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Object Care

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Art By Andy Goodfellow



Conservation can be described simply as ''the slowing down and prevention of deterioration of an object'. It involves such tasks as cleaning, stabilising, bonding and filling. Retouching is not generally thought of as a conservation action, as it does not slow down or prevent any deterioration of the object. Except so far as to seal the filling material. What it can do however is allow the object to be appreciated for its aesthetic qualities, where otherwise it may be disfigured. It restores aesthetic value to the object, therefore it is a restoration technique.
Conservation can be either,
Passive - to control the environment and minimise decay.
Active - to stabilise against further deterioration.
A conservator & restorer is a specialist whom will understand many aspects of the ceramic medium along with certain aspects of the objects history and makeup. Areas of specialisation include,
  • Properties of Ceramic Materials
  • Physical Deterioration
  • Dirt & Staining
  • Chemical Deterioration
  • Preventative Care of Ceramics
  • Environmental Requirements for Ceramics
  • Environmental Ideals
The object itself is a complex medium with many qualities and features, best described under the following headings.

Body - coarse, smooth, matt, gloss, dark, dense, translucency.

Decoration - painted, incised into surface, enamel or gilding.

Glaze - thick/thin, transparent, semi transparent, opaque, glossy / matt, smooth / rough.

It is no easy task to replicate the appearance, that all these individual elements combine to represent.
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