For Your Purchase
Unsuitable environmental conditions and improper
handling most often lead damage.
Masks, plaques and other wood objects should not be placed in direct sunlight.
Exposure can cause lightwoods to darken and have a bleaching effect on
darks woods and paint. Decorations such as feathers, hair, bark and leather
may also fade and become brittle.
Wood objects should not be stored in attics, basements or garages due
to fluctuations in both temperature and humidity. As humidity increases,
wood will naturally absorb moisture and expand. As humidity decreases,
moisture is drawn out of the wood causing it to shrink. Continual expansion
and contraction can cause cracks to develop and will ultimately damage
the woods surface.
Always hold onto the mask, or other objects, by the solid woods portions
and not by the decorations (i.e. cedar bark hair). If you are hanging
artwork on the wall, always use a hook that is appropriate for the weight
of the object. Adhesive style hooks are also not recommended.
Cleaning and Repair
The best way to avoid damaging your artwork is to
clean the piece with a soft paintbrush. Do not wet the paintbrush as water
can leave blotchy patches on the surface of the wood. Take great care
when cleaning brittle and loosely attached decorative elements in order
to avoid damage.
It is best not to apply oils or waxes to the surface of wood objects as
recommended in many “how to” books. Such treatments may enhance
the appearance of the piece, at least in the short term; however, over
time they frequently cause discoloration and stickiness on the surface
of the wood.
If your artwork requires extensive cleaning or repair, you should seek
advice from a conservator.
Information collected for this article
can be veiwed on the Canadian