment, Tail, Part I;
Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Treatment, Knees and Thighs, Treatment, Belly Split and Preparation for Finish Work.

The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client, Restore Oregon, can see the process from start to finish!

This post is about oil painting the Patriotic Jumper!


We left off with Patriotic at this level of color, above.

DAY 4


Patriotic Jumper finally got his tail attached!!

It was a luxury to be able to paint around the tail area with it missing,
but then the tail was ready to be attached: BIG day!

A trial fitting, and a happy day when all the measuring paid off and everything fit!

The hole was drilled for the screw on the back knee and tail tip.

A few adjustments for a snug fit were made at each end.
Patriotic will never be purposefully washed down or otherwise
doused with water again but in case of a leak or other catastrophe we want
a snug fit so no water can accumulate easily around the joints.

Adjustments completed, the tail was attached.
Mitchell drilled the hole for the screw that goes into the tenon at the top of the tail.
Hide glue was inserted into the mortise holes.

This actually set overnight to cure… So Day 4 stretched into the next day!

Morning the screw holes were plugged.
We want these to be barely visible (ghosted) so that they can be found.
IF the tail has to be removed in future the good news is the plugs can be found,
removed, the hide glue loosened, and the screws
removed for a proper repair instead of hammering nails!

The joint was sealed and carved as per the images from
Parker’s other horses and the ghosting of carving on Patriotic Jumper.


The tail before gesso, and after gesso.
Mitchell’s work on the two parts of the tail coming together was seamless —
there is no telltale (pun intended) line across the tail!

DAY 5


More coats on the saddle, including a stippled brown textural coating.

Kate added another white coat on the body.

Then Kate made a mistake, and painted the flower on the shield blue
— not a good idea!  It should be a sunny yellow…
She wiped it off and would paint over it in a couple of days.

DAY 6

After a bit of the “stubble” of stippled brown pain was knocked off,
the fourth red (glaze) coat on the saddle was applied.


We wanted the metals to look “real” — and Gamblin has wonderful metallic oil paints.
Kate mixed several paint colors to create this warm gold.  It was applied as if
hammered on anything that was large enough to show a texture.
Below, the gold on the shield and the flag stanchions.


Oh yes, sunny sunflower was much better!

The same deeper yellow was the second coat on the corn.
It may not seem like you can see these differing yellows,
but looking into a paint job several coats add to the complexity of a paint job.
The base coat on the stalks was applied.


Patriotic is looking like his final self now,
though many more coats and details will be applied.
See next Day 7 (when live.)

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Follow us for updates on the happenings at the stable!
We will continue to take you behind the scenes!
Search “JBC” or “Jantzen Beach” in our search feature (right) for more posts.
To keep abreast of our post, follow us here or
on Instagram (@mpfconservation) or on Facebook !

 

Written by Kate Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, conservation techniques, Interim Report, painted objects, pigments, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

JBC: White Patriotic Jumper Treatment, Oil Paint 2


Our White Patriotic Jumper had treatment of his parts:
Treatment, Tail, Part I;
Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Treatment, Knees and Thighs, and Treatment, Belly Split.
Patriotic was thoroughly Prepared for Finish Work,
and a base coat of Golden White Gesso was applied.

The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client, Restore Oregon, can see the process from start to finish!

This post is about oil painting the Patriotic Jumper!


We left Patriotic in this state of color, above.

DAY 3


The beginnings of his mouth and nose and ears… Pink!

The blue paint is mixed, and the first coat is applied.
Every part gets at least two coats, or an under coat and top coat on top of the gesso.

People think I am crazy to use small brushes, but using big brushes
means touch-up and cleanup, and I am fast with a small brush.
I use a big brush for big areas…
but for detail, it is much easier to use a half-inch flat or #8 or #10 round.

Patriotic is about to have his new tail, next post!

Follow us for updates on the happenings at the stable!
We will continue to take you behind the scenes!
Search “JBC” or “Jantzen Beach” in our search feature (right) for more posts.
To keep abreast of our post, follow us here or
on Instagram (@mpfconservation) or on Facebook !

 

Written by Kate Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, conservation techniques, Interim Report, painted objects, pigments, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yves Telemak Beaded Voudo Textile: Ezilí Dantor


This beaded sequined textile by Yves Telemak was one of
the most delightful projects I have worked on!
Intricate folk art, with thousands of sequins and pearls each with a tiny seed bead!
And the colors!  Modern art and folk art… so beautiful!

The back story of how our client came to own this lovely piece made me think about how art heals, and how you should pay attention when your heart wants a piece of art…
but that is her story to tell.  Suffice it to say that it came to her when she needed it,
an antidote to the work she was doing just out of school.

Ezilí Dantor or Erzulie Dantó is a senior spirit (loa) in Haitian Vodou.
She is a protector of mothers and women and children.
Her day of worship is Tuesday, and the solitary practice is
performed in front of an altar in blue, green and red.
Common offerings are créme de cacáo, jewels and perfumes.
Once a year (her birthday) there is a festival and a wild pig is roasted.

By the way, she is not the first Elizi Danto I had the pleasure to conserve;
I also cleaned and repaired Ken Ellis’s Embroidered Textile Art.

Of course, Elizi Danto reminds me of the Virgin Mary,
and is more in keeping with the ways I saw Her as I went to Mexican churches
in Southern California, where the Virgin was bright and lively,
not subdued as she is seen in many northern city churches.

The piece, by the famous artist Yves Telemak (see bottom),
was in excellent condition but had small rips, a few missing sequins,
many missing seed beads, and many many loose sequins and pearls.

My first step was to inspect the entire textile to assess problems.
Digital imaging has made this so easy — I inspect it thoroughly during assessment,
while also creating an estimate, and snap pictures as I find issues,
and then I can make sure I don’t forget it if it is not extremely obvious!
I prefer not to wear gloves because they make moving intricate parts difficult.
I frequently wash my hands of oils and I am now very good at not touching
my face or hair, picking up body oils in the process.
I also, unfortunately, cannot wear hand cream!


The threads used before were all types of different threads
with no discernible reasoning —  I used a relatively thin Gutenberg
thread and when necessary, a thin beading needle.

You can see the artists design marks under the beading.

Thankfully the biggest beads and sequins were all there, but for a few areas;
trying to match these sequins is horrendous.
I don’t have stashes of old sequins, and they do have to match perfectly.
Thankfully oOur client had saved beads when she found them.

Loose beads were carefully resecured.


In areas where they were missing, I loosened the surrounding sequins
and repositioned them to cover a hole.
The artist had cut many sequins in the shapes needed at the borders.


Some areas had it all:
missing sequins, loose beads and pearls.


This is a labor of love, literally.
When you estimate these jobs you never quite catch everything,
but when you begin removing and resecuring the beads, you find others,
and yes, I do it all at no further charge.  It has to be done!

Another example of everything in one area.

I had to find matching seed beads;
hat was not too difficult.  I had many of them in my stash!

After I finished the reparation I carefully vacuumed
the entire piece thoroughly through a HEPA filter.
Never before — it is too easy to pull a lose bead.
No wet cleaning was necessary.

I do not write a thorough documentation unless it is paid for
but I pick a few areas and image those for our clients, always.

About the artist, Yves Telemak:

“While still in his thirties, a relatively young age for an established artist,
Yves Telemak became a prominent member of the famous “Bel-Air school”
of flag-makers. The son of a respected vodou priest, Yves began his career
by working as an assistant in the atilye (atelier) of the Bel-Air flagmaker
Joseph “Boss To” Fortine. After learning the craft from “Boss To”,
Yves ventured out on his own. Eager to design drapo Vodou that
expressed his personal artistic vision, Yves transformed a room in his family
compound into a small workshop and began making flags.
Like most premiere flagmakers, Yves makes drapo for Vodou societies,
but the vast majority are sold to tourists and art collectors.
The central motifs of his works are inspired by the religious traditions of his family, suggested by friends and acquaintances, or based on popular images
culled from magazines and tourist brochures. Brilliantly expanding
upon the distinctive styles employed by the Bel-air artists with whom he trained,
Yves’ complex geometric patterns and wide polychromatic borders make
his work the most readily identifiable of any contemporary flagmaker.”

From Haitian Vodou Flags by Patrick Arthur Polk,
University Press of Mississippi, 1997.

 ©MPF Conservation.  May be printed for your own use ONLY,
not for use on blogs without permission.

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JBC: White Patriotic Jumper Treatment, Oil Paint 1


Our White Patriotic Jumper had treatment of his parts:
Treatment, Tail, Part I;
Treatment, Tail, Part II, Treatment, Tail, Part III,
Treatment, Knees and Thighs, and Treatment, Belly Split.
Patriotic was thoroughly Prepared for Finish Work,
and a base coat of Golden White Gesso was applied.

The White Patriotic Jumper is a sample treatment,
so our client, Restore Oregon, can see the process from start to finish!


This post is about oil painting the Patriotic Jumper!

Remember, his tail was added after base coats!

DAY 1

 

Undercoats or first coats.

A warm leather color so when the top wears off the undercoat will begin to show.

White paint, layers of white paint.

The days are not consecutive —
bottom layers have to dry before
another coat is applied.

 

 

DAY 2

Saddle, red trims, silver medallion and the yellow undercoat for the corn.

Mixing was done and notes were kept.
The oil paint went into tubes so I had extra for touchup or another horse.

Anything can apply paint!  Toothbrush was for splatters.
I wanted a bright coat on top of the leather coat, then splatters of the darker red.
Again, saddles wear, and this red, as it wears, will wear in an interesting manner.

I tented the horse for the splatters.  I will be adding many white coats
but it still is a good idea not to have to paint over or remove a color.


Tenting gone.


Red trim first coat, is applied.

Then the yellow undercoat for the corn.

Finally, the silver on the medallion.

Oh yes, another white coat around legs and large areas!

Next, Day 3, will be posted Friday!

Follow us for updates on the happenings at the stable!
We will continue to take you behind the scenes!
Search “JBC” or “Jantzen Beach” in our search feature (right) for more posts.
To keep abreast of our post, follow us here or
on Instagram (@mpfconservation) or on Facebook !

 

Written by Kate Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, conservation techniques, Interim Report, painted objects, pigments, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Louis XIV Chest, 3, Veneer and Finish


We move now to Veneers and Finish!

Previous posts on the Louis XIV chest can be found:
1, Woodworking; and 2, Pest Infestations.

Veneer for amendments was created by MPFC ahead of time for the project,
as it was thicker than veneer made today.  It was cut from old stock,
and finished using traditional pure shellac created in the studio with no fillers.


As a teaser, before and after treatment, above.

The chest was covered with beautiful marquetry, but the thick veneer
was lifting, cracked, and sometimes missing altogether.
Our clients wanted the veneer resecured, and larger pieces of missing veneer replaced.  Smaller areas might be treated using shellac burnins and/or hard wax fills.

Some smaller areas could be easily reglued using a hypodermic needle
and warmed Old Brown Glue (pure hide glue.)  However, larger areas where
veneers had slightly warped needed a more secure gluing system, below.

Many large original veneer areas were loose and required an innovative support
to cure flat as there was no way to clamp on the backside.
A backing was built for the chest, shown above and below, right.
In a long day, Mitchell wanted to glue down all the major loose veneer areas.

Veneer was gently lifted (not pried,
as it was loose),and loose debris was removed.  Hide glue was warmed and inserted via syringe and a thin needle —  slipped under the veneer. Veneer was pressed to expel excess glue and wiped clean
before cauling to minimize the mess.

Mitchell used a padded two-caul
system to allow for some soft compression to keep the original veneer from
cracking from pressure.  At each stop,
a board was placed over the cauled area, screwed into the backing.  The front
was gently but firmly clamped to
hold the caul over the veneer securely
flat while the glue cured.

Once the veneers were resecured, small bits of missing wood were cut to fit from
our veneer and similar procedures used to secure the new wood.

Shellac burnins were used as one fill for the missing marquetry pieces.
Above we show the two-color shellac burnin for the lighter holly wood banding.

Hard wax is created from mixing hard and soft colored waxes.
Above, samples of two different areas utilizing hard wax fills.
These are  also excellent to stop future pests from invading.
Below, a corner from start to finish.


Both burnins and hard wax fills were utilized on both
the drawer fronts and carcass sides, as shown above.

The Louis XIV Chest is completed.

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Written by Kate Powell, ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

Posted in antiques, art, conservation techniques, decorative motifs, Interim Report, painted objects, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments