Inside the Collection

Conservators corner: Tinytoreum Taster

Conservator handling tiny saucer
Photography by Powerhouse Museum © all rights reserved.

The exhibition, Tinytoreum, is coming soon. You can see a preview of some gorgeous miniature tea sets in the showcase next to the cafe on Level 3. Dee McKillop has been preparing the objects for display.

They were quite dirty so she washed them with a non ionic detergent in a bath of warm distilled water.

Dee McKillop preparing objects for display
Photography by Powerhouse Museum © all rights reserved.

She used a sea sponge and a soft brush to remove the surface dirt. The paper labels remained adhered during the washing process & were quickly blot ted dry. One tea cup had been previously repaired with a water soluble adhesive and in the washing process, the glue was reversed and detached.

Repairing a detached handle on a teacup
Photography by Powerhouse Museum © all rights reserved.

Dee repaired the handle with an adhesive called Paraloid B72 in acetone.

Dee McKillop repairing a miniature teacup
Photography by Powerhouse Museum © all rights reserved.

Some chipped areas on the items had absorbed quite a bit of ingrained dirt into the porous surface. Using a microscope in the fume hood, Dee removed the ingrained dirt with a solution of 50/50 solution of ammonia/ethanol, applying a satay stick & cotton wool swab.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *