Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conservator Returns Oct 1 to Finish the Work

Ian arrives October 1 to begin the final phase of this project. He will again be assisted by Angela Christie and Jillian Cyca. The city has dedicated a large area in one of the buildings in the downtown City Yards for them to do the work. The area is perfect since it has plenty of space, an industrial compressor, and great ventilation. The goal is to have all the images mounted within six weeks, with the contingency of completing the work next spring if necessary.

Last year the mural images were all stripped off the walls and onto canvas. The remaining task is to mount the canvases onto fiberglass panels then wash off the fish glued canvas to reveal the original paint. It has proved very difficult to mount the canvas evenly onto the panels. Ian spent a great deal of time since last fall experimenting and inventing systems to adhere the canvas. What he came up with was a method whereby the panel and canvas are enclosed in plastic and a vacuum is used to force the canvas flush to the panel. Thereafter a specially designed heat blanket is used to evenly warm heat-activated glue which bonds the canvas to the panel. The temperature has to be evenly applied at exactly 75 degrees Celsius because if any area gets too hot the paint could burn, or the glue could harden. There are many details necessary to make the conditions just right.