Process: Circus Ball 2

W15 JK CIRCUS BALL 010Before I start showing you the restoration process, first let’s take a moment to
marvel at this extraordinary ball.  I rarely post full-size images, but the texture
on this damaged ball is so beautiful, and the construction so extraordinary,
that the one above is full size.  (Double click to get the full effect.)

The ball was made with pieces of wood which were pieced together
(probably with hide glue) then rounded into the ball shape.
Square head nails were used, and then there is the interesting rectangular fastener, above.
I am not a woodworker, and so I am not good at telling you more than this.
(Woodworkers may weigh in as they like!)

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Our process for this project is to repair the damage done by the stripper,
then to paint the ball using the same type of paints, bringing it to its glory days.
The repainting is restoration, since the ball was stripped, rather than conservation.
This ball will not be used again, however, but sit on our client’s desk.

W15 8 20 JK CIRCUS B4 STUDIO 007W15 JK CIRCUS BALL 016As we said in the first installment, the ball was stripped inappropriately.
This led to layers upon layers of lifted desiccated older wood.
Older wood cannot handle the harsh chemical strippers,
which tend to separate the molecules and make them far more brittle.
These layers had to be secured.
One way was to meticulously glue each layer down using hide glue,
which is impractical, given the hundreds of lifted pieces.


We used a museum-approved consolidate, which both filled under the layers,
and also was able to fill huge chunks which fell out during the stripping process.
The consolidate was pulled under the layers, above, and acted as both a glue and fill.

W15 JK CIRCUS BALL 037W15 JK CIRCUS BALL 030Once completed, the ball was left to cure for a few days.

After curing, ridges were smoothed first using chisels, then the ball was sanded to
take the excess consolidate down to the surface.  You can once again see the ridges
of the wood and the fasteners, both of which my clients wanted to see.
He was not interested in a new, smooth ball.

It is now ready for its first layers of silver oil paint!

w15 jk aunt circus ball banner

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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3 Responses to Process: Circus Ball 2

  1. Pingback: Process: Circus Ball! | Mpfconservation's Blog

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