This sculpture consists of a fibreglass core with a lead sheet coating and dates to 1983-1984. Upon arrival in our studio the lead skin of the figure had multiple holes filled with white corrosion products. After discussing the various treatment options with the artist the initial plan was to cut patches around these holes to remove the corroded sections.
Detailed images were taken prior to the removal and samples of the corrosion were taken for XRD analysis. The corrosion had a strange greenish tint to it, and it was discovered that this was a characteristic trait of Hydrocerussite.
Unfortunately it quickly became clear that the corrosion was forming on the underside of the lead and although it had only broken through in a few places, the corrosion was far more extensive than originally thought. The artist then took the decision to replace the lead skin with new lead sheet.
The figure was carefully documented to record the shape and fit of all the joints and finish of the surface, including marking through the solder joints to ensure that artists intention was kept.
To prevent the corrosion from returning we advised upon strict guidelines for the storage and packaging of the sculpture.