2017 Traditional Paint Forum Events
Evening Lecture on Wood Tar by Michael Knights
Thursday 23rd March 2017, starts 6pm (refreshments between 7pm and 8pm)
Venue: Donald Insall Associates London office, 12 Devonshire Street, London W1G 7AB
In 1998 Michael took part in an EU project under the auspices of the RAPHAEL programme looking at the manufacture and use of traditional materials in the conservation of buildings and other structures.
The practical side of the project took place in Gotland, Sweden and later in Norfolk. Wood tar has been used for thousands of years as a timber preservative as well as a medicinal product. It has many useful properties and is used extensively in Scandinavia to protect softwood joinery used in the construction of wooden buildings as well as traditional sailing ships. It can be coloured with earth pigments to vary the finish when applied to wooden walls and ceilings.
Michael talk will focus on his experiences in Gotland and he will explain how this tar is extracted from pine tree roots. Michael will also talk about his experiments in the pine tree forests of Norfolk with different timber samples. As well as illustrating his talk with slides he hopes to be able to bring along some samples of different tars.
Whilst wood tars are not well understood in this country today (apart from the use of Stockholm Tar as a vetinary product), it does still have a practical use where soft wood timbers are left exposed to the elements either as small wooden buildings, fences and wall cladding.
Michael Knights is TPF committee member and currently freelance Planning and Historic Buildings Advisor. He was Historic Buildings Officer for Norfolk Council over 20 years.