David P. Dobroyde Point. NSW.

We cherish our brightly and intricately painted Art Deco Gouda Vase, made in the 1930's this vase stands 53cm high and has a gorgeous and powerfully hypnotic quality in its beauty. We returned from holidays and found the vase broken; it felt surreal as if somehow we had staggered into a gory crime scene with our vase bleeding its life away into our living room carpet. Our Gouda vase which once imbued youthful beauty now had one third of its graceful ceramic neck broken into 10 pieces leaving an ugly jagged gash ripping through the meticulously painted body and a large full thickness crack extending lengthwise. It looked old and dead beyond redemption, we had such love for it we picked up the pieces but left it on display until by chance we heard about Sydney Artefacts Conservation.

We sent our vase over and an initial estimate given, I spoke with Thea (at SAC) several times, I liked her advice about the repair from the get- go. She gave us time to digest the damaged vase we presented her - it had a crack which had sprung; making it costly and difficult to repair and she could not offer a guarantee it would be unnoticeable, and decide if it was reasonable to spend money repairing an ornament which now had no (investment) material value.

We came to the decision we do not acquire ornaments for their value so much as their beauty and individuality. Thea began the painstaking slow and intensive task of restoring the vase (a job many other people found too detailed to attempt). Thea repaired it so well, close examination (and I do mean really careful examination) reveals the repaired crack when looking inside the vase however from the outside the vase is as smooth and elegant as when it was made. The paint is expertly colour matched and the repainted joins undetectable. Collectors attribute much praise to the artisan skills of the original potters, we attribute much praise to Thea's artisan skills, and it is difficult to believe this vase was shattered into many pieces, let alone cracked before it was repaired so beautifully. Thea has renewed the youthful and timeless beauty to this exquisite vase, Sydney Artefacts Conservation is a business with integrity and deserves the praise we attribute to this skilful repair.

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