“For nearly thirty years, two watercolours by Thomas Swift Hutton somewhat damaged by foxing (brown marks) reluctantly laid undisturbed in our attic in need of some tender loving care. Recommended to us by a local art dealer we met with Zoe Finlay at her Newcastle studio to discuss restoration.
Zoe gave us a detailed verbal description of the treatments she thought would be the most successful and safest methods of removing the foxing without exposing the pieces to unnecessary risk. This was followed up by a detailed written estimate including a description of her intentions.
Throughout the restoration process Zoe kept us informed of her progress allowing us to make informed decisions.
We cannot praise highly enough for what Zoe has achieved. The paintings have been given a whole new lease of life. We are so happy with the result.
In addition to her work on the paintings Zoe also gave us sound advice on re-framing so as to preserve the integrity of the paintings for the future.
Well done Zoe”!!
Anthony & Janet Mann
“Zoe has repaired several old prints for me and her work is of a high standard. Zoe is very conscientious, sets out clearly the necessary work and subsequently provides a detailed overview of the work completed. Importantly, Zoe has good judgement on where the boundaries of repair work should be. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Zoe.”
“I am truly delighted with Zoe’s work. She not only restored the drawing of my father with great care but has also taken great pains to mount the drawing with sensitivity in its existing frame, so it is now both conserved and a much more beautiful object. Unbelievably, the drawing itself seems to have been transformed; I think she has even made my father smile!”
“As a collector of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century prints, I have worked with a number of paper conservators over the last three decades. None exceeded Zoe Finlay in expertise or attention to detail, and I can thoroughly recommend her.”
“Zoe has restored a family marriage certificate dated 1863 which had been badly damaged by damp and mould. She has managed to eradicate all of the staining from the mould and generally brightened it up. She provided a new mat to be sure there would be no return of the problem and has given us all the details of her work, so that if someone else in the future wants to know what has been done to the picture it is fully documented. Excellent, professional job”.
Sue and Tony Cullen
“Absolutely fabulous, thank you!”
“Zoe Finlay has done excellent repair and restoration for me on old railway drawings. I was very impressed with her professionalism and attention to detail in not only her submission and quotation for carrying out the repair but also in the performance of the repair and care in ensuring in that it was carried out to the highest standard, obviating any existing problems in the paper, through her technical expertise and practical knowledge.
Zoe took into account the post treatment, i.e. the appropriate storage protection requirements to maintain the items for the future. Finally she carefully documented all the work done along with a detailed invoice clearly stating this. Therefore I would fully recommend her services.”
“I so felt that I was being looked after by a real professional – and a real crafts person”
“I inherited two family letters dating to 1936 which have sentimental value. When I was given them 25 years ago they were already showing their age; being dirty, folded, torn and in one instance missing a quarter of a page. Having shown them to friends late last summer, I then saw Zoe at the Tynemouth Book Fair and impulsively had a long chat to her about them. This resulted in Zoe having a look at them and then making recommendations and a quote for their conservation.
Following conservation work, they are now much cleaner (and therefore more readable), and have been repaired and strengthened where necessary. Best of all, they have been mounted so that they can be stored flat and unfolded, and be easily looked at and enjoyed with minimal handling.
I am delighted that they have in effect a new lease of life and I am so pleased that I doubled back that morning to have a chat. So, thank you very much Zoe, I’m a very happy customer”.
“I first became aware of Zoe Finlay’s sterling work through a business card I picked up in the rather splendid Keel Row Books in North Shields.
My problem was that I had – for many years – owned two large-format Graphic Novels by the author Michael Moorcock, in collaboration with artists (Gateshead lad) James Cawthorn & (presumably not from Gateshead) Phillipe Druillet, that had become water-damaged. An absolute tragedy, as they’re worth modest sums to collectors, and of great sentimental value to myself.
They had been stored upright, in plastic sleeves on the shelf of my attic. Unfortunately, the sleeves did not cover the bottom of the books, so when a long-term undetected leaking roof caused the damage, it went undetected for quite some time. In both cases, the pages were completely stuck together: one book in particular had taken a right good hiding along the bottom third and had hardened like concrete.
Zoe – through a combination of application, inspiration and perspiration – managed to restore both books to a quite astonishing degree. Miraculously restored to a condition I would not have believed possible.
This labour of love was achieved within a very short timescale and at a very reasonable cost. I cannot thank Zoe enough, and can’t express my gratitude in mere words. I thoroughly recommend her services to anyone who finds themselves in need of a dedicated craftswoman of paper!”
“Zoe Finlay, Paper Conservator was recommended to me when I took a damaged 19thCentury print to be framed in Newcastle. The print was diagnosed as unstable and damaged because of its original acidic mount. It was also dirty and creased. Zoe removed the flimsy print from its mount, dry cleaned, washed and stabilised it, and remounted it on suitable material.
The work was carried out according to agreed estimate of time and cost. She supplied excellent documentary commentary on her processes, provided fascinating information on the subject and nature of the print, and gave useful advice on its future care. I am delighted with the work she has carried out, and will no doubt bring any similar work to her in the future. I am confident in recommending her as a skilled and talented paper conservator.”
Dr Sean Figgis
“Zoe is a highly professional and competent paper conservator who takes the time to explain what can be achieved for your problem items. She has undertaken numerous paper repair assignments for me, all of which I have been highly satisfied with – and I’m picky!”
“The art of preserving fine art should always require the restoration art of Zoe Finlay”.