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.

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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.

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JBC: White Patriotic Jumper Treatment, Gesso


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 underpainting
the Patriotic Jumper with Gesso!

Two things were completed in this cycle.
We filled small non-structural cracks with various appropriate filler:
We gesso-ed Patriotic’s entire body in preparation for the oil paint.

MPFC does not know why
so many of the gem
mortices are fragmented, peppered with non-structural cracks and losses.  In some cases it appears the over the life of
Patriotic gem stones may have been replaced, and may not
have been the exact size of the hole, leaving an odd void.

MPFC chose to smooth some
of these areas — all are
non-structural — with an appropriate acrylic putty, shown right and above.

The area around the flower on the shield was degraded, cracked and missing parts.  Mitchell has redefined and re-carved some areas, but you can’t add parts missing in so easily.  The gem areas and the flower body itself were modified using acrylic putty.

If we knew the historic
palette we might return
to it, but that information
is gone.  As part of our documentation, we mixed pigments to match the existing finish for reference.  Also, Patriotic Jumper’s palette is lovely;
we are following the lead
of the previous restoration with minor deviations.
We’d like to make the
metallic paints a bit more
like real gold and silver,
for instance, and paint
real stars on his flags.


Golden’s White Gesso came in a huge tub and looked like thick cream!
It provided a stable topcoat for the oil paint to grab onto and stay put.


The gesso coat reveals any areas we missed in preparation.


Kate tends to detail with a smaller brush before painting larger areas with a wide  brush.  This lays on a thin coat and keeps the carved areas free from buildup.
It only looks like it takes more time, but really, a smaller brush can be very efficient,
with less sanding necessary after the base coat is completed.

Above, his nose is half done!  The pink paint inside his nose and ears
persisted in coming through the gesso until the oil paint was applied.


The tail was applied at a later date for various reasons:
see the tail reparation here.


Gesso is complete; finish work can begin!

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, 2, Pest Infestations


The chest of drawers is a seventeenth century French Louis XIV,
shown above after treatment in its full glory.

We continue from the previous post on the Louis XIV Chest, 1, Woodworking.

This post covers samples of
treatment for pest infestation.

The structure was undermined severely in the drawers from
a very old pest infestation.
Some of the damage occurred from poor woodworking repairs; we needed to fill the punky wood and pest holes.  A mixture of Rhoplex® with and without strengtheners was mixed and injected into the punky wood and vacant  bore holes.

The bottoms of all the drawers needed
treatment, as well as the sides, below.

Carcass Damage

The interior of the carcass was treated, with both traditional woodworking repairs,
such as new slides or reparation of near breaks of the drawer supports,
as well as Rhoplex® as needed for pest infestation consolidation.
Before and after treatment, above.

The outside back was also similarly repaired, and all pest holes filled.
Before and after treatment, above.

We move to Veneer and Finish!

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

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Textile Conservation: Victorian Tea Cosy, 5, Beading


Continuing from our earlier post on searching for beads…

This post, harder repairs.
Side “A” had many more difficult repairs.

Below is an example of what I shared with our client regarding the worst of her issues on the tea cosy:  rips, missing beads, melted beads, melted beads that melded with
the cotton and linen grid and created a hard “plastic” ridge, especially across the top.


Beginning with that damaged area above:

One of the first things I did is stabilize the areas around the worst problematic repairs.  This gave me a ground of stability from which I can then tackle the worst rips!

In this case, it was developing a protocol and infilling the tassel
(shown upside down above.)  Because of the many missing beads,
I chose a grey bead with a silver lining to add a bit of sparkle that might have been
present in the original beading (we don’t know).  This protocol of tassel will be used throughout the other beaded tassels to add unity to the cosy.  Whenever possible, I tried to use at least one line of the original metallic beads if I had enough to create a row.
These original beads had to have enough gold left on them, and no rust whatsoever.

The toughest repair on Side “A” is just
above the tassel, and involves melted beads,
rips, stabilizing, reweaving, and infill.

Images are labeled, above.  The metal beading that “melted” is so bad it fused,
a phenomena I have seen before with these type beads.
In this case they “melted” into one continuous bar of metal, grabbing onto both
the linen and in this case, some of the cotton batting from the quilting below.

The entire bar of melted beads had to be removed, along with the
linen grid and some of the embroidered “x” embellishment.

I have a good guess as to how these beads “melted” on the cosy:
Tea was made, and a steaming tea kettle of boiling water was mostly emptied but set next to the cosy — or even the extremely hot teapot was set with the spout facing the cosy.  Years of hot steam finally melted the beads, rusting them into the linen weave and breaking them in two or melting them into the bar across the top of the tassel motif.

Oddly, the metal beads are also magnetized!

Warp and Weft and Fill!

In some needlepoint/beaded repairs, a full linen warp and weft would be rebuilt.
Unfortunately, the tea cosy is badly damaged, and so a hemp backing was placed behind the entire piece.  Especially as it is not going under a frame, but back into the tea cosy shape, all repairs are going through the added stability of the hemp backing.  Still I needed to lift a warp and weft up, and fill it so there is no dip in the infill.

Using Gutermann thread, I wove a loose grid.
I used matching embroidery thread to fill the warp and weft, giving it the lift it needed — the “fill” — so that the beads would be sitting atop a solid ground.
The area is ready for beading and embroidery, but…

There are many areas surrounding
the damage that need attention.

There were issues all around the one huge melted repair — small rips where other melted beads existed, and along with them, crystal and white bead losses.

Before I started beading, I decided to stabilize and repair all the smaller rips,
choosing Gutermann threads and/or the embroidery threads, depending.
Ultimately these are holding the piece in stasis until the beading is completed,
because the beading through the hemp backing fill be the final stabilizing repair.

Remember that this tea cosy is not going back into service.
It is a collector’s item, rarely to be used if ever.

I walk you through each step, above, from the stabilizing to the beading.

There are problems associated with these extremely damaged beads and the linen grid beneath.  The first is that it distorts the linen in ways that can make it difficult to bead using the linen as a guide.  Sometimes they distort it so much that it is impossible to even get the linen to lay flat, so there is a bit of a lumpy underlayer and getting a smooth grid of beads over the top can be difficult.

Also, surprisingly, there were different sized original beads.

On a side note, from time to time a bead is melted in place and cannot be removed,
above, without causing more damage to the piece.

The metal beads were not the only beads lost, as we discussed earlier.
I scavenged all the loose crystal beads from both sides of the cosy in order to create one complete side, which was side “A”.  It is interesting to note how different both sides actually were, and I believe they were so from the beginning.  Below, note the
differences even in colored embroidery threads from “A” to “B”.

Note the green embroidery thread in “B”, in the place of the black threads on side “A”?
There were design issues too — they generally appeared the same
but not when you looked closely.  I am not surprised.  This was a hand-made cosy!

Tassel Repair.

I have two more difficult areas where decisions were made.
Some of the warp and weft around the tassel edgings were disintegrating.
You can tell where they were stable or not because my beading might be
a little wonky in the areas where I had no grid!
I was able to save some of the original metal beads in this tassel.

Edging and floral repair.


Here, the edging becomes stable, but as I reach the corners the motif is missing parts.
I decided to save some of the crystal beads for other places and go with the white floral motif, much like what is seen within the body  of the piece.
We have flowers, leaves, and stems.  I chose to go with the gnarled look of the stems, which is what it appeared to do in the body of the piece as well.

There as no clue as to the actual design of the chevron-shaped area at the
bottom of the cosy, above.  I turned them into one of the flowers.

And another oddly difficult area to bead, showing from one side to the next.
I was surprised, but there were intentionally three rows of crystal beads on these dropped motifs.  At first I thought it was my mistake, but the area warranted many more beads.

Side “A” of the Cosy is complete.
Below, I show before and after
conservation and restoration.


Below, some details in a slide show.

Will post as I progress my final bits on Side “B”!

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Textile Conservation: Victorian Tea Cosy, 4, Beading


I started on the easier side,
“B” from the previous post
,
but now I move to the side that is
far more damaged, side “A”.


Note: These images are not in chronological order in this post.
We will cover some huge repairs in the next post.

Above, teasers of the before and after treatment in the body of the motif.

As with Side “B”, strategies were created to reproduce even grid lines when the linen underneath the beaded areas resist the process due to rust from the “melted” beads, disintegration or warp and weft, or broken fibers.  One strategy is using several beading needles to line up rows as I bead.  Replacing needles frequently so that you are using sharp needles is important, but I keep dulled needles in a bag for just this purpose.
In the left image an example of lining beads up on older needles;
on the right, notice the areas where the beads simply would not line up due to
the uneven surface.  In those instances, I do my best.

BEADS

From an earlier post, I discussed “burned”
metal beads.  
Throughout each side, many beads are “burned” or “melted” (heat and water/steam damage), but as we tackle side “A”
there are extreme burned areas. Sometimes the melted beads are stuck — that is, I cannot get them to release, and to force the issue might cause more damage to the overall structure.

Oddly, the metal beads are also magnetized!

There were so many missing beads a protocol (strategy)
of use was determined.
The larger crystal beads
were missing in many areas around the perimeter, as
were many metal beads.
These were also needed throughout the flowers, tassels and rope braid motifs.  I decided to remove the
inner layer of original crystal rimming beads (right),
using them elsewhere within the piece. The metal beads were replaced by a well-matched 9/0 sized bead.

“New” crystal beads were also utilized for some infill where needed, especially in tight places, but the problem with the new beads is it made the older crystal beads look
dingy by comparison.  Tiny scratches over time dull the beads slightly.
I was careful where I used the new beads… Betcha can’t find them!

An entirely new grey bead became the inside rim, which you will see later.  I like making the new beads obvious when the design is a departure, not a matching of older beads.  They can then be clearly identified as a new beads within the report back to our client.

I surmise there were two “metal” beads: one which was metal — that is the one that
melted most and was highly magnetized; a second that was glass with a metal lining. The metal disintegrated rusting bead can be lifted easily by a magnet, while the glass bead can be picked up only sporadically with a very strong magnet. The first is the one that so badly disintegrated, and this is being replaced by a
similarly looking antique gold glass bead to the second glass/metal bead.

A third bead was needed for the tassel and the braids, above; I chose a grey glass bead with a silver lining, which allowed for the variety that was once present in the tea cosy.

I wish we knew the exact appearance of the historic design; a best guess
based on the current design and missing bead patterns is the best we can do.
It in interesting to me that all of certain beads are gone,
and I can tell by the pattern of missing beads.
They must have been quite fragile.

The other oddity is the varying sizes.  A 9/0 size is the norm for the bulk of the beaded options, but the original crystal beads are 8/0 sized — which causes problems with the texture of the weaving, though it is no problem around the edging nor in the braided rope holding the tassels.  I don’t think they are newer beads now that I’ve lived with the piece for a long time — but I don’t know why they didn’t keep to uniformity.

Our final new beads were as follows:


Beads to the left are new beads, working within the overall design.
Beads to the right are beads that try to match the existing beads.

Problems associated with these extremely
damaged beads and the linen grid beneath?

They distort the linen in ways that can make it difficult to bead using
the linen as a guide.  Sometimes they distort it so much that it is impossible to
even get the linen to lay flat, so there is a bit of a lumpy under-layer and
getting a smooth grid of beads over the top can be difficult.

INFILL VERSUS STABILIZING

The original yarn colors
were bright green and
bright red! (Note the
back side of the cosy, left.)
I am beginning to think
this might have been a Holiday Tea Cosy!

However, I want to
match the yarn colors as
they are now. Not a
totally easy feat as
they change a bit
over the entire piece,
so I am looking for
a dark red and dark olive
that blends well overall.

Above, stabilizing a small rip with a Gutermann thread, then beading over the top..

Discussing infill yarns
versus stabilizing with embroidery or other threads…

I use two threads to stabilize the ground for beading and strength.  One are Gutermann sewing threads in various colors, shown above.

I also use embroidery threads to stabilize areas which are not yet broken, right.  I reach out into the yarn needlepoint in those areas and add a bit pf stability in a matching color before I bead over an area.

Above, I stabilized an area (which I will document in depth next post)
first in an embroidery thread for strength, but embroidery thread is quite shiny.
I overcast the yarn over the area to give it visual unity.

Of course, there are also many areas where the needlepoint must be infilled.
These dot the entire cosy, both sides, and I reproduce the stitches exactly in those areas.

My client will receive extra yarns and beads to save in the event she needs them in future, thought it is likely the colors may continue to fade over time.

Finally, procedurally, I take notes throughout, above, including how long it
takes me to bead areas.  The latter I do because it gives me more information
with which to do estimates in future.  The former because I can forget what
I did in an area, and this is important for the reports.  When I am in the
“beading zone” I pretty much lose touch with reality around me!

Next post, difficult repairs!

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Louis XIV Chest, 1, Woodworking


The chest of drawers is a seventeenth century French Louis XIV,
shown above after treatment in its full glory.
The drawers are wide and deep, and one can imagine a wealthy woman having a lovely chest to place long full slips and undergarments in with room to spare.

Before and after treatment, above.

To show all the various repairs that go into a piece like this would be monumental;
instead we offer a sampling of the many preservation/conservation
repairs performed on the Louis XIV chest.

This post covers samples of structural reparation.

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

Top Left Drawer Corner

The top left-facing drawer corner is a good example of a complicated repair:
we show treatment up to the time it is ready for finish, below.
The top corner edge is broken and contains desiccated rubble, possibly some from
an old insect infestation.  The punky structure probably made for an easy break.
Before and after treatment, as a teaser, above.

Right, the right-facing top corner
for comparison.  On the left-facing
top corner the damaged punky wood (rubble) was excavated from
the broken top drawer edge.

The splitting veneers were shaped
for repair with various chisels.

The voids are measured.  Three
different pieces are crafted to be used
in the repair: An angled piece of
drawer; A backing that runs the length of the drawer face; The lip itself.

When these are completed, the pieces are glued using hide glue, and clamped to cure.

The second day, the clamps off, and the various parts are shaped, using carving chisels
and small planes, then sanded with a sanding tool shaped for this application.
Veneer is trimmed for replacement with new veneer.
The pieces are glued using hide glue, and clamped to cure.

The drawer is ready for finish work, which involves matching the color of the shellac.

Escutcheon Mortises

Several screw mounting mortise were enlarged and this left
the pulls to move about, scratching the drawer faces.
The repair involves carefully routing the mortise from both sides
(so as not to damage the veneer), insert matching stair-stepping wooden plugs,
gluing in place, and then carefully redrilling the mortise.
The mortise now hold the escutcheons securely.

We move to Pest Infestation!

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments