Plaster maquette of Joseph Priestly 1733-1804.

A painted plaster maquette of Joseph Priestly 1733-1804.  Priestly was a tutor at Warrington Academy. He began his research on gases whilst at the Academy, which lead to his discovery of oxygen in 1774.

Cleaning. The surface was cleaned with a vulcanised rubber.

Consolidation. All fugitive and lifting areas of surface decoration were consolidated with a 10% solution of an acrylic resin in acetone.

In-filling/Reconstruction of Missing Areas. Having obtained detailed photographic evidence from the full scale sculpture of Priestly that is displayed in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, it was possible to accurately reconstruct the missing hand, cuff and lens of the right arm (within the aesthetic constraints of the maquette). The hand was remodeled separately; a small stainless steel dowel connected the stump of the arm and the new hand and was secured/tacked into position with a fast setting epoxy resin. A 10% solution of an acrylic resin in acetone was painted onto the stump to form a barrier layer between it and the epoxy; the cuff was then reconstructed in-situ. These areas, along with areas to: the nose, several edges of the coat and waistcoat, and edges of the plinth were reconstructed with a plaster based filler. Filled and remodelled areas were consolidated with a 10% solution of an acrylic resin in acetone in preparation for retouching.

Retouching. Remodeled areas and missing areas of decoration were retouched and toned with various combinations of a clear acrylic glaze, artist’s dry powder pigments and graphite powder.

Protective Coating. A thin protective coating of Renaissance Wax was brushed onto the surface and buffed with a lint free cloth.