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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

ceramics and glass

The term 'ceramic' is a broad term used to describe all types of fired clay, such as terracotta, earthenware, porcelain and stoneware. Ceramic objects can be painted, glazed, enamelled, gilded or left without any form of surface decoration. Some ceramics are more fragile and porous than others, depending on the nature of their manufacture and the materials used. We treat a wide variety of ceramic objects, including bowls, plates, figurines, ornaments, lamp bases, vases, bowls and sculptures.

We also conserve, repair and restore a wide variety of glass objects including figurines, ornaments, sculptures, vases and bowls.  

Typical problemsCeramic bowl after treatment

The common problems we see with ceramic objects include broken or lost pieces, as well as surface damage such as chips, scratches or losses to either the surface itself and/or the glaze or paint layer, staining and previous restorations or repairs that have become discoloured. In many cases the ceramic objects we treat require cleaning prior to more substantial works. 

The main problems we encounter with glass objects are cracks, breaks, chips and lost pieces, with many objects also covered with a layer of surface dirt. 

Treatment options

The treatment we undertake on your ceramic or glass object depends largely on the nature of the damage, as well as the age and condition of the piece. The typical sorts of treatments we carry out on ceramic objects include: Broken glassware

  • Surface cleaning
  • Reversal of previous restorations/repairs
  • Stain reduction
  • Refitting of broken pieces or fragments (repair) 
  • Infilling and inpainting of losses

In some cases we may also be able to replicate and colour lost pieces to match the original features.

We can also design and install customised object supports or mounts to ensure the safe display or storage of your ceramic or glass objects.

Expectations

The desired outcome for retouching losses within the field of conservation is to render the fills visually unobtrusive, but not invisible. This means that you will still be able to see evidence of the repaired areas, that is, the object won't be restored to 'as new' condition. Inpainting will also be visible on close inspection.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help with your glass or ceramic object.

 

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