Conservation & Restoration

The studio undertakes a wide range of conservation and restoration work which includes cleaning, consolidation, tear mending, structural work on easel paintings, filling, retouching and varnishing. Complex structural work on panels and relining of canvases is carried out by experienced structural conservators outside the studio with whom we have a close working relationship.

Cleaning

The removal of dirt, varnish and non-original repaint from the surface of the painting.

Consolidation

The reattachment of loose areas of paint and ground using a stable adhesive and a heated spatula.

Structural Work on Canvas

Re-weaving tears to the canvas either with original fibres, or with new fibres if necessary.

Re-lining using traditional glue paste is subcontracted out to experienced specialists with whom we work on a regular basis.

Structural Work on Panel

Minor panel work is undertaken in the studio; this includes cradle management and the mending of splits and joins.

More extensive panel work is subcontracted out to experienced specialists with whom we work on a regular basis.

Filling & Texturing

Areas of loss to the paint and ground are filled almost to the level of the original and textured to match the adjacent paint surface.

Retouching

Areas of loss and abrasion are retouched to an acceptable level using dry pigments and a stable resin. The retouching aims to diminish the impact of disruptive losses whilst allowing the painting to retain a sense of age. Different approaches can be used depending on the period and condition of the painting.

Varnishing

Where appropriate, an isolating varnish is applied by brush prior to restoration. Final spray varnishes are used to saturate the paint layers and to modify surface gloss.

Preventive Conservation

Fragile panels are often placed in 'microclimate boxes', which can be built discreetly within an antique frame to minimise the response of a panel to fluctuations in relative humidity. Unlined paintings can be protected with loose linings and backboards.