Pueblo Pottery Restoration and Conservation of Prehistoric Anasazi, Historic 1700s to 1900s, and Contemporary  

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Pueblo Pottery Restoration
Conservation of The Past



Casey Reed 505-344-8492

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Conservation and restoration of ceramics is keyed to several levels of analysis:

  1. Evidence of the original manufacture. 
  2. Wear patterns or damage to it from original use. 
  3. Lastly, evidence of modification of the ceramic or damage from the collector or non native use which includes restoration that itself can take its toll on altering the original ceramic. 

These ceramics, as are all low fire ceramics, are very delicate and the paints are often attenuated or easily removed by washing or sanding and many other procedures during the restoration process.  A virtual nightmare when we consider the art and surface survived about a thousand years just to be damaged and frequently over-painted by the person "restoring" the artifact-ceramic.   

Ways to restore the aesthetic qualities while preserving the past:

  • The ceramic material we use for replacement of shards or missing areas is almost as strong as the original ceramic, but still water soluble.  It can easily be removed to reveal the original.  This is not possible with plaster especially dental plaster that is frequently used.
  • All the paints have been custom formulated with pure conservation grade acrylic base material from Germany.
  • The pigments are from all over the world and are the purist and highest quality available. No commercial paints are used.
  • Our goal is to preserve the past! This working guideline dictates original material is not to be modified, patched over, or painted.
  • Archaeological illustrations are done with major collections upon request. We first do a technical one to one drawing in direct compliance with The Guide to Archaeological Illustrating second revised edition, by Brian D. Dillon. Then a one to one graphical reconstruction of the ceramic/artifact is created on another sheet of mylar with rapidograph pens and ink and this completed form makes it possible to appreciate the entire painted surface of the object at a glance. They are technically very accurate and quite beautiful! The best compliment to the artist's hand or the finish artwork concerning these rendered inkings is that one viewing the inking is not being able to see the artist's bias. This is done in the pursuit of a true representation of the original work.
  • To make all restorations objectively identifiable a UV light, a marker is incorporated in the paints we make.   The UV marker is not visible in daylight or normal viewing light. All restored surfaces are detectable in a 354nm light. It became necessary to develop this feature because our restorations are undetectable or "invisible."   This feature in the paint makes all restoration visible and easily identifiable with UV light.
  • Every innovation and practice is in the spirit and practice of conservation and restoration with the highest respect for the original work. Our job is to preserve the past first, and second to restore the art to its original appearance.

We have done extensive work on prehistoric Anasazi pottery (900-1200 A.D.) and historic Pueblo pottery (1600-present).

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Additional Information: Call Casey Reed 505-344-8492