Della Robbia Madonna and Child

Loose surface dirt and loose/detached over-paint from previous treatment was removed by brush. Surface dirt was then removed by swabbing with various solvents. Ingrained dirt to the glaze was further removed using a glass fibre brush and also by the application of a gentle abrasive cream. Exposed areas of clay body were finally cleaned and degreased using acetone.

A 10% solution of a consolidant was used to treat loose ‘sounding’ areas of glaze and exposed areas of clay body. This was applied by brush and also syringe.

The broken fingers of the infant were re-bonded with a fast setting adhesive.

The missing areas of glaze were mimicked/in-filled using a coloured polyester paste. Once cured, after 1 hour, the polyester colour fills were refined and polished with various grades of sanding fabric and files. These were further toned with a mixture of a clear acrylic glaze and artist’s dry powder pigments. The retouching medium was applied by brush, and the final layer was polished with various grades of sanding fabric and then with a plastic polish. A protective layer of an epoxy resin was applied over in-filled and retouched areas.