Ancient Artifax Restoration

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Professional Restoration and Conservation Services

Click on the images to view additional "before and after" examples of my work, showing various types of ceramic restorations.

Maya Cylinder

Marajoara Plate

Cocle Vessel
Cracks and Chips
After many years of working as a professional restorer of ancient ceramics, I still enjoy the process of bringing an artifact "back to life", return it to its former glory as well as increasing its visual appeal and value. My goal is to revitalize without revising the intentions of the original artist. Whether it's a simple stress crack repair or the complete reassembly of a badly broken piece, each and every project is treated with the utmost care and respect. Being a life-long collector of art and artifacts, I have a strong passion for ancient objects as well as for my craft. My work is fully guaranteed for your complete satisfaction.

Client Confidentiality: Artifacts in the before & after pages are only a small sampling of the thousands of items I have restored. Most of the restored pieces shown here are from my own collection, the vast majority will not be shown in order to protect the privacy of my clients.

My methods: I practice non-invasive methods of repair. I use only water-based adhesives, fillers and pigments. Filling and in-painting are always kept to a minimum with little invasion to the original material. With proper care, repairs will last a lifetime with no fading, shrinking or discoloration.

Fees: Costs are based on an hourly rate. Rates vary depending upon the type of repair(s). I accept payment via Personal Check, Postal Money Order and PayPal. The client is responsible for all shipping costs.

Estimates: There is no charge for estimates. You may email photos of any damaged piece for a general evaluation of repairs and estimated cost. Many of my regular cliects have stopped asking for estimates as they know they will always get quality restoration at a reasonable price.

Turnaround: I fully understand your desire to get your artifact(s) completed and returned as quickly as possible. I always strive for a quick turnaround but will not compromise my standards of quality to meet a deadline. Typical turnaround is 6-8 weeks, depending on the degree of work your piece(s) require and the number of other projects in process. You will be updated, via email, as to the progress of your project(s) and I will send photos prior to the return of your piece(s).

Packing & Shipping: Items sent for repair should be well packed; double boxing is best. Broken pieces (shards, etc.) should all be individually wrapped to avoid further damage. Packages should be marked as "Fragile". Insurance is optional. Tracking numbers are highly recommended. Upon completion, your item(s) will be returned via UPS or USPS priority mail. Please let me know if you prefer other shipping arrangments.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some common questions concerning my restoration and conservation services. If you have other questions, feel free to ask.

Will the repairs be undetectable?
Repairs may not be completely undetectable. Under close examination by an experienced collector or dealer the repairs may be slightly visible, but will be unnoticeable at a normal viewing distance (arms length). Restored areas will be very closely matched to the original surface with attention to every detail, such as color, texture and surface sheen (degree of matte or gloss). Overall continuity and patina is very important. All projects, regardless of value, will be carefully restored to your complete satisfaction, guaranteed.

Do you restore objects made of material(s) other than clay?
I primarily work with terra-cotta (fired clay). I have in the past restored artifacts made from other materials, such as stone, wood, shell and bone. I will consider items in these materials, but may reject any project if I feel it's outside my comfort level or area of expertise. I currently do not work on metal or glass artifacts.

Will you do partial restoration?
Yes. I only do as much or as little restoration as you desire. Most clients prefer full restorations, but partial restorations are always an option. I can do reassembly only, or leave certain areas untouched; it's totally up to you. Just let me know your preference before work begins or prior to sending your project.

May I request a quick turn-around?
If you need a project returned quickly I will work with you all I can. On occasion, clients will have a specific deadline for an upcoming auction, gallery or museum show, holiday gift giving, etc. Keep in mind, the end of the year tends to be a busy time for me, so please plan ahead. I will do my best to complete any item within an established timeframe, but I will not be rushed.

Can you restore very badly damaged artifacts?
I can restore almost any artifact, regardless of the amount of damage. Although I prefer not to restore pieces with major losses. I may reject a project if the piece is less than 50% original. Pieces with considerable loss to paint or exterior decoration may require reference images. Reference photos are typically supplied by the client, but I have an extensive library and I can usually assist you in finding comparable pieces to use as reference. I strive for utmost accuracy with replacement of missing pieces and/or painted designs.

Can you correct previous restoration attempts?
Yes, approximately half of all my projects are re-repairs of other restorers' (unsatisfactory) work. Previous, poorly executed restoration can be fixed. Typically it involves resetting badly aligned breaks and correcting mismatched color/surface patina.

Will you restore a reproduction?
No! I will not waste my time or your money working on reproductions or fakes. If I receive a questionable artifact I will ask for expert help authenticating the piece. If a piece is determined to be modern, it will be returned unrestored.

Can you provide references from current clients?
I restore for numerous clients; dealers, museums and private collectors. My client list is confidential, but if you would like references, I'm sure I can ask and obtain statements from a variety of satisfied customers.

Do you accept restoration projects from clients outside of the U.S.?
No. Importation and customs laws are becoming increasingly complex and vary from country to country. I no longer accept restoration projects from outside the U.S..

Am I required to pay in advance?
No. Payment is never due until after your project is completed and returned safely to you. Your complete satisfaction is my goal.

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