The prow of the Siren sleigh, after treatment
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Thursday, October 29, 2015
(photo credit Karim Noui).
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The paint re-adhered wherever it was flaky ("consolidated"), initial cleaning of the runners involved the use of a kneadable eraser that we developed for the purpose (of methylcellulose base), followed by an aqueous cleaning. Solvent cleaning will follow, in a later step.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
After cleaning tests on the runners, I proceeded to clean them.
I returned to Versailles, after my short trip to Wales (I'm actually not working in the Big House, but in the stables).
Sunday, August 9, 2015
The sides of the sleigh were evidently decorated with silver leaf having transparent, colored glazes of red, green and yellow over the silver. This is all masked by a brown varnish. How much can these colors be revealed without damaging them ?
Samples tiny as a pinhead were examined under the microscope under visible light, and under different types of UV light yielding fluorescence (above, a sample from the side of the sleigh). Layers invisible in normal light suddenly appear (I thank Jan Hobot of Cardiff University School of Medicine and the Centre of Biotechnology staff for use of their fluorescence microscope). Having travelled with me from France to Wales, this and other samples are now in Boston. There, scientists Richard Newman and Michelle Derrick of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts will use scanning electron microscopy and micro-spectroscopy to reveal technical secrets of the artist working at Versailles in the 1730s, and those of an early restorer (made of King Louis XV, the sleigh was likely restored for Louis XVI).
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
"I know it's wrong, but sometimes eating the entire box is the only reasonable response" (Marie Antoinette's ghost in my ear). After 19 days I have one 2-Day Air UPS box. When will I have the other box of my equipment ?
Sunday, July 12, 2015
For the reopening of the Coach Gallery of the Palace of Versailles, I will be conserving this sleigh, called the "Siren." She who called Odysseus to potential disaster is seen at the prow, and Neptune's head is at the front of the runners.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Stabilizing flaking paint on a medieval altar. Back when I had hair. Photo credit goes to Myriam Serck-Dewaide, my fellowship supervisor in 1996-1997 at the Royal Institute for Artistic Heritage (IRPA) of Belgium. Myriam was the head of the sculpture conservation lab then and soon thereafter became the director of IRPA.