Chief Conservator Esther Méthé is working on packing our small collection of textile fragments that are encased in glass. Méthé is creating bumper trays for these fragile pieces and covering them with bubble, to ensure they are cushioned for transit.
Visiting conservation scholar Anna Keruzec is creating trays for three-dimensional Pre-Columbian dolls.
She begins by laying the dolls on a tray-sized piece of paper and tracing them. Then, she cuts out tray-sized sheets of thin Ethafoam and a thicker piece of Volara. Anna uses the template she created to carve away the space of the dolls from the Volara, making a void for them to sit in. Next„ she glues the Ethafoam, then the Volara, to the blue board tray, and places the dolls in their niches and secures them with twill tape. Bumpers around the exterior of the trays allow multiple trays to stack in a box.
Now the pieces are stable and ready to travel!
Fun find! The collections management staff found this Mamiya C220 twin-lens camera among the photo archives equipment, complete with spare wide-angle and telephoto lenses!
Registration Technician Chelsea Hick is preparing Ethafoam and blue board trays to store and transport small three-dimensional objects.
Here, Chelsea wraps coiled bands in muslin, creates cubbies for each, and secures them in the trays with twill tape.
Check out this great Chimu-style loincloth and tunic. The macaw feathers and metal plaques are beautiful!
- Loincloth and tunic, Peru, Chimu style. Cotton, metal, feathers. TM 1962.9.4 and 1962.9.6.
Collections management intern Jennifer Torres and volunteer Elizabeth Campos are organizing and packing our photo archives, which contain digital and analog photographic material of Textile Museum collections objects.
Passive Mats (Part 3)
Now that the mat itself has been fabricated, it’s time to fill it! Here, collections management intern Christine Hogan cuts and and irons a piece of muslin that is the size of the base board, while intern Julia Grasso cuts out two pieces of tissue in the same size. The muslin will provide friction to prevent the tissue from slipping on the surface of the blue board.
Julia and Christine then place the object between the two pieces of tissue, using scrap board to support it. Next, they use scrap board to line up the object with the mat base board, and gently pull the board away, leaving the object and tissue aligned on the mat. Christine closes the flaps, ensuring that they do not come in contact with the object. Last, but certainly not least, they place the mat in an archival box so it can travel safely. Well done, ladies!
Passive Mats (Part 2)
In our last post, we explained what passive mats are, and why we are using them to store and transport fragile fragmentary textiles. Here, collections management interns Julia Grasso and Christine Hogan demonstrate the process from start to finish.
First, the textile must be measured. Based on their results, Julia and Christine determine that this piece needs the largest mat size for the selected box. They input the dimensions into a spreadsheet that calculates the hinging flap dimensions based on the size of textile and the size of the mat base board. Julia then cuts the base board and flaps, numbers each with the object number, and lines them up against the sides of the mat. Using Tyvek tape, she attaches the four flaps to the base board and ensures that they can independently hinge. The flaps of the mat are then opened to receive the internal elements of the mat.
Stay tuned to find out what happens next!
Passive Mats (Part 1)
The Textile Museum has a large collection of very fragile, flat archaeological fragments, some of which live in drawers and cabinets without any storage supports. In order to transport these textiles safely, our conservation department has prioritized housing them in new passive mats.
Made of archival blue board, the passive mat is a storage-specific mount with independently hinging sides that holds small, flat textiles. The object is protected between two pieces of archival tissue and passively held in place by the sides of the mat—which keep the object from shifting in storage or during transit without putting pressure on it. Because the sides are thicker than the textiles, the mats can be stacked on top of each other without any risk of contact.
Our passive mats are created in standard base sizes for three different box sizes (above), so they “puzzle piece” together inside a box—preventing the mats from sliding and shifting during transit. Some mats take up a whole layer, while others fill halves or quarters.
These mounts will not only keep objects safe for the move, they will ensure the pieces are easily accessible for staff and researchers in the future.
Stay tuned to find out how we construct these mounts!
Chief Conservator Esther Méthé and conservation intern Annaïck Keruzec are rehousing our oversize textiles. To accommodate these challenging pieces—which must remain flat, but are too large for our standard-size boxes—Méthé has designed stack-able, oversize trays of archival blue board with Ethafoam bumpers.
Méthé and Keruzec wrap the objects in Tyvek, then place them in these trays, while conservation volunteers Barbara Gentile and Julie Evans create muslin pillows. The pillows will fill the trays, applying gentle pressure to the objects when the trays are stacked and preventing the pieces from shifting in transit. While Gentile cuts the batting, Evans sews the muslin.