Dealing With Other Technicians' Work
By Conrad Bladey
Interesting! As a conservator I actually enjoy finding strange
repairs. These are worth documenting as part of the history of
an object. If you can't live with them, then record them.
So often we forget that over time others extend the nature of an
object -- part of its history. If you restore it all away that history
is lost, so document the changes as part of the record. The other
alternative is to let it be as it is. If it is functional and ain't
totally broke, why fix it?
It's just like a painting that a person chose to live with dirty rather
than to have it restored. I am always amused when paintings which must
have been on the dirty side or darkened with restoration when they hung
in the home when the famous person was alive are cleaned to a new
condition. This destroys any concept of the taste of the person
Another interesting aspect of this is that the layers of stuff trap
artifacts from the atmosphere which can actually be excavated from
the layers of restoration. With time restorations age and materials
change. It is worth recording how materials selected for repairs have
aged over time: what chemical problems are involved or physical stress
issues. It is always amazing to find that some product one would have
thought would have decayed has actually held up quite well.
Just some thoughts. Always good to photo document your work if only
so that you can put it back together again.
(Message sent Wed 25 May 2005, 14:29:26 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)