Monday, July 6, 2015

Public Art and the World Traveler at DFW Airport

art conservation Texas
The tunnel through Crystal Mountain sculpture at Terminal D.
Time flies. [pun intended! ]  Well it's been well over a year now since Studio Six Art Conservation received the contract for the art maintenance and art conservation at the DFW International Airport Terminal D. As soon as the ink had dried and our security badges cleared, it's been go, go go!

Unlike the work Studio Six undertakes for many museums and private collections, the public sculpture at DFW is different because many of the artworks can be directly accessed by the public.

Works like the Crystal Mountain, shown here, designed by Dennis Oppenheim and fabricated by La Paloma Fine Arts is a two story tall structure with a tunnel through the middle. Formed of thick gauge welded sheets of stainless and accented with colored LED lights, this public sculpture is a huge draw for DFW passengers and employees alike.

While the metal sides have taken their fair share of hits from luggage carts, it's always a surprise to discover what trinkets or foodstuffs the traveling public leaves in the dark recesses of the tunnel. Half eaten candies, rubber bands, paper airplanes, even a few small stuffed animals... you can't help but wonder if the the artist considered this possible accumulation of bits while designing.

DFW art conservation
On 34 ft. boom lift, using a HEPA filter vacuum to remove the dust. 
And of course there's the dust. Tons of dust. When Studio Six first arrived on the job, so much dust had accumulated on the exterior peaks that it was beginning to look a bit like Spanish moss. It's amazing the amount of dust that accumulates on all of the artwork within Terminal D. A majority of it rides in on every person and bag that enters the terminal.

Of course these days Studio Six performs regular scheduled inspections of Crystal Mountain and regular dustings mostly done from an aerial lift using a HEPA vacuum. And there are routine cleanings that focus on the removal of surface grime left by hundreds of sticky fingers and hands.

Dallas art conservation
Before the First BIG clean.

public sculpture conservation
After cleaning ... MUCH better.

Monday, December 1, 2014

OSHA Certification For Aerial Lifts

Studio Six Art Conservation
With the DFW International Airport Terminal D Art Maintenance contract, Studio Six owner Brad Ford Smith and fellow art handler David Page spent a rainy afternoon training on a variety of arial lifts. 

Studio Six Art Conservation
At the end of the day both Brad and David received their OSHA lift certifications.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fabricating A New Face Plate

Dallas Art Conservation

The face plate on this old family heirloom was a bit beyond a face lift. The Bakelite had deteriorated to the point that it was causing the surrounding wood to slit.

Art Conservation Dallas
So Studio Six fabricated a new face plate. Now its ready to crank out the jams.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A New Face Plate For A Vintage Radio

Art Conservation
Sometimes there are projects that are too fun to pass up, and sometimes those fun projects turn into learning experiences.

In the top left corner of the photo is a Bakelite radio faceplate that has severely deteriorated. The white faceplate below it is a cardboard model we made to make a mold from. The proceeding 6 faceplates are the failedcastings. The 7th is the finished faceplate ready to be mounted onto the vintage radio.

And speaking of learning experiences, this post is a test to see if the new Studio Six MailChimp subscription program is functioning correctly.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Studio Six Part Of The 2013 TAM Conference

As a member of NTAAC, Studio Six Art Conservation will be co-chairing a presentation at the 2013 Texas Association of Museums conference. The title is Non-renewable Resources: Collection Care of Natural History, Archeological, and Ethnographic Objects.

I'll be sharing the podium with Melanie Sanford from Textile Preservation Services of Texas, Deborah Cowman executive director at the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, Amanda Vance independent consultant and object conservator, and Jenni Opalinski Collection and Exhibitions Manage at the Museum of the Southwest.

They will be addressing the best care, handling and storage of objects that fall in the fields of natural science, archeology and ethnographic. Each has a log history of study and experience, so the presentation should have lots of useful information.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dusting Off A Dale Chihuly

As an art conservator, I get the opportunity to work intimately with some pretty wonderful works of art. It's one of the perks of the business. So, how do you get up close and personal with a 19 foot tail blown glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly? Well, first you wait for the sculpture to get really dusty, then you steady your nerves and go after it using a 19 foot electric scissor lift.

While up there I took the unique opportunity to snap a few photos that highlight the lushness of this wonderful material.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two Delicate Bouquets Not To Be Forgotten

These two petite floral bouquets are carved from elephant ivory with the flower stems made from elephant hair. They are stained with watercolor. All combined, that makes for two very delicate sculptures. The damage you see in the top photo is very common; broken joins and missing pieces. The reconstruction requires the use of dental picks, tweezers and micro drill bits.

There were a few flowers missing, so reconstruction had to take into consideration both the original placement and the option for best visual placement. The end result is two beautiful sculptures that can once again be put on displayed.