Date completed : 30 March 2021 Duration : 12 Weeks
Emily O'Reilly

The two drawings arrived in the studio having recently been bought at auction. The Mary Feddon pencil sketch (570 x 458mm) was framed poorly, the drawing squashed in the the frame up against the glass. When I removed it from the frame I also discovered that it had been secured to the backboard with double sided tape, which had started to go yellow and stain the drawing paper. It was important to remove the tape and the staining as this may have eventually shown up on the front of the drawing. I carefully removed the tapes and staining with solvents and gave the drawing a gentle press.

Framing: I work with a number of local framers and measured up for a new frame, having discussed with the client what they would like. Glazing artworks with the correct material is vital in protecting it. I can offer a variety of options depending on suitability and budget. For this project my client was keen to have the best possible and so they chose a 99% UV filtering and low-reflective glass. The finished drawing is floating elegantly within the frame on white conservation mountboard, the drawing is hinged to a secondary support board which subtly lifts the drawing from the backboard, framing with a shadow. The polished black rim of the frame echoes the sheen of the graphite complementing it perfectly.

The Frank Brangwyn drawing (203 x 152mm) had been secured to the underside of the wooden mount with masking tape. This is most definitely NOT conservation framing and will have most definitely caused damage to the sketch if I had not removed it. Again, solvents were used to release the tape and remove the adhesive residue. Care had to be taken so that the adhesive did not spread and that the ink was not affected by the solvent treatment. At some point in its life the little sketch had been quite brutally removed from a previous mount along the top edge. As this edge would be hidden beneath the mount I did not have to make my repair invisible, but it was important to repair it structurally to allow the sketch to be hinged along this edge and allowed to hang within the mount.

I changed the glass in the frame to the same as the Feddon drawing. It was important to not allow the wooden mount in the frame to be in contact with the drawing (wood will cause damage and staining to paper) so I cut a window mount to frame the sketch within the wooden mount, tidying up the edges at the same time.

My clients Peter and Jane have brought many interesting piece to me over the last few years and they have kindly given me the following testimonial:

We have used Emily on several previous occasions for our ‘rescued’ artworks purchased at auction and were only too pleased to have her undertake work on our latest acquisitions, a Mary Fedden pencil drawing and a Frank Brangwyn ink sketch. Both were in need of expert attention, having variously suffered from poor treatment received in earlier mounting, presentation and framing and from subsequent extended ownership neglect. They’re once again looking refreshed, revived, reglazed and one reframed, now ready for us to enjoy. Additionally, we have the satisfaction and reassurance of knowing that they’ve been professionally treated and conserved for the future, for which we felt a degree of responsibility.

Emily always provides a detailed assessment, advice and, where relevant, options for presentation in her estimate. On completion, the photographically illustrated report provides comprehensive documentation of the treatment and journey with the work and is an invaluable addition to the provenance of the artwork. The final account has always mirrored the estimate, even though we have asked that any unexpected variables be factored in. She is unfailingly enthusiastic, fun and generous with her time, always making us feel relaxed and very welcome when we have occasion either to visit or speak with her. We consider ourselves fortunate indeed to have someone with Emily’s extensive experience and skills available to us.

Peter and Jane Hordley
Pembrokeshire and Cardiff

March 2021

Mary Fedden pencil drawing and a Frank Brangwyn ink sketch
Mary Fedden pencil drawing and a Frank Brangwyn ink sketch
Mary Fedden pencil drawing and a Frank Brangwyn ink sketch

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