MOVING FORWARDBeing responsible for cultural heritage like antique instruments is an interesting and challenging task. We have to move forward constantly to meet the challenges of preserving the instruments in our care for future generations (of musicians).
New technologies are crucial in the process of preserving as much original material as possible and minimizing the risk of damaging it.
Because the techniques and materials and our knowledge of them are changing constantly research is an important part throughout a restorers career.We have to educate ourselves constantly and integrate newly gained insights into our workshop practices.
We have to think in long terms and how the original materials and the materials used for restoration today are going to age together. Materials like plaster or silicon we use for restoration can affect the instruments in short but also in long term. We have to be informed about their impacts in order to use these materials responsibly. Research about new materials can lead to new restoration methods like repairing wormholes. Using new technologies for patches and doublings helps us to preserve as much original wood as possible. Radiographs enable us to assess the situation ragerding wormholes etc.
Varnisch also is a big part of research: we have to know as much as possible about the nature and structure of the varnishes presented to us. This is crucial in order to know how they probably are going to age and what their reaction could be with other materials. The aging and behaving of varnishes can be extremely different depending on their ground, number and thickness of layers, materials like resins and pigments used and their aging conditions.
The materials we use for retouching need to be as stable as possible and not endanger (imperil) the original.
Also it is very important to know how to distinguish original varnish from not original and how to remove coatings and retouchings without damaging the original and when it is more considerate for the instrument not remove an old retouching at all.