International Workshop: Matter and meaning. Consolidation of historic plasters: theoretical issues, recent research and conservation methods.

Date: 12 – 16 June 2017

Venue: St Mary’s Church, Pöide, Saaremaa

The workshop deals with the area thoroughly investigated by several international research teams over the past decade – the usage of injection grouts in conservation of architectural surfaces (e.g. the large research project at the Getty Conservation Institute).

Conservators in Estonia and its neighboring countries are lacking sufficient experience with injection grouts on both scientific and conscious levels and finding suitable consolidation mixtures for medieval church murals and plasters have been causing problems for decades.

The aim of the workshop is to introduce the international know-how and modern methodologies to our region and to test their applicability on the local heritage.

The course will combine theoretical lectures and introduction of recent scientific research on plaster consolidation with practical on-site tests. The topics covered both in theory and practice will comprise:

– use of different mortars: hydrated and hydraulic and how to transform mortars into hydraulic form;

– how to prepare mortars with: sand, brick dust, stone powder, mortars for sgraffito etc.;

– methods for determination of the state of conservation of plaster (painted or natural);

– how to apply a ready to use product vs site-specific product;

– use of different mortars made on site:

– system of consolidation using new fibers in mortars: basalt, steel wires,

carbon etc.;

– case studies and on-site tests in Pöide.

Tutors: Paolo Pagnin (Lithos srl, Venice)

Jan Vojtechovsky (University of Pardubice)

Coordinator: Hilkka Hiiop, Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA)

Participants: 15 – 20 people (EAA, Tartu Art College (TAC), conservators and heritage professionals)

Initial Programme:

Day 1 evening

Arrival to Saaremaa

Day 2

Morning session: lectures

Introduction to the church – history, conservation history, current condition Introduction to grouting technology – basic characteristics, production, performance and potential use

Afternoon session: practical workshop (3 h)

Introduction to the workshop topic and timetable. Preparation of the worksite, understanding the problem, documenting the situation

Day 3

Morning session: lectures

Testing and optimizing of grouts in laboratory and on-site scale (methods, results, conclusions):

Case studies of grouting

Afternoon session: practical workshop (2-3 h) Testing of grouts on site

Day 4

Morning session: round trip of Saaremaa Afternoon session: practical workshop (2-3 h) Testing and evaluation of grouts

Day 5

Morning session: Final discussion, conclusions Afternoon: back to Tallinn

This event is organised by the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, supported by the ASTRA project of the Estonian Academy of Arts – EKA LOOVKÄRG (European Union, European Regional Development Fund).