Paper Restoration

Damage to artworks on paper, or other paper artefacts such as maps and photographs, is often due to paper ageing, tearing, water, insects, and fire or smoke. 

 

It is wonderful to share some of the before and after examples of the restoration work which Ernest has completed. Our facebook page is regularly updated, and this will also show you more work currently being completed. 

Click to view - Paper Tearing

Click to view - Paper Tearing

Click to view - Fire Damage

Click to view - Fire Damage

Click to view - Paper Ageing

Click to view - Paper Ageing

Click to view - Insect Damage

Click to view - Insect Damage

Click to view - Water Damage

Click to view - Water Damage

Paper Ageing (including foxing, staining & acidic burn) 

 

Paper ages due to the continuous action of atmospheric components (moisture, temperature, light & oxygen) on structures and materials, which leads to deterioration of the paper. Natural ageing deterioration may also be caused by incompatible components reacting slowly within the structure.

 

 In the examples below I have also included examples of damage caused by foxing and staining. Foxing is the discolouration of paper by brownish or greyish spots. This is frequently due to artworks being framed without using correct conservation framing standards. Staining is as a result of artwork being exposed to light, over a long period of time, without any protection. 

 

Ernest is able to fix these damges by cleaning the artworks, which involves the application of solvents and other liquids to remove discoloured surface coatings. 

Paper Tearing 

 

A tear in a paper artwork may be the result of the intentional effort with one's bare hands, or be accidental. Unlike a cut, which is generally on a straight or patterned line controlled by a tool such as scissors, a tear is generally uneven and, for the most part, unplanned. 

 

In the below examples, you will see how Ernest was able to repair and restore artworks which had been damaged by tearing. 

Water Damage

 

Water damage to artworks is one of the major contributors to art restoration. The damage may be extremely slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mark an artwork, or it may be instantaneous such as flooding. 

 

Ernest has demonstrated over the years how he is able to restore artworks damaged by water. Please view the before and after gallery below to see what is possible.

Insect Damage

 

Numerous species of insects feed upon materials in an artwork on paper, causing damage, which, if uncontrolled, can be massive. Most damage occurs on the rear of the paper, and in extreme cases can leave the paper layer unsupported, causing it to collapse and disintegrate. 

 

Ernest is able to fumigate and then restore the artworks, as seen in the gallery below. 

Fire Damage

 

It is unfortunate when artworks are damaged in fires, and often complete works are lost in flames. However, artworks, maps or photographs are often salvageable and can definitely be restored. Piecing together damaged paper is time consuming, but in the before and after photographs below, Ernest demonstrates what is possible in the restoration of artworks which have been damaged in a fire. 

© 2014 Bellingan Scott

    Johannesburg, South Africa

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