Month: September 2014

To see or not to see

Using an optical instrument, magnifying glass, binocular or microscope is a daily routine in the curation and conservation world. Choosing such an important device to be our daily ally […]

Vintage labels n°1

End of the year festivities are coming and we know some of you will make things at home to give to your loved ones.
To help you in this endeavor […]

Let’s shake hands on that !

Some of us store various amounts of gizmos and doodahs in attics or garages, washed up in improbable boxes invariably labeled « misc. » during a consequent period. Among those items […]

One foot, whose feet ?

Now that you are well acquainted to the fact that in order to restore you need to understand, let’s dive into some of the issues and pitfalls lurking in […]

Pencils leads demystified

Using a pencil to draw, take notes or make shopping lists started around the XVIth century. The lines produced by its lead are similar to the ones made by […]

Butterflies in the stomach

Every famous explorer worth his or her salt brought back natural specimens from their journeys. This practice historically created most of the modern natural history museums, enriching their collections […]

Acanthus mollis, lessons from M.Page #2

It is now time for us to learn how to draw acanthus the easy and fool-proofed way, courtesy of M.Page.
Let’s start with the grid that will be the basis […]

Talk like me : moldings, decor and ornaments.

Did you know furniture moldings and architectural decor could be described the same way ?

Now, you try!

This storage chest is richly ornamented: the three carved statues on the front represent […]

Papers, please ?

Chemical composition is one of the key elements to trace the origin and the age of old papers. Elements such as cotton fibers shouldn’t be found in papers before […]

Cinnabar red

Cinnabar is a natural compound containing mercury(II) sulfide. Processing cinnabar results in a fine, brilliant, deep red powder : it has been used ever since the antiquity as « Vermilion » to […]

A spark in Time: Anaximander (610-546 BCE)

Anaximander is, according to Themistius, the first pre-socratic philosopher to write about nature in De Natura, where he speculates about the universe around him and its construction. He also […]

Talk like me : joinery and woodworking

As we’ve already mentioned here, it is of the utmost importance to be able to describe a piece we’re working on as precisely as possible .

When furniture and wood […]

The Acanthus leaf, lessons from M.Page

We talked in a previous post of the extensive use western art made of the Acanthus outline. As an art restorer, it is one useful thing to know how […]

Christmas log

A few years ago, if you were in France by the beginning of December, you’d have witnessed a strange thing appearing on the windows of the Patisseries. A fad […]

French Cuisine

Some of you, foodies and culinary shows aficionados, may already know it : french cuisine has been listed as the intagible heritage list of UNESCO in 2010.
The mayonnaise recipe is […]

Acanthus mollis, ornamental design by democratic election.

Acanthus mollis luscious leaves are among the most popular ornamental designs in western art since antiquity.

One of the first documented occurrences of stylized acanthus leaves are to be found […]

To the bone

Ever wondered what were the common elements between a teapot, a pasture and a leather shoe ? What ? Never wondered about that ? How peculiar !
Yet, the answer is simple : a cow. […]

Plastered in Paris

In a nutshell, plaster is a generic designation for a protective or decorative coating. As a material it is most commonly prepared by heating gypsum then grinding it to […]


The Japanese technique of « restoration with gold », teeny-tiny essay about occidental restoration.
Japanese restoration technique known as « Kintsugi » is ancient. As with every very ancient things, its origins remain a […]

Sun yellow

Reseda luteola is a plant species in the genus Reseda. Its common names include dyer’s rocket, dyer’s weed, weld and yellow weed.
Before the invention of stable synthetic dyes, this […]