On Thursday 25 March we had yet another members’ monthly meeting via zoom. Audrey Innes, our outgoing SASA president, handed over the reins to Liz Pearson, who will be taking on the role. Liz began by welcoming new members to the society and especially our new council member, Val Watt (Yay Val!!).
If anyone else would be willing to serve on the council, there are a couple more empty places. The society cannot be run without it, so please consider stepping up and giving a little of your time.
The main attraction of the evening was Celeste Barnard, from Kuhne Conservation Studio, who gave a talk on paper and paper conservation.
Celeste began by telling us a little about the chemical structure of paper and the different natural materials used in the making of paper. It was interesting to learn how the different fibres, found in different plant sources and even parts of the same plant, have such an effect on the type and quality of the paper produced, thereby explaining its suitability for different applications.
We also learnt about the additives used in paper-making and the reasons water has such an impact on the paper itself, as well as the artwork on the surface of the paper. Water plays a large part in the paper-making process, so when too much is added at a later stage the paper reverts to it’s original pulpy state, whereas if the paper dries out too much, it becomes brittle and crumbles.
The way a piece of paper reacts to water can also tell us a lot about how the paper was made, if by hand, or machine.
The conservation and restoration of paper is a very complex subject, into which Celeste gave us a little insight, stressing the importance of acid free materials when painting or framing, as well as the correct storage conditions. She also gave us tips on the prevention of potential risks.
Thank you Celeste for a hugely informative evening and for answering all our questions. For anyone who missed it, the complete presentation will be available from SASA.