The John Jones conservation studio is a brand new state of the art space, specifically designed to house top of the range equipment for the treatment and restoration of diverse artwork on paper. Here’s a taster of some of the technical kit used behind the scenes by our skilled team of conservators! ...
UV Light examination
Ultra Violet light is the type of light immediately before the ‘visible light’ region in the spectrum due to its shorter wavelength. It is extremely useful for the examination of varnishes, areas of re-touching and mould. When viewed under ultra violet light, live mould and old varnish will fluoresce, enabling more effective treatment.
Infra Red Photography
Infra red light is the type of light immediately after the ‘visible light’ region in the spectrum due to its longer wavelength. Taking images in infra red light allows conservators to view what lies beneath an image surface in a similar fashion to a painting X-ray. This is useful when investigating an artist’s technique and also for technical analysis when trying to understand why discolouration or deterioration is occurring in particular parts of an artwork.
This top of the range microscope allows our team to view paper fibre and pigment samples at a magnitude of 400 X. This allows conservators to easily identify which areas of an artwork are original and which have been repaired in previous conservation treatment and also enables the team to match the texture, colour and age of paper fibres when conducting new restoration work. Microscopic analysis can assist with determining the date of an artwork and can also identify whether fibres are acidic.
This is an extremely useful tool when carrying out detailed conservation work on a small scale, such as re-touching. The microscope magnifies 10 – 50 X which is not enough for fibre analysis, but is enough to carry out precise treatment e.g. restoring flaking pigment.
The vacuum table is used to obtain a higher level of control when introducing moisture into sensitive artworks for treatment. Moisture is used to reduce discolouration and staining. The vacuum table works by drawing moisture away from sensitive media, which is particularly useful if different areas of a piece have different sensitivities.