Joyce Terreni

Feb 7, 2023 | Restoration

–How did you become a restorer? What was your training path?

Art and specifically sculpture have always fascinated me. For example, having an antique object in my hands, with its own history, knowing that over time it has passed from hand to hand until it reached me, to receive my “care”, has always fascinated me. One becomes a restorer not only by gaining practice and experience in one’s own laboratory but also by having the curiosity to look around, participating in trainings, collaborating with restorers also operating in other sectors and with relevant professional figures, such as art historians and professionals specialized in diagnostics of Cultural Heritage. Furthermore, it is important and fundamental to understand the customer’s needs, to know how to advise them, decide together the most appropriate procedure for the restoration of the object, guiding them in the final choice by acting in full respect of the artwork. It is a job that requires passion, dedication and patience, to be willing to make sacrifices and some renunciations.

After graduating from the art school, I approached the art of mosaic by attending the laboratory of Prof. Giancarlo Raddi and, subsequently, the professional course of Ceramic and Stone Material Restoration at the Palazzo Spinelli Institute for Art and Restoration in Florence. After the training I began my work experience collaborating for 8 years with the restorer Franca Gambarotta, to then start my own restoration studio independently.

–Let’s talk about your work now. There have been many collaboration opportunities with Art-Test, which one do you want to remember?

I have been collaborating with Art-Test for about 10 years now, Mostly, I made use of their support for thermoluminescence diagnostic tests. The latest collaboration, undoubtedly the most interesting, is linked to an ancient Chinese sculpture, a stone artefact carved in the round, depicting Buddha. The surface was covered with a very thick preparatory layer, above which there was a pictorial film in imitation of bronze. Finally, originally, the whole was covered with a very thin sheet of copper, of which only a few fragments remained. Through the stratigraphic investigation it was possible to reconstruct the history of the artifact and the reasoned reading of the stratifications allowed me to plan the restoration of the artwork. The diagnostic investigations also allowed an indirect dating, recognizing a technique in use in the production area of the artefact.

-In general, what are the problems most commonly encountered during a restoration in which diagnostics are more useful? And what advantages does it have for a restorer to support a restoration project with a targeted diagnostic campaign?

Diagnostics make it possible to better evaluate and understand the state of conservation of a work, allowing the restorer to develop a targeted restoration intervention and with the best operating techniques available, acting in full respect of the asset.

-You have been working in this field for many years, what changes have you noticed, for example in terms of customers, prices and commissions?

Over the years, it has been possible to build a very solid and trusting relationship with both Italian and foreign customers. I want to be able to offer an increasingly competitive and cutting-edge service, both in the studio and on construction sites, to continue to make myself known and to have my work appreciated.