Saturday, 22 December 2007

Restored Box Tomb

Restored Box tomb made from plaster moulds using fragments, rebuilt with modelling clay. This is the northernmost row of the 1700's cemetery. Fragments of damaged tombstones in foreground.

Restoration of the box tombs (all the box tombs visible in the cemetery today were handmade by Evan Millner, except for a single marble tomb, which survived the destruction).

The method for tomb reconstruction was as follows:

A couple of sides of original Portland Stone box tombs survived, but were damaged.

These were taken to the workshop, and carefully re-built using clay, filling in the missing pieces.

Then, using Victorian methods, massive plaster of paris piece moulds were made for each piece. These were constructed in the manner I had learned when I visited the British Museum's historical mould store, in Baron's Park, and in theoretical lessons at the City and Guilds of London Art School, where I had studied Architectural Stone Carving and Historical Restoration.

The moulds were then painted with several layers of shellac, once the plaster had dried, and wooden frames were constructed for each mould, with large bolts for tightening them.

Metal frameworks were then inserted into each mould, and Portland Cement was used to pour the moulds, which were left to cure.

I made three types - the intermediate type you can see above, is a copy of the sole surviving marble box tomb.

Smaller, low-rise box tombs were also reconstructed, as were a number of the larger grand box tombs.

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