AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting – Objects Luncheon: “So Far Away From Me? Conservation and Archaeology” by Suzanne Davis and Claudia Chemello

Post a colleague and I wrote for AIC’s blog “Conservators Converse” on a talk given at the 40th Annual Meeting, 2012, held in San Francisco, CA.

“In the second talk during the OSG luncheon, Suzanne Davis and Claudia Chemello explored the question “are archaeologists and conservators so far away from each other?”, inspired by the sentiment of the Dire Straits song “So Far Away”. Their talk was illustrated with historic photographs of archaeologists working in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey in the 1920s, from the collection at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan.” (continue reading)

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Wonderfully WAAC-Y: the WAAC annual Silent Auction

Post I wrote for AIC’s blog “Conservators Converse” about the Silent Auction held at WAAC’s Annual Meeting held in 2011 in Austin, TX.

“For the last seven years, WAAC meeting attendees have eagerly anticipated what has become a staple event at the annual meeting, the Silent Auction. An idea conceived by conservator and former WAAC board member Beverly Perkins, the Silent Auction is usually held over two days of the meeting to raise money for a local organization in need. WAAC attendees are encouraged to bring items to donate to the auction, and WAAC board members are typically major contributors as well. The items in the auction range from practical art conservation items-tools, materials, and conservation books-to fun, silly, handmade and/or locally-inspired items, which are some of the most popular among bidders.” (continue reading)

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Summering in northern highland Ecuador

As an archaeological conservator, I often have the opportunity to work in the field and conserve objects on an excavation. This summer I returned to norther Ecuador, where I worked in 2009, to be the conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project.  I wrote up a short post on some of the work I did there this summer for the project “Day of Archaeology” (this is a blog where archaeologists or people working with archaeological material write posts on what they spend their day doing) if you want to see some of what I did this summer and learn about what an archaeological conservator does on site.

 

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One of my projects this summer (pictured here) was to continue the reconstruction of a red aribalo (a ceramic vessel used to hold liquids) that was excavated and partially treated in 2009. Here I am working on the area of the rim and neck to adjust misaligned joins. The vessel form is Incan, but the surface treatment and some other characteristics are not. It is thought that perhaps this is a hybrid form of an aribalo which combines styles from the Inca, who conquered the area in the 1500’s, and the local indigenous populations, known as the Cayambes.

 

Archaeological Conservation in Northern Highland Ecuador

I spent this summer working as a conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project (PAP), located in northern highland Ecuador, near the town of Cangahua.  As the conservator on the project, my job was to examine and conserve the finds excavated to ensure their long term preservation and to aid in archaeological research.  Most of the work taking place here is focusing on sites and fortresses located on various hilltops in the region.  The research hopes to understand the indigenous cultures known as the Cayambes, that lived here before the Inca conquered this area in the 1500’s, and also to look at the interactions between the groups after that conquest. (continue reading)

 

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Powdery Paint Consolidation Part I: Setting up an Ultrasonic Humidifier and Nebulizer

…or more aptly titled “The trials and tribulations of how to set up this equipment and only get two seconds of a consolidation mist before it all goes wrong”…(continue reading)

 

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What’s Simmering in That Beaker? Understanding Ancient Technology by Manufacturing Pigments

Powdered saffron, simmering roots, crushed leaves…no, it’s not what’s cooking in the kitchen, but what’s been cooking at the Getty Villa this quarter for the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. (continue reading)

 

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To microwave, or use the stove top: that is the question…when making wheat starch paste

Two weeks ago paper conservator Christel Pesme lectured in the organic materials conservation course (CAEM 238) on some basics of paper conservation. After going over the history of paper making and agents of deterioration, Christel talked to us about repairing tears and spent the afternoon showing us how to make wheat starch paste, one of the preferred adhesives for these types of mends. (continue reading)

 

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