Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Consolidation, Visitors, and a Whales Head

While it looks like Andrew is simply painting the Totem Pole in this photos, there's a lot more going on.  Andrew is using something called a consolidant to repair the old paint as well.  The product does have pigment mixed in, but it's much more than that.  Consolidant protects the original paint on the Totem Pole by helping it bond to the wood and adding a layer of protection on top.  This technique allows the spaces where the paint is too damaged and had to be removed to be filled in with colour, as well as protects the original paint that remains.
If you haven't had time to visit Andrew at the Benaki museum, you might want to make arrangements soon.  He's only here till the end of the month (Here's some more information about visiting the Totem Pole).  Already hundreds of people have stopped by to say hello to Andrew and the Chief's Crest Pole.  Hopefully a few people have left with a better understanding of Canadian culture and history as well.
Some people have commented that the base of the Totem Pole seems like it's in really rough shape.  As you can see, Andrew has been doing some serious work here.  It's probably the most challenging part of the repair, with a great deal of detail missing on this side.
Fortunately the other side of the Totem Pole seems to be in better condition, and this gives Andrew many clues as to how the other side should look.  Andrew has even sketched the details from this side of the Totem Pole to help him work out how to fix the other side.
This Saturday (October 27th) the Benaki museum is putting on an educational program all about the Totem Pole:

Totem: a gift of friendship
Two unique visitors from the other side of the world are eager to reveal their secrets!
How will you reciprocate this gift?

If you want to be a part of this wonderful program click here.

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