KYLLONEN, P. Conservation of 'Last Milk Platform' (1992) by Jan-Erik Andersson, 2004

Posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 12:19

Technical research and preliminary determination of unsaturated polyester for conservation of the outdoor installation 'Last Milk Platform' (1992) by Jan-Erik Andersson
Bachelor's Thesis by Päivi Kyllönen
EVTEK, Conservation Programme
Finland, 2004

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This thesis contains an analytical research and evaluation of the material used by Jan-Erik Andersson in his outdoor sculpture The Last Milk Platform (1992). The main focus is on the plastic life-size, red Mermaid.The artist's intent and the process of making is presented. The polymer system of reinforced unsaturated polyester and the composite structure used in the object are estimated. The internal and external degradation processes of plastics are investigated, mainly regarding the basis of reinforced unsaturated polyester.


From the analytical research procedures, the most elementary information on the material changes in reinforced unsaturated polyester were obtained with a visual light CIE L*a*b* Spectrophotometer and with FTIR Spectrometry. Reference material was used from a pilot research project on Plastics (2003), both fresh and aged test-samples, and these were compared with the results from the original Mermaid. For CIE L*a*b* measurements Kari Tykkyläinen's object 'The Woman and Dogs' (1989), kept mainly in storage area's, was used as a reference object. The analytical results reveal colour and molecular changes in reinforced unsaturated polyester.


Contemporary ethical considerations on reversibility, stability and integrity, when carrying out treatments for plastic objects, are in this thesis confronted with traditional conservation values. The preliminary determination for treatments and a proposal for making a copy of the Mermaid are included, assisted by Rapid Prototyping and 3D programs, as well as by changing the quality of the unsaturated polyester and by managing the airflow inside the object. The other treatment proposal is a complete restoration of the plastic object including a change in the structural and visual appearance of the object.


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