Masonry in a Marine Environment
Attendees of Workshop 1, "Masonry in a Marine Environment," could not help but return home determined that preservation practice should involve more boat travel. Gorgeous weather and scenery accompanied a Saturday afternoon excursion via inflatable Zodiac boats through the Juan de Fuca Strait to Cole Island. Ongoing stabilization of former Royal Navy structures on the island gave attendees a unique opportunity to observe masonry deterioration resulting from proximity to, and even immersion in, salt water.
The first order of business, however, was classroom preparation by workshop facilitator Keith Blades. With training in England and over 40 years of experience on projects across Canada and abroad, Blades is a well-known masonry conservation specialist. He began the Saturday morning session with a promise to pack six days' worth of material into a two-day workshop, and then proceeded to deliver rapid-fire primers on conservation practice, geology, material properties, and the chemical and mechanical causes of deterioration, wrapping up over lunch. Blades employed a two- projector setup with full-screen images on one side and meticulously hand-lettered notes and diagrams on the other, which was a refreshing change after two days of PowerPoint paper sessions.