AFTER CARE GUIDELINES
The most important aspects to remember is that conserved and/or restored objects are not stronger nor as strong as they were before damage occurred. Also, that the conservation materials used are usually of a lesser strength than the object itself. As a result, the display, handling and maintenance of these objects should be considered carefully and mindfully.
HANDLING & USE
Handling of such items would ideally be kept to a minimum. If need be, please always use both hands, dry and clean. The oils and moisture on your hands will transfer to the surface of the object and, overtime, attract dirt and dust.
Functional ware, such as teapots and serving dishes, should not be used if food and drinks are in direct contact with the repaired areas; please always ask the conservator for advice on individual pieces. Functional ware will generally become decorative after treatment. This is to protect their user as well as the repair because repairs are by nature more fragile than the object itself.
After conservation, objects can appear as strong as ever but this is rarely the case and cautious handling must be undertaken at all times.
Light sources (including sunlight), if directly turned onto an object, can accelerate the deterioration of materials used in conservation. This deterioration will result in the darkening or yellowing of adhesives and paints, and in the lack of strength making objects more sensitive to movement as time goes on.
Contemporary conservation materials are increasingly more water-based, thus humid environments can irreversibly impact upon such treatments.
Some adhesives can be temperature sensitive and might soften if temperatures on or around the object exceed 40ºC – for example, steam from hot tea affecting the cover of teapots. Adhesives are also applied for an objects’ consolidation and this may be not easily visible to the naked eye.
If possible, avoid displaying decorative items near windows, which curtains can knock down your treasures. Clear cases or domes can be used to cover smaller figures or sculptures with proud edges such as arms, branches or leaves for example; these will protect from dust but also draw attention to the passer-by to an otherwise less noticeable object. As this is not always possible please see below some guidelines for considerate cleaning.
Generally, common household detergents and cleaners will remove or significantly alter the materials used in conservation. When planning a cleaning operation please consider the use of dry brushes and/or light cloths to remove dust or other dirt on the object’s surface. Before doing so, please be advised that the item(s) should be transferred to a soft and cushioned surface, carefully placed flat or on its base to ensure a greater stability, and then cleaned. It is also recommended to remove any jewellery that may scratch or impact on the object and/or its repairs.
When in doubt on the most adequate cleaning procedures to take, owners are welcome to contact the studio for advice.