Up Close and Personal

Friday, January 2, 2009

I like to wear these magnifying glasses to demonstrate how fashion forward we are at the University of Iowa Conservation Lab. Aside from being extremely attractive they are actually quite helpful in situations like this one. The infamous gourd drum which took roughly 40 hours to complete has hair attached around the edge of the stretched leather on the top which was caked in mud. After all the drum had been through, the hair was barely holding on so it wasn’t going to stand up to any normal saliva swabbing. I had to take a very small brush and a bit of water to try to brush the mud out of the hairs without releasing any of them. The magnifying glasses helped me to see what I was doing so I didn’t damage anything. Once I had brushed out most of the mud I went around the edges with a swab and saliva to get to the gourd and leather underneath and in between hairs.