Blue John Urn
The vase had been repaired previously ; it had been broken into 5 sections and re- bonded. The adhesive of this repair had discoloured considerably, however it was not too visually obtrusive in relation to the variations in colour of the Blue John. There were small chips and missing areas along the join lines of the old repairs. In addition to the recent damage, on acceptance, to the neck and upper lip of the foot, there was also evidence of previous repair to these areas; it too being discoloured. Also one large and one small area of the lip of the vase were missing.
Dismantling of the previous repair was not recommended as this would have potentially increased the risk of further damage; the variations in crystal structure and size make this a fairly unpredictable and fragile material.
The join lines were given additional protection by in-filling with an epoxy paste composed of an epoxy resin, fumed silica and marble dust, and artist’s dry powder pigments. Similarly, the missing areas to the lip of the vase were filled with a coloured epoxy paste .
The break edges and the plaster of Paris that secured the thread between the base, the foot and the vase was consolidated with a 7-10% solution of an acrylic in acetone. The foot was then re-bonded with an epoxy resin. Small chips to the foot were filled with a coloured epoxy paste as previously described.
Finally, all fills were polished with a variety of sanding fabrics and a plastic polish that did not abrade the Blue John.