Owning an antique is having stewardship of it for a brief period of time.
This object of historical significance was meant to last forever with proper care.
Over a forty-year period, my approach to restoration has evolved
from that of an apprentice to a master.
The time honored techniques and skills passed down over the generations remain the same, my knowledge and execution of these have seasoned with time.
The insight of a master restorer includes the ability to intuit the life history of the object, like a physician piecing together the medical history of an elderly patient.
Before working on a new commission, quite often I sit in front of it to gather information. Its provenance, where it was made, the materials used, evaluating old repairs and determining its present condition. This process draws from my experience with similar pieces which helps to formulate a plan. The plan would not be complete without factoring in value. A successful restoration should maintain or increase overall worth.
I am amazed at how many times I have discovered poorly executed work on valuable pieces. These pieces have been subjected to faulty techniques, use of improper materials, poor color work , etc., most times with the owner being totally unaware.
Every day is an adventure for me: meeting new people; sharing ideas; discussing new projects, and having the opportunity to put life back into something special.