Frequently Asked Questions about Art Conservation
Q: Where are you located?
We are located in South Everett Washington, about 20 miles north of Seattle. Please call for an appointment and directions: 425-481-0720
Q: Why should I pay professional prices just to mend my object?
Home-made repairs can often damage art and artifacts due to the solvents and other agents found in commercial products, especially if the art is very old or deteriorated. Only an experienced art conservation professional would know for sure what type of mending materials to use and how to apply them safely. Also, care must be taken to make sure the mend is strong enough but also can be undone safely in the future. Previously-mended artifacts can be expensive to re-treat, owing to the need to completely reverse old adhesives in order to ensure success.
Q: How do I know my object is worth the cost?
A good art appraiser can give you an idea of the monetary value of your object (see Helpful Links Page ). However, only you can decide if having the object whole and complete-looking again is worth the cost. You might consider thinking about the following to help you decide:
Q: How much is it likely to cost?
Each artifact is assessed individually, but in general it cannot cost less than a minimum amount, since each object must be examined, photographed, researched and tested before it is treated, and the entire treatment must be documented. Basic mends and reconstructions cost anywhere from $125 and up, while complex treatments are based on the hours needed to complete it. Full compensation of losses and aesthetic reintegration is very time-consuming, and so some clients prefer to have their objects stabilized only, without further restoration.
Q: Why are reports and photographs necessary?
Documentation ensures that future treatments can be carried out safely and easily, and photographs allow you to see previous damage to the object, so that its true condition will not be forgotten. They are also a record of the current condition of an object, so that future deterioration can be detected, and can be helpful in future art conservation treatments.
Q: Can I use objects again after treatment?
Even a professionally repaired art object must be treated carefully, and each report gives recommendations for safe handling and display. Adhesives and consolidants are chemicals that are not rated as food-safe, and so mended objects should not be used for food or serving
Q: What if I just need some advice on caring for my art?
Feel free to contact me about the proper care of your art and artifacts. I give free advice as a public service if I can, or I will refer you to a knowledgeable colleague or institution. Also see this AIC website: Caring for Your Treasures. If you want me to assess an entire collection, I can do a site visit for a fee and provide recommendations and guidance concerning care, treatment, display and storage.
Q: Do you treat other things, like books or paintings?
No. My training is very specific to art objects, but I can refer you to competent professionals for your other conservation needs (see Helpful Links Page )
Q: Can everything be restored?
All art objects are examined and treated individually, and not all results will be the same. We cannot perform restoration of parts for which we have no concrete evidence and we will not falsify the condition of any object.