Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Studio Six Art Conservation Has A New Website

We've moved all our latest updates to a new website, and it looks fabulous. 

Here's the link www.StudioSixArtConservation.com

There's lots of new conservation projects to look at and we have expanding our scope to include cleaning and maintenance of public sculpture. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Royal Chair Comes Emerges From The Goat Shead

This pile of wood was found in a goat shed in Washington state. The client thought thought it might be 19th Century Chinese throne that was once installed in his childhood home but couldn't recall the last time he saw it in one piece.

Of course storing anything of value in a goat shed is probably not the best of ideas as it will likely result in damage. Fortunately, this chair is constructed of rosewood which is a quite dense and heavy wood and naturally resists rot, bug damage and warping.

Once we started the surface cleaning, we were pleasantly surprised that the wood and the finish were in such nice shape. Of course in part of that due to the wood used.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Conservation Of Reverse Painting On Glass

Reverse Painting on glass is a wonderful painting technique that creates a striking visual impact. Unfortunately a common issue with this technique is delamination and loss of the paint layer. The thin layers of paint peel up like egg shells and break off with the lightest touch.

We began by softening the paint with a light airbrushing of alcohol. This relaxes the paint so it will lay flat without cracking. All the areas of lifting paint were re-attached to the glass using acryloid B72. After curing, missing areas of paint were re-touched to match the original design using acryloid B72 and powdered pigments.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Restoration of Salt Glazed Ceramic Storage Jar

This lovely salt glazed storage jar has a beautiful deep brown glaze with layered colors that range from dark chocolate to cinnamon. Unfortunately it suffered an impact on the rim that resulted in a fairly large loss.  Note the light gray area on the front, right side of the rem.

This is the sort of damage that catches the eye and distracts from the visual enjoyment of the the pots craftsmanship. Fortunately Studio Six was able to fabricate the missing area and retouch it to match the original surface.

The restoration began by filling the missing area with a two part epoxy putty. This fill was carved and sanded to match the shape and texture of the surrounding surface. The fill was then retouched using Rhoplex WS24 and powdered pigments. A base coat of burnt sienna was applied on top of to the fill After curing, layers of toned Rhoplex were applied to matched the translucency and depth of color of the original glaze.

Note, all materials used in this restoration are reversible. The restoration process itself did not scratch or damage the original artifact and the retouching of the fill minimally overlaped the original surface.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Close Up World of Art Conservation of Public Art

One of the biggest perks of being an art conservator is experiencing works of art in a very up close, personal and physical way. The art conservator's interactions with artwork are offten quite unique and often insightful. 

Posted here are a few snapshots taken while Studio Six surface cleaned some of the public art on view at the DFW Airport.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Restoring The Visual Contour

When viewing figurative sculptures, there are some parts of the human anatomy that if damaged or missing will dramatically alter our emotional response. Missing eyes, lips or limbs can distort the true intent of the artist, transforming a scene of divine rapture into one of torture and torment.

The facial features of this wood carving are scuffed but intact. What catches the eye and distracts the viewer is the figure's missing right breast. The client felt that the missing breast and exposed wood grain inhibited the viewer from seeing the beauty of the sculpture as a whole. So they contacted Studio Six to find out what could be done.

Fortunately, the left breast was intact so Studio Six used it as the model to fabricate the missing right breast.

Fabrication was done using a two part epoxy putty. The putty was sculpted and textured to match the original carved wood surface. Layers of tinted lacquer were applied and then buffed back to match the wear marks visible on the rest of the sculpture.

This restoration is completely reversible, with less than 1/8 of an inch of new paint overlapping the original sculpture.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Public Art and the World Traveler at DFW Airport

art conservation Texas
The tunnel through Crystal Mountain sculpture at Terminal D.
Time flies. [pun intended! ]  Well it's been well over a year now since Studio Six Art Conservation received the contract for the art maintenance and art conservation at the DFW International Airport Terminal D. As soon as the ink had dried and our security badges cleared, it's been go, go go!

Unlike the work Studio Six undertakes for many museums and private collections, the public sculpture at DFW is different because many of the artworks can be directly accessed by the public.

Works like the Crystal Mountain, shown here, designed by Dennis Oppenheim and fabricated by La Paloma Fine Arts is a two story tall structure with a tunnel through the middle. Formed of thick gauge welded sheets of stainless and accented with colored LED lights, this public sculpture is a huge draw for DFW passengers and employees alike.

While the metal sides have taken their fair share of hits from luggage carts, it's always a surprise to discover what trinkets or foodstuffs the traveling public leaves in the dark recesses of the tunnel. Half eaten candies, rubber bands, paper airplanes, even a few small stuffed animals... you can't help but wonder if the the artist considered this possible accumulation of bits while designing.

DFW art conservation
On 34 ft. boom lift, using a HEPA filter vacuum to remove the dust. 
And of course there's the dust. Tons of dust. When Studio Six first arrived on the job, so much dust had accumulated on the exterior peaks that it was beginning to look a bit like Spanish moss. It's amazing the amount of dust that accumulates on all of the artwork within Terminal D. A majority of it rides in on every person and bag that enters the terminal.

Of course these days Studio Six performs regular scheduled inspections of Crystal Mountain and regular dustings mostly done from an aerial lift using a HEPA vacuum. And there are routine cleanings that focus on the removal of surface grime left by hundreds of sticky fingers and hands.

Dallas art conservation
Before the First BIG clean.

public sculpture conservation
After cleaning ... MUCH better.