The Wolf Phase of the Western Basin Tradition Pot

The Conservator's Assessment

"This pot of approximately 70 sherds has been very badly restored, probably resulting in a misleading shape. The adhesive, plaster and paint has been allowed to spread over the sherds and obscures much of the original fabric (impressions on the exterior) of the pot. This will be very time consuming to remove even with solvents, and a considerable amount of manual dexterity and time will be needed. Shrinkage of the adhesive and plaster has caused some damage to the edges of the sherds." Brian V. Arthur, November 1996.

The Recommended Treatment

-take the pot apart
-remove the old adhesive, plaster and paint
-consolidate friable edges and surfaces
-reassemble and restore

The Actual Treatment

-this pot was first taken down in sections by cutting through the plaster make up with a saw

-the plaster, which covered almost all of the inside of the pot was removed by scalpel

-the old adhesive was removed in an atmosphere of acetone

-much of the outer surface of the pot had been coated with an epoxy-like mixture which had to be removed by scalpel

-the pot was reassembled using a high fiber adhesive
-large cracks were filled with a mixture of the high fiber adhesive and sharp sand

-a new plaster of paris bottom was constructed using an inflated baloon as a form and to such a shape as is appropriate for this particular pot type

-the plaster was painted with acrylic colours.