Conservation of the Galleon Tile Panel

The tile panel consists of two separate sections, each consisting of 20 hand-painted 6-inch square tiles, backed again by as many unglazed stoneware tiles. Both panels are enclosed within the original oak frame. When we received the galleon tile panel it had a number of areas which needed conserving. The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund generously assisted with this essential work.







The primary problems with the panel were two cracks which ran from the top to the bottom of the panel. The cracks were not recent and appear to have been caused by the removal of a backing board. The stress on the tiles as the board was removed caused the painted tiles to break. These cracks needed to be consolidated before the panel went on display.

Perhaps, more seriously, were chips to the edges of the tiles caused by the tiles moving in the frame. These chips had been poorly restored and our conservator Clare Spicer had to remove the fills and redo them.






      Photos of the tile panel showing areas of damage



The cracks were then filled in order to stabilise and strengthen the panel and then painted the areas with modified epoxy glaze - carefully matching the colours of the original in order to replace the missing areas of design. The idea being to lead the eye, allowing the overall effect to be enjoyed without the distraction of damage. Several chips and areas of damaged glaze were treated similarly.








     Clare Spicer preparing a filled crack for repainting in coloured epoxy glazes.