Conservation Solutions, Inc: Art + Architecture + Artifacts

West Block Rehabilitation Project, Heritage Tiles - Parliament Hill

Site
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, ON, Canada

As part of the West Block Rehabilitation Project, the interior heritage spaces are also undergoing upgrades and renovations. At the request of the CM, Conservation Solutions, ULC. (CSI) carried out an onsite assessment and treatment of the two heritage ceramic panels, dating to the construction of the Mackenzie Tower (1875-1878), located on the North and South Walls of the former Prime Minister of Canada’s office and was transitioned for the current Prime Minister.

Mock-ups and testing of tape removal procedures and repairs were completed to identify the best methodology for the required work. Following mock-up approval, CSI treated each panel. Though initially identified as “painted” tiles, upon closer examination of the areas of loss, CSI noted the tiles consisted of two layers of coloured glaze.  This is indicative of the crazing pattern noted on the base cream glaze and the overall surface finish typical of fired ceramics which provides a glossy appearance. This variation is common in fired ceramics and is caused by variations in the heat distribution and the type of environment used within the kiln.  The manufacturer of the tiles is unknown. 

Work was carried out sequentially to systematically treat all areas and to ensure that each procedure did not adversely affect the next. Areas of glaze loss and all repairs were in-painted and colour-matched acrylic paints were added layer by layer to provide the most accurate aesthetic finish.