Field Trip

New preservation trades
class gets hands-on experience

Ivy Tech course provides
learning by doing in the field

By Rhonda Deeg
Special to RoundAbout

(November 2010) – During the first six days of October, a group of interested historic preservation students worked alongside each other without realizing that by the end they would bond, learn and admire all that was accomplished by their hands.
The Historic Preservation Trades Technology program of Ivy Tech Community College, Madison campus, held its first Field Site course (one of five courses in the program) for six days from Oct. 1-6 at St. Michael the Archangel Church and Rectory. St. Michael the Archangel Church is the oldest surviving Gothic building in Indiana and is owned by Historic Madison Inc.

Erin Ware

Photo by Rhonda Deeg

Student Erin Ware learns to plaster a
wall as instructor Terry Wullenweber
of Milan, Ind., looks on.

Nine students (five from the Ball State University historic preservation graduate degree program and four from Ivy Tech-Madison) worked on three projects during the course of those six days: dry laid stone, historic plasterwork and stained glass restoration.
Instructors Jan and Clint Bush, of Lexington, Ky., demonstrated how a dry laid, stone wall is tightly woven together using sturdy foundation stones and smaller harding stones to build a slightly battered retaining wall. Students began this project, standing side by side, and carefully took down a fallen retaining wall, dug the area clean and rebuilt the wall properly using an aged old technique of laying stones without mortar.
Instructor Terry Wullenweber of Milan, Ind., spent two days working alongside students as they cleaned, patched and repaired a historic plaster wall inside of the church. Each student tried their hands at the trowel and hawk, learned the importance of using lime instead of drywall compound in a historic building.
While working on both masonry and plaster projects, students also teamed with instructor Rhonda L. Deeg of Madison on the survey and documentation of the circa early 20th century stained glass windows. High quality photographs were taken and a survey of existing conditions was completed. One pivoted panel was removed to begin the restoration process. Students learned how to assess conditions determine proper repair techniques and then began to take necessary steps to restore the first panel.
During non-work hours, students toured several HMI museum properties, attended a wood window restoration demonstration, walked on an architectural tour of Madison, and toured the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. The students also experienced an educational history of Madison from HMI’s John Staicer and Heidi Kruggel and toured HMI properties.

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