Historical Restoration & Conservation

Conservationem Non Fossio™ (Conservation Not Excavation)

  • Restoration: Returning something to an original, unimpaired or improved condition
  • Preservation: To keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction. To keep alive, intact, or free from decay.
  • Conservation: Preservation or restoration from loss, damage, or neglect
  • Preservationist is generally understood to mean Historic Preservationist: one who advocates to preserve architecturally or historically significant buildings, structures, objects or sites from demolition or degradation. Historic preservation usually refers to the preservation of the built environment.

All of these services range in price based on the project.
Please contact me for an evaluation and quote.

Tomb, Gravestone & Monument Restoration & Conservation

fallen stoneThere is a science to stone restoration.It takes years to learn how to evaluate the effects of weather, pollution, mold, mildew and other natural and non-natural effects that can slowly erode and damage gravestones to the point of no return.

The goal of cleaning and restoring is not to obtain a “like new” appearance, but to remove particulate soiling, staining and biological growth. For example, historic family graves where the stone is barely readable and stained with pollution/mildew/etc. may be restored to clean & readable state (which may last 50-100 years). I do not use “sealants” as these may cause further damage/degradation and make any future conservation much more difficult.

Despite the fact that these monuments are made of stone they are susceptible to the environment. Stone is composed of minerals and salts and when in direct contact with the earth are constantly wicking water from the ground and evaporating it along its surface. Drawn onto – and in some cases, into the stone, the water carries dissolved salts and minerals present in the surrounding soil.

Another source of surface disfigurement are traces of iron and copper in the water supply; even soft water may contains trace amounts. Before making an attempt to clean away these minerals and deposits a thorough understanding of the physical and chemical properties of the specific stone or masonry is required coupled with perfected cleaning techniques and tools.

In most situations, cleaning should be done prior to other treatments or resetting. This is with done with an aqueous antibacterial solution that aids in the removal of algae, fungi and other organisms. After application and gentle scrubbing with soft brushes, surfaces are fully rinsed with water. Wet cleaning is done only when the temperature of the air, or of the stone surface, is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.4 degrees Celsius, or when there is no risk of freezing within 48 hours.

Cemetery Mapping & Cataloguing

This is especially useful for both historical and genealogical records – creating a map of the Cemetery, cataloguing grave sites (names, dates, symbols, etc.), historical & technical explanations, photographic documentation and more. as well as copies for your own use, these documents may also be filed with both the cemetery, the town/city and local historic organizations.

Artifact Restoration & Conservation

Whether it’s a family heirloom, a prized antique, a sideshow gaff or a museum piece – keeping it in it’s best condition and well protected will prolong it’s life, beauty & value.

Working with artefacts of any kind is a delicate business; both for the obvious reasons of age & condition, but also for the sentimental value or the value within a collection.
I take great care and hours of research before I ever move forward with a restoration on an object.  I will access the piece and recommend restoration or conservation depending on the outcome of my research.  Restoration should never be undertaken by a non-professional.

Seika Groves: Historic Restorationist, Preservation Archæologist, Monument Conservator

  • BSc Archæology & Cultural Anthropology with a Major in Battlefield Archaeology (University Of Toronto)
  • Osteoarchaeology  (University of Lieden)
  • Historical Fashion & Costume Design (George Brown College, Toronto)

Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, ON): Gallery Interpreter, Reproductions Artist, Historical Research & Cataloguing

Casa Loma Historical Site (Toronto, ON): Historical Interpreter, Researcher & Re-enactor, Children’s Educational Interpreter

Toronto Opera Company (Toronto, ON): Historical Wig Maker

Toronto Operetta Theatre (Toronto, ON): Historical Costume fittings & alterations, Production Assistant

Westfield Heritage Village (Rockton, ON): Historical Interpreter, Researcher & Re-enactor

The Pyrates Image (Hamilton, Niagara-On-The-Lake & Port Dover ON): Historical Interpreter, Researcher, Programmer & Re-enactor

NOLA Pyrate Week (New Orleans, LA): Co-Founder/Organizer, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Historical Interpreter, Researcher, Programmer & Re-enactor