04 · Sophie Reddington · Services
Sophie Reddington Services
Sophie undertakes all aspects of conservation and restoration of paintings. Working collaboratively with the client, she meets their needs and ultimately the needs of the artwork. When a client comes to Sophie, prior to any kind of treatment, the artwork is extensively surveyed and assessed and a condition report is devised. The next step is the deliverance of a schedule / treatment plan, alongside an estimate of time and costs for the client to look through, discuss any queries or questions, and agree upon. Sophie thoroughly runs through options and recommendations, and together she liaises with the client about the best route to take. Treatments Sophie Offers:

As an utter perfectionist Sophie’s attention to detail means that all treatments are articulated with immaculate respect, precision and care, ensuring that repair work isn’t visible from the front. Where a canvas needs treatment Sophie offers local tear mending, fixing of holes via canvas inserts, improving of canvas tension, restretching a canvas, replacing stretchers, removal of deformations and securing wedges. If a painting needs relining, she sends it to the appropriate liner after receiving an estimate. For wooden panels Sophie offers the re-gluing of split panel joints and woodworm damage reduction. She can also assist when wooden panels have warped, usually by special framing to increase stability. Very often cradles can be found on the back of panels, which create tension in the wooden structure. They would have been attached during old restoration and they often need to be removed to improve the panel’s condition. Sophie can preserve metal panels by re-framing them with great meticulousness, or by creating a bespoke tray. Deformations usually cannot be removed, as the paint layers would be at great risk.

Sophie can assist when there is lifting or cupping paint, by using a variety of adhesives depending on the type of paint, the history of the art work, the condition and the support. She uses a fine brush, a pin point or even a syringe in rare occasions when needed, working with absolute care and respect for the art.

For art covered in or disfigured by dust, dirt, nicotine, or any other environmental influences, clients come to Sophie for removal, using a variety of aqueous cleaning agents, or sometimes simply deionised water. Often the cleaning process needs to be taken further by removing an old discoloured varnish. Precise testing is required in order to decipher the most suitable solvent mixture. Sometimes the reduction of a varnish can be more desirable than removing all layers. Often old restorations, discoloured retouchings and overpaint need to also be removed, as they are disfiguring the appearance of the original paint.

If an old varnish has been removed Sophie can apply a new one. The type used is always dependent on the individual painting.  There is a variety of resins to choose from, most of them synthetic, but sometimes Dammar as a natural resin should also be taken into consideration. The idea is to choose something, which is stable and does not change colour.

Paint losses need to be filled in order to integrate them with the original paint surface prior to retouching. A variety of fillers can be used depending on if and how the surface of a filling needs to be textured. A good surface leads to an invisible retouching. For this step the conservator usually grinds pigments on the palette mixed with a certain retouching medium. Nowadays there are also a few high quality ready-made retouching products on the market. Sophie chooses the perfect medium for each particular painting.

Sophie works closely with the well-respected and experienced specialist frame conservator Thomas Proctor, who assists when clients require this service.

Sophie’s passion for the conservation of art means she’s always keen to advice on how to hang a painting. She assesses the environment and potential factors which can lead to deterioration, and discusses ways to minimise them.

Sophie uses a mobile X-Ray Company to reveal changes in composition etc. via X-Ray Photography. Through infrared examination the under-drawing can be revealed. TSR is the company, who Sophie has even assisted in the past.

This service involves taking paint samples to be identified by a specialist in order to identify pigments, the paint medium and the different paint layers. This information can help to establish a painting technique and the historical background.

Sophie documents all treatments undertaken; both in written and photographic forms.
back to top