Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Year and a Half Later..

So it's been nearly a year and a half (maybe more) since I last posted about this conservation project. I had just finished making a velcro mount for future 'potential' hanging of the banner at my parents cottage. It was decided while I was back for a visit this past long August weekend that it would be a good time to finally find this thing in a permanent hanging place!

After digging around in the basement of the house, I found an appropriate piece of wood and cut it to fit the wall over the stairs. I attached the other part of the velcro to this board using an epoxy mix-let it dry, then staple-gunned the velcro to be sure it was solidly on and not going anywhere. I then mounted the board above the stairs from a ladder, using 4 nails which I hammered through the velcro and board into the panneling and support beam on the wall, and proceeded to fit the banner to the board. Thanks to some direction from below as to banner straightness, I matched the two velcro pieces by feel and gradually unrolled the textile into its final resting place.

Attaching velcro-d banner to board

View from top of the stairs

Hopefully the banner will now be here permanently because it's an interesting heirloom that's been in the Denison family since the 19th century and until I managed to fix it up upon request from my mom, it had been stored away in really poor condition. It felt good to conserve something that had both familial and historic value and to know that it now will be up for people to see when they come visit. Next step: interpretation panel at the top of the stairs explaining the history of the Egyptian textile so people have a bit more context, and to understand why and how it has come to be here.


                         Egyptian banner, 1880's, linen
                                                                                  Brought back from Khartoum by                                                                                        Frederick Charles Denison

Frederick Denison (my great, great grandfather) was a military officer based in Toronto and was sent on some interesting expeditions! He was also one of the first Denisons to build a cottage on the island where we now have ours. Here's a link to the history: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finished Product

And the results.. very happy with my stitch-work, seeing as there was a lot of it and slightly tedious. The before and after comparison images aren't great because I didn't really have a proper photo setup and space. The detail pictures are where you can really see the difference:

On a side note, I ended up attaching the velcro backing properly as recently, I helped hang two massive tapestries during my internship.. and their velcro system looked like this:

And the actual scale :

Friday, December 2, 2011

Phase 3: Consolidation

This is the third part of the treatment where I was reconsolidating the loose fabric, basically-sewing. After it's done, the treatment is complete. The only thing left to do is (with my recommendations) decide on an appropriate hanging method.

Here are pictures of the stitch repairs...the first four images are before and after shots:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Phase 2- Wet cleaning..

I got around to doing the wet clean for the Egyptian banner on thanksgiving weekend. It took about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, in the backyard in the sunshine and it was tricky handling it soaking wet and heavy on my own, but I managed. I did two soaks, the first with tap water and the second for longer but with distilled water.
I'm quite happy with the process and the results (the water was yellow so SOMETHING came out, even if the major stains didn't- but I didn't used any detergent. If I had, I may have had more luck. So, next time- Orvus Paste).

Now I can move on to reconsolidating the loose pieces, which will be far more time consuming.

Prepping the distilled water bath with a makeshift frame lined with a polyethylene.

Banner unrolled onto screen and water added.


Slightly wet process..

Bath water after soaking for a half hour.

Towel drying after removing from second soak.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Egyptian Tapestry Project

So this is my first solo conservation treatment outside of school. My family has had this tapestry for generations (it was brought back by my great great uncle from Egypt when he was on military duty) and it's been hanging at my grandmother's cottage in Muskoka in the sunlight for years. It was taken down a few years ago when my aunts renovated and it hasn't been put back since because of the condition. As such, I was asked if I was interested in working on it.

This will essentially be a surface cleaning and stabilization project as I don't have the facilities to do a proper wet cleaning with detergent, but I am going to try to do at least one immersion so the cigarette and other stains in the weave will have a chance to come out.. somewhat. A bit of consolidation of the loose pieces and some couching should make it more stable. It used to be a beautiful colour but years in the sun has really left it faded (go figure) and nothing can be done about that.

It's cotton on a full linen substrate.

Loose strips of fabric and unravelling of linen

Ripped cotton detail and corrosion stain

General staining (mildew?)

Back of tapestry.

I'll hopefully get more treatment pictures up as work gets underway.

Monday, June 6, 2011

More from Emergency 2011:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Emergency # 18

It's been eons since I've posted anything new, as school has been keeping me busy.. here's some photography.

These are images I took of my friend Jenn Cole performing her piece 'Je Vous Salut Marie' at the Emergency dance festival in Peterborough, ON in April. This is a sister piece to another one she performed of which I also took photographs, two or three festivals ago. If I remember, I'll post these in the near future.
These are just the raw pics. I like the various light gradations and how only parts of her are outlined in some images where in others the light hits straight on. Another set of images from a different dance piece I took from reflections in the plexiglass beside my seat, which actually offered a better perspective and vantage point then from head- on to the stage. These too I'll post at a later date!