Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wine, wine and some work...

It's official, I have well and truly lost my marbles and my friends will attest to this. I'm not thinking straight at all and it must be either the latitude, dehydration and/or the caffeine - Yes, I have mastered the coffee machine...

I found out to my embarrassment that "Stoves" were something you cook on and not an abbreviation for some mystery activity on base - there are so many acronyms here it's hard to keep up.

And if someone is wearing their Carharts (outdoor clothing) in the dockway this does not automatically mean they are leaving and need a hug...I will never live that one down....

Also I used the words lump and custard in the same sentence in front of our new chef Helen...Sigh!....it just wasn't what I meant.

Just shot me now!!!
I'll have to break open the emergency chocolate or wine at this rate.

I'm now trying to drink the recommended four liters of water a day- hard work.

My sister thinks I have mention wine allot - "But there's just is not enough time to drink good Sauvingnon".
Please, I'm faced with cards, darts, pool, or scrabble here give me a break I need something. Not that I have anything against these activities but I just prefer to chat that's all. With a drink. Also, Steve's advice was to write more....
With that in mind and to cover all bases and dispel any impression that this trip is all about wine and snowmen I'll explore the reason I'm here in more detail.


Conservation of Objects.


I have contributed to the joint conservation of tin's with paper labels. Removing carefully when I can and cleaning, washing for strength and lining with Japanese tissue with good old wheat starch paste. After cooking up the paste, a bit like corn flour, I plop the beaker out in the snow to hasten the cooling. Since I can't find any photographic trays, there here somewhere I have improvised with and used a fish crate lid for washing. Also using a plastic bag I have made a small humidification chamber.
















Before and after treatment.


I have also discovered and started work on some candle stick wrappers and they are gorgeous with a small engraved, block printed advertising label. 'Expressly made for hot Climates" it confidently boasts.


This is a difficult treatment ethically as I do not want to over treat these and make them too pristine as that would take away from their character - their authenticity of coming from the Cape Royds Hut. Also if Shackleton had used the candles then surely he would have burned the wrappers, giving the impression that in his time these would have been complete objects with candles inside. Therefore I feel these have been opened recently, which would explain the tidy pile of candles in the hut. When I have completed the conservation of these wrappers the candles will be reunited with the paper and they will go on display. I will strengthen them to hold candles and repair where possible without making them look too new.









Before treatment and in poor damaged condition.

I love a challenge.



This is the first of 12 that has been surface cleaned and then washed to improve paper strength and then lined onto Japanese tissue with Wheat starch paste. I have used a sheet of perspecs (poor man's Kari Bari board - Japanese board for lining art works) to paste it out on and then it will all dry nice a taut - flat so that I do not need to press again. One problem is that things dry too quickly and I have to try and slow them down or they will wrinkle up. It's fun dealing with these challenges...

Another great day at the office...

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