Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Bell Pull

HLATC 1999.7.4

While we are primarily a "flat" textile collection (few garments) we do have our fair share of three dimensional objects. Most are tools used in creating textiles or they are objects which a textile is a part of, such as this Victorian bell pull, HLATC 1999.7.4. It was evident as soon as this piece came out of storage that it was going to need more than tissue paper padding to pack it safely. The bell pull was a packing challenge with its delicate, beaded textile element combined with very heavy and fairly sharp edged cast bronze pieces at either end.

To protect the textile from the metal, our first step was to pad out the spaces between the bronze ends and the textile with pieces of ethafoam wrapped in tissue. We used the ethafoam instead of just straight tissue pillows because the heavy, sharp edges would have torn through just tissue.

Next, we needed to immobilize the heavy bronze ends. This was done by placing the entire piece onto a piece of coroplast which had been cut to the exact size of the box it was to fit into. Slits had been cut in predetermind spots allowing us to thread cotton twill tape through them. A trusty paperclip worked beautifully for threading the twill tape through the slits.

The cotton twill tape was used to tie down the bronze ends, securing them to the board.

A layer of padding beneath the entire piece and a layer of padding covering it were all tied into place and voila! Our immobilized bell pull is ready for its box.

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