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Is Your Certificate Fading Into Oblivion? 5 Excellent tips to keep it from happening.
From:
Scott M. Haskins --  Art Damage Expert Witness Scott M. Haskins -- Art Damage Expert Witness
,
Monday, November 01, 2010


Look at the signatures
 
Video Clip: Click to Watch
 

I was in my doctor's office and we were talking about my book, "How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster". He asked about some of the subjects it deals with and I mentioned water damage and mold, smoke damage, shake proofing your home as with earthquakes and hurricanes, protecting photos and scrapbooks.

Then I looked to the side at his wall of certificates and there was one that was practically fading into oblivion! I pointed out to him, "There's a perfect example of what I talk about!"

Notice how the writing looks faded… and one of the signatures is practically gone!

Fading of certificates and artwork is a question I get all the time. You don't need to have direct sunlight shining on your framed item in order to have fading occur. In fact, this certificate has never seen the light of day! All of this fading was caused by fluorescent lights.

You've maybe noticed this happen many times before in an office or public office; carpets and upholstery change color, wall coverings fade and so do framed items. It seems to me that under fluorescent lights the items that fade the fastest are framed posters and certificates with ball point pen (notice in the photo how badly the signature on the left faded compared to the other writing). In fact, I'm embarrassed to say it, but the certificate of my master's degree in art conservation was signed with a pen that has faded away entirely… under fluorescent lights!

Ethnic and tribal artifact items and dyed cloths or tapestries would also be quickly affected. Oriental rugs fade pretty quick. Watercolors, oriental woodblock prints and other colored/dye types of original art are also affected badly.

Usually, oil paintings are not affected. The jury is still out on whether acrylic paintings are affected. Of course, ceramics and glassware don't fade.

So, the BIG question if you have an item that has already been faded is… how can I fix this? Well, sorry to be the one to tell you that once a color has faded, then the damage is done. Fading is permanent damage and the value of the item (if it had any) will be seriously impacted.

Another question is, "Will it continue to fade?" Yes! More light, more fading. Remember, too, that not all colors fade at the same rate. So only some of the colors may be fading fast, others slowly and others, not at all. These different rates of fading result in an out of balance look of the artwork compared to what the artwork used to look like. In other words, a faded watercolor or poster may look "different" but still "OK." But it will get worse if you leave it in the light.

Note: If you try and have someone "repaint" your fading artwork, then the value goes down the drain even more. This is a falsifying of the damaged original and is unacceptable among collectors.

What can you do to prevent fading? Here are 5 excellent tips:

1. Framed items can have an ultraviolet filtering Plexiglas used in place of the regular glass. Regular glass DOES NOT filter out UV rays or protect against fading, even minimally.

2. A UV filtering sleeve can be placed over the fluorescent tubes in the office lighting. (I recommend doing both #1 and #2)

3. You can take a high resolution photo (or color photocopy) of your certificate or artwork, frame it up great and then hang the reproduction print in place of the original. Not a bad idea anyway for public areas and offices where potential damage or theft is a risk.

4. Move high risk valuable items that you want to protect from fading to darker areas and put more resistant items out under the lights to decorate. Even just turning the lights out or drawing the drapes more often will do something.

5. Many collectors worried about UV will put UV filters (shading) on their big picture windows. Its kind of the same ting as having your windows shaded on your car. It cuts down the heat, protects your carpets and drapes and helps protects your artwork. Have it professionally installed. It'll look a lot better and last longer.

Oh! By the way… Here's a freebie piece of great advice… I noticed, once I took the certificate off my doctor's wall (so I could photograph it for you in this article) that the good doctor had used Museum Putty to anchor the framed certificate to the wall. This useful product keeps the hanging item from swinging on the wall and getting crooked (a bother for those that live in hurricane and earthquake country). Also, if the building really starts to shake, the framed item won't "hop" off the hanging hook onto the floor. Good, clean, useful product. For more information on Museum Putty, Museum Wax and Museum Gel, go to www.saveyourstufffromadisaster.com and go to the bottom of the Products Page (navigation bar at top of page).

If you would like to see a customer testimonial for Museum Wax, a similar product with the same use, about protecting and saving treasured collectibles, figurines, glassware and more from hurricane/ earthquake type damage, see Diana's testimonial at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGU4jXG7AO0

For additional help, download the free information at www.saveyourstufffromadisaster.com. Also find more tips, instructions and help in preserving items important to your company's assets/collection, memorabilia, your collectibles, your important documents, photos etc. Download now the easy to read how-to manual "How To Save Your Stuff From A disaster."

See our Facebook pages at:

"Save Your Stuff"

"Save Your Stuff From A Disaster"

"Preserving Family History"

 
Scott M. Haskins
Conservator, Author
www.saveyourstuff.com
Santa Barbara, CA
805-564-3438
 
First Url: Save Your Stuff