Hello, A couple of quick questions from a fairly new mountmaker here. I've been asked to research the use of weighted bags for stabilizing ceramic pots/vases on exhibit. Has anyone has ever used this method? If so, what perimeters did you use to determine which of these types of objects could use them? What worked and what didn't? Are there any tips/issues to watch out for? Also, I'm looking for suggestions on how to handle lidded objects. Do most rely on the lip inside the lid to simply keep it in place, or is there an internal mount that can be fabricated? Any advice, suggestions, or sketches given will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
All the time. We have a huge collection of Rookwood pottery and if it is inside a case out of the reach of visitors we use weighted bags. I steer this directions when the object has a good foot but, seems a little top-heavy.
We have multiple sizes of bags/snakes made with different types of weights. Some have sand inside and others have lead shot. Typically square like a cornhole bag, sometimes elongated, like a snake to use when transporting unstable objects on carts inside the galleries. Most are made of soft linen, but we have older ones made of what feels like suede. They have just always been here and been in use before I started this job, so I keep using them.
Lids… if they seem stable and don’t rattle we just place them on the object. If it seems like it will rattle every time someone walks by try using museum wax. Check with a conservator first but, we use a product called Rhoplex N-580. It comes as a milky white liquid but, it dries clear. If you use an eye dropper and contact release mylar you can drip out tiny dots. Peel and use tacky little dots. It has many other uses.
PJ Grimm | Preparator
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Cincinnati Art Museum we bring people and art together
eden park | 953 eden park drive | cincinnati ohio | 45202
Ballasting objects is definitely one of the best ways of stabilizing them for a temblor. The basic rule is: the lower you get the objects center of gravity the better...which seems obvious enough. The reason I mention it is that just adding any kind or amount of weight won't get you there. ... depending on the shape of the object adding weight could just be adding mass and not really doing anything to create stability. This is the reason lead is a better stabilizer than sand. Since it has a greater specific gravity than ceramic it will sit lower in the pot for the same amount of weight added. If you would like a deeper analysis on stability there is this simple formula:
for an object 6' x 1' @ 200 pounds:
Weight = 200 pounds
Depth to CG = 6 inches
Force = 60 pounds