Ever wonder how to clean the surface of a sculptural artwork without using toxic chemicals? Blasting media is a type of clean technology that can be used to prepare or clean almost any surface. It’s similar to sandblasting, but the range of products used are some of the most diverse you can imagine. There are small glass beads, walnut shells, pulverized volcanic ash, soda, dry ice, garnet, corn cobs, sponge, wheat starch, crushed ceramic, plastic and stainless steel, to name a few. Blasting media isn’t new technology, but it continues to evolve as new uses are discovered.
There are many variables to consider when selecting blasting media for a particular surface. Location can play a big part in selecting a suitable medium. For example, if you are working near protected waterways, you will want to consider the biodegradability of a product. Blasting can be too abrasive in most situations. Test first, work lightly and have a good understanding of the material you’re working on.
And here’s another tip. If you live in Seattle (or work outdoors restoring public artworks), you know a good raincoat is critical for keeping dry. We’ve all experienced a time when we forgot our umbrella or anticipated that a light jacket would get us through the day, only to get caught in a downpour that left us saturated from head to toe. Why not wear an earth-friendly raincoat? You can buy biodegradable raingear at local work-wear stores. They are breathable and durable.