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Re: [BKARTS] evident repairs

 In private practice the client largely determines what is to be done,
and his/her instruction will lead what I do.  Ethical issues play in
here, as well.  Reversibility is another issue considered.

Most of the time I try to make my repairs as unobtrusive as possible,
i.e. discreet, as Dorothy says.  It is more or less "invisible" to an
untrained eye, but another restorator-conservator-binder will spot what
I have done every time.  The goal is compatibility.

There are levels of work, of course.  Some pieces, as Alan suggests,
are "in service" and are required to be used for study and reference.
I am less fussy about these, but the end result needs to be a "match",
and it must be totally functional.  Nevertheless, nothing original is
discarded, unless it can't be used, even in a conservation repair.
Dealers and collectors get the same kind of approach; I try to be as
unobtrusive as possible.  Pieces, which may be exhibited, usually come
with specific instructions, and they will get more time.

I think I am pretty good at coloring materials to blend with the old
and original.  Acrylic inks mix easily and are relatively fade-proof.
My dye-book contains records of the tests done and dye blends made, all
recorded on different papers and cloths.  And it grows more or less
constantly.  I don't usually keep a record of leather, though I
probably ought to do so.  Light is really important, so I use
color-balanced lighting, even carrying something outdoors to check
color matching.  If the piece warrants, I will continue to tone the
repair after it is dry with pencils or pastels, sometimes following up
with a coating of wax (usually SC6000) before finishing.

When making infills to plates, pages, or endpapers, I do a lot with
different toned papers.  Unless the owner has a replacement or will pay
me to look for one, I won't usually supply the missing information.
Ditto the damaged ornamental endpapers.  I don't feel compelled to
eliminate all evidence of the item's past.  If it's really really
important, then my scanner and Photoshop might get used.  But it's not
going to be completely invisible, nor do I particularly want it to be.
Compatibility works for me in private practice, and the item absolutely
must function well.  The owner gets a report of what was done and what
materials were used.

Eugene, OR

On Wednesday, September 17, 2003, at 08:23 AM, Dorothy Africa wrote:

There are levels to everything, of course, and if you happen to use safety orange duct tape for your rebacks this is clearly not going to be a thread of interest to you. I, however, who spent a lot of yesterday surrounded by the watercolor pencils, colored kozo, soft pastels and sweat attempting to harmonize a repair with a light yellowish, reddish, brownish black flecked abraded leather with only acceptable results, would like to hear from other people on the list about how they go about it. My goal is to make the repair discreet. I have rarely had the problem of what to do to keep it from being invisible. Now some repairs, such as re-sewing a text block and replacing it in the same case, may go unnoticed without documentation, but I am speaking of surface repairs to colored originals, supplying losses in a colored plate, replacing missing paste downs for ornamental end papers, that sort of thing. Dorothy Africa

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