Saturday, November 7, 2009

Following a very successful completed treatment on the Elul mazel, we have started phase two of the conservation treatment of the mazelos. The next steps are as follows:

               A “triage”, ie., stabilization treatment of the three mazel paintings at greatest risk of significant paint loss: Tevet, Shevat and Adar

               Surface cleaning and consolidation of the three most intact mazels: Nissan, Iyar, and Sivan

               If time allows and outstanding building issues are addressed, stabilization of the remaining five mazels will take place

In addition to the conservation treatment, this phase will include a more detailed assessment of the condition of the west wall, where the sanctuary abuts the adjacent building, in order to ensure no leakage issues remain. As well, paint analysis will be carried out to better determine the history of the paint layers.  

The past week was all about establishing the situation and status of the mazel Tevet. It suffered severe damage the last decennia caused by water infiltration in the wall and also later applied fills left their marks. The paint layer has been pushed off the wall so to speak because of the moisture that needed to go somewhere. Also the later applied gypsum fillings have reacted with the water causing to form salts. Salts occur when a wall gets moist the water gets transported via capillarity and seeks it's way out, when the water evaporates at the surface cristallisation of salts occur. And these again push off the paint layer. An other feature that hasn't helped Tevet at all is the plastic contact film--applied in the past to 'save' the paint layer-- One doesn't need much of an imagination to understand what happens over time with a paint layer under a plastic contact film...

Removal of this plastic film was the most important action to be done--intense and very much like surgery as Batyah and I decided to call this procedure. Furthermore the right consolidation treatment needed to be found. The Tevet appeared to be different than the Elul and therefore an adjustment of the previous consolidation treatment was needed. Off course we have found it and we have made lots of progress the last few days. It has been a rewarding week and very satisfying to liberate Tevet from the plastic film!

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