It’s never too late to learn!

I am very excited as I am leaving for embarking on the 6th CIPA summer school: 3D surveying and modelling in cultural heritage.

https://www.cipaheritagedocumentation.org/6th_cipa_summer_school/

https://www.cipaheritagedocumentation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Flyer_CIPA__Summer_School_Gyeongju.pdf

I am extremely thankful to the Anna Plowden Trust for providing financial help for attending this course.

I will post updates re this experience.

#documentationcourse #icomos #cipa #3d #3ddpcumentation #heritage #art #conditiondata @trustannaplowden #trustannaplowden @ClothworkersFdn @ConservatorsUK #The Institute of Conservation #claudiafiocchettiartconservation

clothworkers plus abt logo

Medieval wall paintings (xiii cent.) at St John the Baptist Church-Cold Overton

Last Summer/Autumn (2018) I undertook an interesting and complex conservation project of medieval paintings (late xiii cent.) at St John the Baptist church – Cold Overton (Leicestershire).

The surviving wall paintings, for a total of six scenes (St Catherine, Gathering of the apostles, Nativity, St John, Funeral procession of the Virgin, St Margaret?), are located on the South and East wall of the South aisle. They are constituted of a coarse lime putty plaster(applied in an irregular fashion without being finished flush and plumb and appears to be applied in one layer over the stone wall) and of a thin white-cream lime-wash ground, followed by one or two pigmented layers. The range of pigments employed in the scheme is limited. Mostly the figures are outlined only with very few areas of saturated fill colours.

It is not clear when the paintings were discovered under the lime-wash layers. However the condition of the wall paintings showed that they underwent significant restoration treatments at least in two past occasions. The paintings were covered by a thick coat of wax, which heavily attracted dirt and dust, and for that the paintings appeared very dark.

On the basis of the materials used (coat of wax), and the type of treatments that were undertaken, it seemed probable that the oldest intervention would have been carried out between the 1920s and the 1950s by Prof. E. W. Tristram, who undertook similar conservation treatments in many other medieval paintings in England. However, no record of the treatments was found. However the paintings were recorded in water-colours by Tristram in 1928 and conserved now at the V&A archive. In 1950 these water-colours were also published in the English medieval wall painting. Vol. 1 & 2, The thirteenth century; with a catalogue by E.W. Tristram, compiled in collaboration with M. Bardswell. Vol. 1 pages 532-533; Vol. 2 Tables: 113 a&b, 114 a&b, 115 a&b.

Theremains of old and thick lime wash on all the scenes were quite extensive and often were still hiding details of the paintings. In fact, it appears that when they were discovered the majority of the surviving paintings were favourably uncovered along with the profile of the figures, leaving subsequent lime-wash layers mainly over the plain areas. In addition to that, in many areas are visible the tool marks of a quite crude uncovering action.

The most recent repairs, belonging of a later intervention, are made in pink modern filler similar to Polyfilla There are a number of large plaster repairs which cut into the painting, some of which have been retouched, over-painted or incised in order to suggest drawing lines.

The 2018 conservation project was undertaken in two phases. The first phase focused on stabilising plaster layers severely detached and of paint layer flake fixing. The second phase focused on cleaning, reducingas much as possible the wax coat applied in late 20s; uncovering as much as possible the original areas from the extensive lime-wash residues; consolidatingthe paint layer; removingand replacingthe fills and repairs that failed or weren’t at all sympathetic with the original surrounding; blending in the new fills in order to reduce their aesthetic disruption; provisionally lime wash was applied on the surrounding plastered areas of the exposed paintings.

The removal of lime wash layers revealed both original painting areas and plaster losses. The most important discovery during this uncovering phase was made on the figure identified in the past as St Margaretalong whose chin were revealed consistent traces of a beard, which obviously now identified it as a crowned male figure.

Here few photos of the Cold Overton paintings before, during and after conservation treatments.

General view of the Nativity scene before and after the conservation treatments.

Detail of the Nativity scene where the unsympathetic Polyfilla repair (left) that was removed (centre), uncovering more original paint area and then the loss was repaired again with lime-sand based mortar (left).

Detail of the Gathering of the apostles scene before and after the conservation treatments.

General view of the Funeral procession of the Virgin scene before and after the conservation treatments.

Detail of the Funeral procession of the Virgin scene before, during  and after the uncovering treatments.

Detail of the Funeral procession of the Virgin scene during  and after the uncovering treatments.

 

 

Altar and font at St Luke’s church – Battersea – London

Last August I undertook a lovely conservation project at St Luke’s church in Battersea – London. It was a pleasure to work there! Here few pics of the altar and font before, during and after conservation treatments.

2018 08 20_5348   2018 08 23_5714

2018 08 20_5373   2018 08 20_5385

2018 08 21_5795.jpg   2018 08 23_5675

2018 08 21_5808    2018 08 24_5664

2018 08 24_5663.jpg

2018 08 28_5577        2018 08 31_58662018 08 28_5563       2018 08 31_5869

2018 08 28_5604

2018 08 31_5871

Weeks 8 & 9 of the SC17

The last two weeks of this amazing course were dedicated still to module 8: Conservation treatment.

Week 8 started with David Odgers great lectures: Use and applications of lime and lime mortars; Mortar design; Mortar from lime binders; Mortar analysis – approaches and methods. The lectures were alternated by practical exercises on producing different kind of mortars; analysing different samples of mortar; building a small ashlar wall using different kinds of mortar, then applying on it a plaster layer to be paint in fresco technique.

Two interesting study cases on Stuccoes and grouting in Preah Ko and in Ed Dur were presented by Simon Warrack.

On the Wednesday we gave presentation of the Condition survey and treatment proposal of the project assigned the previous week. Then after each project was approved, under the supervision of Inah conservators, David Odgers and Simon Warrack we started conservation treatments on site; treatments that were carried out till the end of week 9. On the last day of the course we gave a presentation of the final report of the conservation treatments carried out.

Then sadly after 9 weeks we closed the course exchanging opinions, thoughts and feelings on what this course and this experience meant to us.

A celebration dinner followed, including emotional moments!

I am ending this post recommending warmly this course to anyone interested in Stone Conservation and thanking all the Iccrom and Inah staff for having made this experience absolutely great!

Finally, I would like to express once again my gratitude to the Anna Plowden Trust and the Tru Vue Glazing for their fundings, which have been very helpful for attending this course.

P.S.: this post will be soon updated with photos as at the moment (and for many more hours) I on the move, on my way back home!

trusts

#stonecourse #iccromsc17 #iccrom #inah #stone #heritage #art #inahmx #stoneconservation @trustannaplowden #trustannaplowden @ClothworkersFdn #TruVueGlazing @ConservatorsUK #CNCPC #The Institute of Conservation #claudiafiocchettiartconservation

 

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Sieving different aggregates – Mortar design lecture by David Odgers – SC17 – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Practical exercises on building a small ashlar wall and applying on it a plaster layer, which was painted in fresco technique – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico
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Briefing from David Odgers, before starting practical conservation treatments  – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

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Removing deposit from horizontal surfaces of Structure I panel 6 – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

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Team 6 during the pointing on Structure I panel 6 – Chicanna’ archeological site –  Campeche – Mexico

 

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Micro-grouting on Structure I panel 6 – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

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Detail of the top section of the central decorative panel before and after re-pointing – Structure I panel 6 – Chicanna’ archeological site –  Campeche – Mexico

 

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Structure I Panel 6 before and after the partial conservation treatment carried out during the SC17 course – Chicanna’ archeological site –  Campeche – Mexico

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Last day on site of SC17 course – Chicanna’ archeological site –  Campeche – Mexico

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Final discussion before officially closing SC17 course – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Everything is ready for celebrating the successful end of SC17 course – Chicanna’ ecovillage – Campeche – Mexico

 

Week 7 of the SC17

The first two days of the week were dedicated to module 7th (Diagnosis), which started at the end of the week 6 of SC17. We finished the field tests (water absorption and thermo-camera recording) and then we prepared the results of the two days spent on site and we gave a presentation of them.

On Wednesday Module 8 started focusing on Conservation treatments. Guy Devreux and Rita Reale (Stone Conservation Laboratory at the Vatican Museums) lectured on Problems related to Bio-growth on Historic buildings and Stone consolidants; both lectures were followed by trials on site with very interesting results, that will be monitored by Inah from now on.

On Thursday David Odgers (accredited conservator and consultant to English Heritage, Building Conservation Research team and to Historic Royal Palaces) gave a brilliant lecture on Principle and methods of cleaning stonework; lecture followed by three very interesting case-studies:

  • The conservation and restoration of the Sun temple at Ed Dur. An interpreted intervention. Umm Al Quwain – United Arab Emirates (by Simon Warrack)
  • Bernini Colonnade (St Peter square – Vatican City). An open air laboratory (by Guy Devreux)
  • St Paul Cathedral. Internal cleaning (by David Odgers)

Friday morning it was spent on planning the practical work to be done on the following week. We were divided in groups and my group was assigned a portion of Structure I at Chicanna Archeological site. By the following Wednesday our Survey report and treatment proposal has to be submitted. We started to survey our case study and plan the non-invasive tests we would need to undertake. In the afternoon more great lectures on Pinning and dowelling by Guy Devreux and on Emergency and preventive interventions by David Odgers.

On Saturday David Odgers gave exhaustive lectures on Non-hydraulic lime binders; Artificial and natural hydraulic lime binders; Aggregates and mixing.

In the afternoon, we ended week 8 with Building exercise with lime mortars and Pointing and grouting demonstration.

trusts

#stonecourse #iccromsc17 #iccrom #inah #stone #heritage #art #inahmx #stoneconservation @trustannaplowden #trustannaplowden @ClothworkersFdn #TruVueGlazing @ConservatorsUK #CNCPC #The Institute of Conservation #claudiafiocchettiartconservation

2018 04 30_3734

Hardness test on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 01_3900

Rita Reale and Guy Devreux explained biocide tests on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

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Rita Reale and Guy Devreux during biocide tests on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 02_3789

Rita Reale undertaking consolidation test on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 02_3796

Rita Reale undertaking consolidation test on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 03_3743

Rita Reale removing consolidation test on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 07_4039

David Odgers during pointing and grouting demonstration on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 07_4040

Simon Warrack during pointing and grouting demonstration on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 07_4044

David Odgers during pointing and grouting demonstration on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

2018 05 07_4045

David Odgers during pointing demonstration on Structure II – Chicanna’ archeological site – Campeche – Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 6 of the SC17

The week started with the 6th module dedicated to Documentation, lectured by Ana Almagro. Very interesting and brilliant lectures on Guiding principles for documentation. From observation to preliminary studies; Recording tools and techniques; Photography (How to take the best photos for documentation purposes); Photogrammetry and laser scanning; Photoscan; Recording unaccessible areas.

We practiced on site preparing a final presentation of a section of Chicanna’ structures. We took measurements and drawned the whole front of Structure I; we documented our case study photographically rectifying the photos for documentation purposes. We took pictures to use them in Photoscan preparing a 3D model of our case study. All very satisfying and exciting!

On Saturday, the last day of the week started module 7th: Diagnosis, with Nora Perez, Jose Luis Ruvalcaba and Javier Reyes, the same lecturers we had in the third week at the National laboratory of Sciences for study and conservation of Cultural Heritage (LANCIC) – Institute of Physics, UNAM.

We spent the day on site with an assigned case study and we worked again in group. We undertook some tests applying various techniques on the stone in the façade of Chicanna’ structure II in order to to study the stone physical properties such as colour, hardness, resistance (electrical resistivity), conductivity, absorption capacity etc.

trusts

#stonecourse #iccromsc17 #iccrom #inah #stone #heritage #art #inahmx #stoneconservation @trustannaplowden #trustannaplowden @ClothworkersFdn #TruVueGlazing @ConservatorsUK #CNCPC #The Institute of Conservation #claudiafiocchettiartconservation

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Ana Almagro checking the GPS tracking with a member of the team – Structure I – Chicanna’ archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Recording data – – Structure I – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Mapping the present condition in room 5 – Structure I – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Taking measurements in room 5 – Structure I – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Discussion on the present condition in room 5 – Structure I – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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Working in progress on photographic recording and measurements for rectifying the photos in rooms 5& 6 – Structure I – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico

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USB microscope recording during the non-invasive analysis on Structure II – Chicanna archeological site – Chicanna’ – Campeche – Mexico