A question I often get asked, “How do I clean my___________? My answer is a LONG list of sad stories of cleaning lady’s “gentile” or “light” cleaning techniques and dealers trying to save a buck. And yesterday, I got another such story to tell you:
Archive for January, 2010
I’m asked all the time something along the lines of “What is the best temperature for my artwork?” or “What temperature should my house be?” or “What environment is best for my collection?” Well, its not a one word answer. The answer is kind of long, actually, but I think you’ll find the answer and the photos interesting.
What materials are you worried about protecting? A wood sculpture, an oil painting, a watercolor, glassware, a plastic toy collection, photographs, leather book bindings? Each material reacts to it environment a little different but by and large the answer to this question is, thankfully, not a single number temperature (that would be hard… and expensive… to try and maintain!). Its a range. My detailed answer to this question would be different for someone in Florida than Wyoming, or for someone living in Puerto Rico or Utah. But in general, what your items need, much like all of us, is stability.
A gold leaf ornate frame came in from a home fire having a surface film of smoke residue. Using a Q-tip with simple “saliva” will nicely remove the residue.
There are two types of gold; one has an even color and is often brassy looking (will not dissolve with water) and two, is a gold finish that is very polished with over-lap lines and often shows red or brown colors through it. (will dissolve with water….and even saliva!).
Taking a bottle of gold paint may seem like a good way to fix a chipped or damaged old frame… but the gold paint doesn’t age the same way as the original finish. It doesn’t take much time for the paint to turn brown or dark green and be totally out of character. In the photo, the outside scoop and edge is darker than the inside gold edge. Once the gold paint has been on the frame awhile, then it becomes impossible to clean it off without having to refinish it completely.
Another tip… don’t throw away old frames (even if they are badly damaged) before you know if they are worth something. A potential buyer might be an art gallery that sells old art. They have their ways of repairing, refinishing, cutting down etc. I love to collect old frames too. For tips on how to care for old frames go to www.saveyourstuff.com and download the chapter on “Frames.” There are free downloads also.
I had a “priceless Russian Renaissance Icon” delivered to me for evaluation. If you are “up” for a good story, watch this 7 minute video: http://bit.ly/5W1ZUo Appraisal questions? Contact www.faclappraisals.com. Need divorce counseling and therapy? Call the appraiser first.
… you’ll like this story.