In 2011 and early 2012, a set of architectural drawings was prepared to record existing conditions at Western Clay. These drawings were meant to serve archival purposes, capturing the site at a specific moment in time. Grouped with other forms of documentary information, however, they have also helped facilitate the planning and execution of material conservation at the former industrial complex. This Western Clay Cultural Resources Survey and Assessment, born out of recording efforts in 2011, was a blueprint of sorts for the two consecutive praxis campaigns of 2012 and 2013.
Because of Western Clay's complicated architectural forms and irregular building components (coupled with varying physical conditions of materials), no one technique could be used to produce such a porfolio. Laser scanning of Kiln No. 7 generated a point cloud, which was, in turn, used to produce a three-dimensional model of the kiln and, ultimately, a two-dimensional drawing. More complicated kiln components where reconstructed in modeling software using field measurements, notes, and hand-drawn sketches. Total station points generated long-range measurements to accurately depict spatial relationships among the many buildings of Western Clay. Photographs, finally, were then used to re-examine details which had eluded hand- and laser-based recording. The end product, known colloquially as the Project Portfolio, documents the industrial site as a whole, incorporating historical data into a contemporary record of building type, materials, and construction techniques.