The 2007 International Preservation Trades Workshop compiled the knowledge of a wide variety of masters, with whom became masters through years of experience via trial and error. This left me personally with a sensation that can only be described with the figure of speech: 'a slap in the face.' This slap, however, had two sides: first being the somewhat embarrassing realization of how little I know, leaving an overwhelming knot of fear in my stomach that seemed to grow with every demonstration; the second being this wave of excitement in how much knowledge is out there, free to absorb, and the skills I could potentially gain and one day master myself. Some of these masters, just to nip the tip of the iceberg, included dry stone conservancy, blacksmithing, slate roofing, window glaze/repair, scagliola, plaster, lime wash and painting. After attending the demonstrations and lectures of all of these skilled professionals I noticed a few common denominators: first of which is that a building is alive, biggest part to understand: it breaths; you must truly understand the surface you're dealing with, and understand how to use the age for you; learn how something was traditionally done so that the knowledge of the past with current techniques and technology can work together. The final bit of advice that I am sure to never forget, proclaimed by historic structure painting and refinishing expert Dusty Hoffman, "If you smell the poison through your mask, you're already dead." Thank you so much for the opportunity, it was more beneficial than I could have ever dreamed it to be.
Jessica Burr, Savannah College of Art & Design