Last week in London, Silvia Marín, from the Escola Superior de Conservació i Restauració de Béns Culturals de Catalunya (Superior School of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage of Catalonia), and Aleix Barberà, from the Centre de Restauració de Béns Mobles de Catalunya (Centre for the Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage of Catalonia), presented the work to restore a ceramic socarrat from the Museu del Disseny, an event within the framework of the “Gels in Conservation” Conference.
The socarrats are decorative plaques that were placed in the ceilings between the wooden beams. They were made in a mould and were decorated by covering the surface of the piece with lime oxide before firing, and afterwards applying decorative motifs using iron oxide and manganese.
Since arriving at the old Museum of Art in 1932, these pieces had undergone several interventions using wax and varnish with the aim of protecting them, but time and dust had made them dirty.
In order to remove these compounds, the restorers employed a method using gel and solvents that allowed the socarrats from the Museu del Disseny to be cleaned in a safe and controlled manner.