Conserving and Restoring Works of Art on paper
Prints ~ Maps ~ Drawings
Studio located in: Marblehead, MA
Art Conservator and Paper Restorations
781-631-5035 -Studio E-mail Rob Kipp
An introduction to our Print
& Document Conservation & Restorations Services
Our Conservation & Restoration Goals Since founding our Conservation and Restoration services in 1979, we have dedicated ourselves in providing only the finest work available anywhere. Our goal has never changed, using only safe procedures and natural chemicals in our restoration work. Our conservation and restoration process does not harm paper fibers or original hand coloring. From our meticulous preparation and handling of your artwork, to its completion, we are committed to satisfying even the most discriminating collector, results that clearly show.
New Work Levels of Non-Accepted work. In an effort to be more timely with present clients work loads, items that are extreemly stained, foxed or torn will not be accepted until further notice.
Thank you for your understanding. The time required to work on these types of distressed prints is often double or tripple and often do not show the efforts of our tallents.
Problems to overcome and Expectations: The presence of tears, holes, stains and foxing plus other surface blemishes can significantly impact a prints value and esthetic beauty. Pine backboards were often used in original framing as was backing with cardboard and use of acid paper matting. This inappropriate framing permits oxidation and contamination which can result in surface soiling, water staining, foxing, mold and mildew. With patience, our process will overcome those harmful effects and restore your print back to most of its original condition. In our opinion, Professionally Restored prints will be brought back to most of their esthetic and monitory value, with the exception of image paper repairs that could reduce a prints value despite being professionally restored. We also understand that in many cases, sentimental value is what many customers are striving to preserve. Whether a collector, dealer or in possession of a family heirloom, we will strive to meet your needs of your requests. Please be patient as our process does take 6-12/months to successfully complete dependant upon how severe the staining and any additional work is.
Our Qualifications and Our Customers We have successfully completed work on paper items dating back to the 17th century, including the work of contemporary artists. Values of individual artwork range from $125,000.00 to many ‘one-of-a-kind’ items of special intrinsic value to each collector. We treat every print restoration that you have entrusted us with, as if it were our own. Our work continually includes items from other Conservators, who selected us to complete complex or difficult items for them. The majority of our work comes from well-known dealers, collectors, museums and historical societies throughout the country. Their continued relationship with us, has been built around years of accomplishments through our skilled work. We offer a full-time professional paper restoration service and would be pleased to add your name to our growing list of satisfied customers.
Starting The Process - Evaluation We begin by testing and examining each print to properly evaluate its problems and suggest proposed remedies for conservation and restoration. Shown in the first photograph, is a partially started deacidifications. A process we use in reducing the staining in paper. This large folio,hand colored lithograph is typical of many 19th century prints, where pine backboards were inappropriately used in its original framing. This condition permitted oxidation and contamination to enter the entire print area, resulting in a combination of surface soiling and waterstaning. This degradation was further troubled by a harmful acidity level of 5.3 pH. Foxing and mildew also contributed to its present deteriorated, but reversible condition.
Starting How We Begin Our Cleanings First we thoroughly dry-clean the face and verso to remove all loose surface dirt and residual soiling. The original coloring is sealed in, making sure all coloring is retained during the remainder of our work. Next step begins the actual cleaning process of stain reduction with a procedure of deacidification. We use a neutralizing solution with a vacuum table with blotters to literally flush-out and blot-out the harmful acidity present in your print. This time consuming process enables us to reduce most of the stubborn stains which are present. Throughout this entire process, every attempt has been made to use nondestructive chemicals and to preserve all of the prints original coloring. Until you decide to have a print restored to its full original beauty, by us, our process may not be fully appreciated by you, but it does permit your collection to ‘grow old gracefully’, by using naturally safe methods which are dedicated to preserving even the smallest of important details.
Sunlight and Time between cleanings Our Process that we use for Conservation and Restoration cleanings is slow and mild, using alkaline distilled water with sunlight. It takes many applications with a weeks time in-between applications to safely reduce and bring back your prints natural beauty. With cloudy weather or no sunlight, no cleanings can take place. Often we hadly get or plan for work durning Jan. to Mar. Please be patient in allowing us to safely clean and preserve your prints and documents, cloudy weather or winter months does slow us down with lack of sunlight. This is why it takes us 3 to 4 months or more to complete some difficult cleaning projects. We can't be rushed as your order comes to its final cleaning and your patients is appreciated. We are happy to update clients on progress of your order but it seems to almost always fall short of our expected or projected completion dates. I am a one person shop so there is only so much I can do in one day, your understanding is appreciated.
How We Are Different & Why Our method of conserving fine prints requires many applications, several days apart and goes slowly. From beginning to completion, your print could have as many as twelve separate deacidification treatments, with your print continually being monitored, using an electronic pH meter. The stain reduction process takes place from the back of the print, the same way most stains got there years ago. This process will necessitate the complete removal and demounting of any old backings, usually not a difficult procedure for us. Working from the verso (back) of your print, also minimizes the risk associated with altering the original hand coloring. These steps take time and afford your print the attention it deserves. Allowing us to gradually achieve the desired results without losing the important details of original coloring and signatures, essential for all genuine and authentic original artwork.
Final Stain Reduction and Cleaning Once the print has been completely deacidified, about 95% of all staining has been reduced. We could then, and only if absolutely necessary, use a mild ‘spot’ solution, to further reduce small concentrated areas. This becomes necessary where heavily foxed areas or knot burn from backboards was excessive and are still apparent - Even-though they have been reduced through many deacidifications. Our stain reduction cleaning does not guarantee a complete removal of every stain. We would rather under-clean a print and retain all of its original coloring than remove all stains and have to enhance or re-color portions of your prints image.
Desired Results Become Apparent The results of many mild deacidification processes slowly become apparent as the acidity is gradually reduced during our safe cleaning process. The background paper color is lightened up to a soft cream color. This allows the colors which have always been present, to become or appear, more prevalent. As the lighter background color of the paper brightens up, this gives the transparent or translucent colors the ability to ‘stand out’ and become more vibrant and lifelike. Furthermore, your eye is not directed towards a previous stain or visual defect which enables you to enjoy each piece, as it was original intended by the artist.
Before & After photos of Our Conservation & Restoration Work
Photo above, our cleaning process begins. Cleaning was started on the right side.
Photo above shows heavy stains removed. Only light deacidification is needed.
Photo above shows the completed print. Properly conserved and restored.
The print shown, is properly conserved and restored to its original beauty. It is the identical print shown above. Even to a trained ‘eye’, their is little evidence that this print was ever restored. The ending pH was stabilized to a pH of 7.0 With the paper also being buffered, future problems associated with acidity, should never be a problem again, with proper matting and framing.
Please contact us via e-mail
for an estimate. All quotes are assessed according to size, condition,
materials and labor.
Pricing of Work
Dealer inquires are invited, for volume work and resale pricing.
Our cost is $55.00 per treatment hour. Please e-mail of call for an estimate.
Out Of State Customers We presently have about 90% of our work form other states. We would be pleased to provide you with information and verbal quotes so that you may hopefully begin to enjoy the full potential beauty of your prints. Prices quoted do not include return shipping or insurance charges. We maintain, in house, a computerized UPS tracking service. We will be able to tell you exactly where your shipped artwork is at all times.
Time To Complete Work The time to complete each print is subject to the amount of work it requires. In most cases, we would need between 2 to 6 months time to complete most work. Excessively stained items or extensive paper repairs would lengthen this time frame to twelve months while smaller items that are not heavily stained could be done in two months or more. Our process relies on direct sunlight for cleanings, no sunlight or cloudy weather prevents us from cleaning clients work. I am a one person shop and appreciate the time needed to properly conserve and restore your art work to a professional level that we seek. If you are in a hurry, its best to look elsewhere. We do each order as it is received and do not push ahead any work. First in first out, no exceptions. Most of our customers are repeat customers and find the wait well worth waiting for. Deposits are not required but full payment upon completion is expected.
Our Information Sheet We have an "Information Sheet"; which we can send you. In it lists the work we do, costs for each folio size as well as our: Conditions of: Acceptance and Completion for All Work. Verbal estimates are given, but we will need to see and test each print to properly evaluate and recommend the work that we feel will be necessary for correct conservation and restorations, of your artwork.
Request An Estimate We are happy to quote prices for anticipated conservation and restoration work. To accurately determine the costs, it is best if we view your item here in our studio. Please be sure to use several layers of stiff cardboard when sending your artwork and include a daytime phone number so we may call you when your item arrives. You may have a local shipping center who can assist you with your shipping needs.
We accept Credit Card payments for restoration service, with on-line PayPal.
Conservation & Restoration Services We Offer. Please allow 6-12 months for completion
Thank you, Rob Kipp
If you would like to see some recent work, please go to our Recent Restoration Examples page.
ART & OLD PRINT RESTORATION
Studio located in: Marblehead, MA
Art Conservator and Paper Restorations
781-631-5035 -Studio E-mail Rob Kipp
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