Bloom is a cloudy, waxy, powdery, or hazy deposit on the surface of an object composed of wood, leather, paint, metal, or plastic (Getty). Bloom can appear feathery, crystalline, or matted (Pack 2013). Bloom can sometimes be mistaken for mold, but examination under the microscope will make it clear which is which. Bloom can be white, soft, waxy or melted.
To learn more about bloom read the IIC Studies in Conservation article Fatty Bloom on Wood Sculpture.
Blanching; Chalking; Efflorescence; Chill, Cloudiness.
Synonyms in English
Chill; Clouding; Fatty Bloom; Fatty Spew; Haze
Although these white-ish deposits may look like Mold (biological infestation), blooms are very different from mold. Often one can distinguish between mold and bloom because the object has been kept under stable environmental conditions, at the proper relative humidity and temperature, making mold growth difficult (Smithsonian Anthropology Conservation Lab 2003). The reason behind why bloom develops differs from object to object and is linked to the object's materials (Museum of Fine Arts). One common cause of bloom is that moisture was caught in one of the varnish layers (Stoneledge 2006). Another prominent cause of bloom, particularly on leather, is the past treatment of leather with oils and soaps, which were originally thought to preserve leather (Pack 2013).
- For more information see WHITE SURFACE HAZES
- "Clarifying the Haze" by Eugena Ordonez and John Twilley
"Bloom." Getty. Accessed March 20, 2014. http://www.getty.edu/vow/AATFullDisplay?find=bloom&logic=AND¬e=&english=N&prev_page=1&subjectid=300186215
Crista Pack. "What's That White Stuff?" Alaska State Museum. Last modified August 2011. http://alaskawhitestuffid.wordpress.com/
"The Conservator's Eye: Learning to Expect the Unexpected." Smithsonian Anthropology Conservation Lab. Last modified September 2003. http://anthropology.si.edu/conservation/whatsnew_acl_2003-10.htm
"Bloom." Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Accessed March 20, 2014. http://cameo.mfa.org/wiki/Bloom
"Bloom." The Fine Arts Conservancy. Last modified 2006. http://www.art-conservation.org/?page_id=1192
Jewett, D. 1983. A glossary for recording the condition of an artifact. Ottawa : Canadian Heritage Information Network, National Museums of Canada.