CONSERVATION - RESTORATION
AND ITS COST

Simplicity of Hourly

The simplicity of charging work strictly by time spent vs charging by folio size or subject matter is easier for the client and myself. I concentrate on the work that I am providing for any said subject equally. 

 

In example, I do not charge by the number of tears or loss, as the initial amount of time in preparing to repair one tear generally can take 15 min to 30 min to complete. Now once I start repairing the tear, repairing additional tears on a said folio is nominal. as I have already prepared for the job at hand, so repairing additional tears now comes down to time. In example, repairing a typical folio of normal card-stock thickness (small and mediums), with multiple tears and a corner loss and a hole or two, generally takes 30 to 45 min to complete from start to finish.

In the above example, if the job is to conserve the piece and just use non color match pulp for the repair, then that will take less time to prep and lay. If its color-matching, then more time will be needed for preparation and my expertise in tear and loss repair.

This methodology is the same across the board for all services I provide. I try to average the cost by time. 

 

Now Lets talk about large folios. Yes, it does cost more to work on large folios. Why? Well they are big, they demand a lot of room and more time to complete. More paper pulp is required to prepare for the work and more time is needed when laying the repairs, as in the thickness of the paper will require more time and pulp to fill. 

But that does not mean it has to be expensive. The same principle applies when approaching a large folio for repair like I discussed in the above example concerning the small and medium folios. If there are multiple tears and loss, then once started on the one tear, the remainder of the tears only require a little more time to repair.

This saves money for my clients' vs being charge by the length of tears or location of tears. Which does not matter to me. Not even if it is torn in half, going right through the image. As in the example on the home page of "The Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington", by Kellogg.

Because, I can rebuild that image!

Wayne C. Osterholm

TEAR REPAIR AND LEAF CASTING

Precision Matters

As discussed above, when it comes to tear and loss repair, whether it is for conservation or restoration, precision is a must. All tear and loss repairs are performed on a vacuum table, wet. This process secures the fibers into one another yielding a bond stronger than tape or wheat starch/japan paper backing. The finished product is astounding. Visually one unit again with little to no sign of repair front and back. Leaf casting, as in the "Independent Gold Hunter", by N. Currier above, this conservation was casted from the back, then wet pulp applied to the front to blend edges. The finished product, that once fragile lithograph that could not be handled. Now, strengthened and secured and easily held in ones hands.

TONE AND STAIN REDUCTION

Stain Reduction

Environmental Factors can cause a lot of damage to a fine art print. Staining Reduction is probably the most visually appealing after conservation. Wether the stain is from water, overall toning from acidicness of the paper, Knott holes, mold, and foxing. These all can be reduced and in most cases, completely removed. 

I do not use sunlight, lamps, or any liquid form of submersion into bleaching chemicals. My process is completely safe  for the print and environment through gassing (chlorine dioxide). This process is dangerous while in use, and should never be used by anyone but a trained professional.


The end result is that there are no residues left behind, as the gas breaks down naturally into safe carbon and oxygen bonds. Further, this gas is used to bleach sugar and flour, and after a short resting period, the consumable food products are FDA approved.


Unarguably, it is the best "bleaching" process and safest for fragile works of art on paper. It takes skill and mastery to yield perfection, which is what I strive for and do.

PAINTING AND INKING RESTORATION

In-paint and Calligraphy

Where science hits the pallet. After all the applied science it takes to get a print to this point, now comes my artistic mastery. Wether it is loss of paint and/or inking, with years of study and application, the end result is perfection. I have developed and make my own artistic archival pens that I use under microscopy to rebuild the loss of inking (lithographic being the most difficult) that is difficult to discern from the original.

This process of inking and in-painting to match the original color and inking will bring a once tattered and dull fine work of art on paper back to its glory. 


Using the correct paints, pigment, gum arabic, etc... is vital to the finish product. The purpose is the depth that the producer intended, as in Currier & Ives, that gives life to a 2 dimensional print.