This week in objects conservation: More ceramics! These two ceramic pieces have the same condition issues we see in many ceramic objects conserved in the early to mid 20th C. The old adhesive used to join the fragments has aged, becoming brittle and unstable, it will need to be removed and replaced with a modern adhesive that will hold the fragments together securely. The first step is solubility testing to determine what solvent to use to remove the old adhesive. Once the solvent is chosen, the objects will be placed in a solvent chamber to dissolve the adhesive without causing stress to the ceramic object. A solvent chamber allows the adhesive to dissolve slowly to gently release the joins at the same time. In the photo you can see our set up of two clear plastic boxes acting as the chamber and lid, the ceramic objects surrounded by padding to support the fragments as the joins release, and an open container with the solvent to saturate the enclosed atmosphere. The only thing left to do is wait for the joins to release!
Plate Bearing Monogram for Jesus, 15th C, Spain, ceramic, Given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Williams by their children, 1948.132
Ewer, 1530-1540, Turkey, ceramic, Museum Purchase, 1952.269