Summer has come at last and with it some new student placements from Northumbria University Conservation Course. It’s great to have new people to work and exchange knowledge with. At the moment I have one student on placement and two ex students looking for work experience so my studio has suddenly become a hive of activity.
Along with our new volunteers we also have had a new acquisition ‘Sand dunes on the Conway’ by Benjamin Leader which came in to the conservation studio to do a condition check and document it on our data bank. It’s in quite good condition but on closer inspection there was a nasty surprise.
The painting was taken out of its frame and the spider given a decent burial.
On examining the painting the varnish was found to have become extremely discoloured changing both the colours and the tonality of the image so one of our students was set to work testing the varnish to see if there were a way of removing it safely with out damaging the painting beneath. Luckily the varnish was relatively straightforward to remove and Boy what a difference it made!
As you can see we now have sand dunes on a sunny day with a nice blue sky far better for a picnic! It’s now safely back in its frame which has been cleaned and consolidated because the gilding was flaking off and is now ready to go on display next time it is needed.