Jonathan Appell is available for lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops throughout the United States and Canada. This is a synopsis and outline of an interesting lecture topic.


The Evolution of American Gravestone Restoration and Preservation  1. Brief historical overview on the origins of gravestone carving in America, where it all began, the change from wooden markers and fieldstones to what would be thought of as a colonial-period stone. 2. The regional differences in stone types and styles, reflected by trade routes and what materials were geographically available. Small actual samples of stone fragments will be shown and passed around, including, slates, brownstone, granite, and marble. 3. Change in stone materials and styles from the colonial period to the Victorian. Then in turn the transformation from the predominant styles of the 1800's to the turn of the last century, with the proliferation of granite and modern manufacturing techniques. Incorporated into this, will be the search for more durable stone types, and the problems inherent with the earlier substrates used. In addition, the problems associated with the larger style monuments and their metal pinning will be discussed. This would parallel the use of metal anchoring in architectural elements which has proved to be a problematic area. 4. The beginning of what was first called gravestone restoration and how urban sprawl caused the desire to move, clean up , or eliminate unsightly graveyards. The problems associated with various stone materials and the attempts to curb their degradation. A discussion on treatments used to seal stones, and how they have proved to be fundamentally wrong. The need for vapor transmission and a overview of modern consolidants will be discussed. 5. The progression of various repair techniques through the 1900's to present. Included will be actual samples , of metal pinning and strapping removed or which have failed. The regional differences in repairs including capping with metals and encasing stones in concrete. Also touch on how many earlier repairs would today be considered incorrect, but at that time were excepted, also how many of these stones have been preserved to this day due to these procedures.




6. The transformation from the restoration to the conservation ethic. What the differences are, and how to make educated decisions regarding possible projects. What are considered correct techniques, who and what type of guidelines have been established to date. Touch on documentation, surveys, and condition assessment. 7. Finally, Modern techniques, and where to gain further information and training. This will flow into an actual demonstration at which time I will concurrently field questions. Also I will encourage some questioning during the entire presentation if they arise. I feel the more involvement the better. Demonstration: Included will be a discussion on all available conservation materials and techniques. Samples of numerous materials will be on hand and time permitting will be mixed, applied, and explained.  I will talk about the many types of dowels ( pins, rods ), which could be used. When to use them, and with what materials they are not advised. The appropriate diameter and depth will also be discussed. I will then perform an epoxy repair with at least one type of epoxy. Time allowing more, but the differences and important attributes of various epoxies will be discussed. Also I will cover how in surface applications they are not recommended. I will perform another simulated repair with a new product made by John's, which is a cementitious adhesive. This replaces epoxy in many situations and I have had great results with it in the field. It is breathable and seems to be advantages and more environmentally friendly, water clean up before cured. Next I will mix up and apply some cementitious stone patch material. I will discuss patching, some of the problems and potential remedies. I will have numerous colors and substrate matches to on hand to pick from and also touch on color matching. I will also do a quick demonstration on injection grouts. Covered will be possible applications uses, handling characteristics, and installation procedures. I would like to also do a quick introduction to a modern monument setting technique if time will allow.


I have covered a huge area and amount of material, and could spend a great deal of time on each subject. I will however move very quickly through the historical end of it, to allow time for the more hands on portion. This will keep things interesting, for a wide range of potential viewers. My goal would to give a basic historical foundation, to make for a more complete understanding of our current day conservation practices. Also included will be a free hand out with information on organizations, supplies and over viewing some basic techniques including cleaning,( how to clean, what to use, when not to clean). Well, that about sums it up. I would be happy to change, limit, or modify this outline if you like. I can fit this into varying time frames, or break it into one spoken section and one demonstration session.

Thanks, Jon Appell