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Saving Face: Terra Cotta Testing and Treatments

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About the Event

The New York Landmarks Conservancy, in partnership with the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, cordially invite you to a special series of lectures in
October and November.

Saving Face: Terra Cotta Testing and Treatments with Helen Thomas-Haney, Jablonksi Building Conservation

Architectural terra cotta is plain or ornamental building units consisting of fired mixtures of clay, fusible materials, and grog with a glazed or unglazed ceramic finish. Manufactured in the United States starting in the mid-1840s, architectural terra cotta flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a less expensive alternative to carved stone. The basic fabrication process for architectural terra cotta has remained the same for the past 150 years. This presentation will provide a brief history and description of manufacturing and installation processes for terra cotta. However, the focus of the presentation will be the practice and challenges of repairing deteriorated terra cotta from surveying and probes, to testing to characterize the material and help determine the causes of deterioration, and common restoration techniques.

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