Conservation and Restoration of Glass and Ceramics


The main objective of the Curricular Unit (CU) of Conservation and Restoration of Glass and Ceramics Cultural Heritage is to provide the student with the practical knowledge about methodologies and materials used in the conservation and restoration of ceramics and glass. Thus, the development of practical skills in the student will be achieved through the intervention in one or more objects and / or activities related to conservation and restoration procedures, such as cleaning, joining fragments, filling gaps, chromatic integration, finishing of surfaces, etc.

The student will train the handling of ceramic and glass objects, acquiring skills through the practical work developed.

Emphasis will be given on the development of the ability of the student to argue the advantages and disadvantages related to the various materials and tested treatment procedures applied to the assigned case studies, by discussing the various options in class context together with the Professor and colleagues.

The student should finish this CU:

To make the diagnosis and the intervention proposal of a ceramic and glass object, planning the various phases of required intervention;

Have a critical approach to treatment options, including the choice of conservation materials and procedures to be used in an intervention;

Present a representative and insightful intervention report of the treatment that was carried out, justifying the used methodologies and employed materials;

To elaborate preventive conservation norms that include the exhibition, the storage and the transport of objects in ceramics and glass in different conservation stages.

Soft Skills:Time management, teamwork; Bibliographic research; Writing reports: structure, presentation and bibliographic references; Computer tools (Word, Excel, Power Point); Expression and Communication.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Inês Alexandra Ramalho Coutinho


Weekly - 6

Total - 84

Teaching language



Available soon


Koob, S. Conservation and care of glass objects. London: Archetype, 2006. ISBN: 978-1904982081

Oakley, V.L.; Jain, K.K. “Essentials in the Care and Conservation of Historical Ceramic Objects”. London: Archetype, 2002. ISBN: 978-1873132739

Buys, S.; Oakley, V. “Conservation and Restoration of Ceramics”. Oxon: B-H, 1996. ISBN: 978-0750632195

Newman, H. “An Illustrated Dictionary of Glass”. London: T& H, 1987. ISBN: 978-0500274514.

Savage, G.; Newman, H.; Cushion, J.P., “An Illustrated Dictionary of Ceramics”. T&H, 2000. ISBN: 978-0500273807.

Brown, S.; Strobl, S., “A Fragile inheritance: The care of stained glass and historic glazing: a handbook for custodians”. Northampton: CHP, 2002. ISBN: 0715176005.

Pallot-Frossard, I., “Manuel de Conservation, Restauration et Création de Vitraux” ISBN: 2-11-094665-2.

Teaching method

The program of this curricular unit is developed in the laboratory through the realization of conservation and restoration interventions in ceramics and glass. At the beginning of the semester the practical classes will have a theoretical-practical introduction about the intervention methods and materials available to the conservator of ceramics and glass, already taking a critical approach on the benefits and disadvantages of the various materials.

The evaluation includes the test (25%) + diagnostic report and intervention proposal (25%) + intervention report and presentation and discussion of the intervention (50%). The final classification results from the weighted average of these evaluation elements.

Evaluation method

The program of this course is developed in the laboratory by conducting conservation and restoration interventions in ceramics and glass. At the beginning of the semester, the practical classes will have a theoretical-practical introduction about the intervention methods and materials available to the ceramic and glass conservator, already taking a critical approach about the benefits and disadvantages of the various materials.

This course has frequency, that is, a set of conditions to be met by the student to have access to exam; The student will have access to the Appeal Exam provided that he / she does not miss more than 2/3 of the practical classes.

This curricular unit has 2 continuous evaluation components: a Theoretical-Practical component (TP) test and four Practical component (P). To be approved in the curricular unit it is necessary to have a minimum of 9.5 values ​​in both components (Theoretical-Practical and Practice)

The evaluation includes:


Test: 25%


Diagnostic Report + Intervention Proposal: 15%

Intervention report: 20%

Final Presentation and Discussion: 20%

Participation and ''Hands on'': 20%


Final Grade = (T * 0.25) + (P * 0.75)

T = test grade or appeal exam grade.

P = includes Diagnostic Report + Intervention Proposal (15%), Intervention Report (20%), Final Presentation and Discussion (20%), Participation and Hands on (20%)

 Participation Assessment and ''Hands On'' capability includes:

- Attendance and punctuality;

- Conservation and restoration laboratory notebook;

- Desk / workspace preparation;

- Cleaning of workspace at the end of the day;

- Careful handling of objects;

- Fine motor skills in performing C&R procedures;

- Promotion of self-criticism and group evaluation regarding the proposals and interventions made.

Subject matter

  • Understanding the ethical principles of an intervention,
  • The importance of documentation: The student will complete detailed documentation about the performed intervention. The documentation must include a diagnosis of the state of conservation of the object (including the materials and production techniques used in the object), the intervention proposal and the intervention report, accompanied by a detailed photographic record of the object before, during and after intervention. Examination and analytical methods will be performed for the characterization and study of the object whenever these are considered necessary, 
  • The Diagnosis: material and technological analysis; evaluation of previous treatments. This should be as complete and exhaustive as possible. A good diagnosis will serve as a basis for preparing the intervention proposal.
  • Previous interventions: in the case of the existence of previous interventions, it is necessary to identify the materials used in them and to discuss whether or not they need to be removed,
  • Intervention concepts: consolidation; cleaning; union of fragments; gap fills; chromatic integration and surface finishing. Here the various methodologies that can be used in each stage of the work, as well as the various materials that can be chosen, will be addressed.
  • Treatment Proposal (where the methodologies to be used as well as the choice of materials to be used in the intervention should be included) and decision making
  • Practical application of the intervention methodologies and preparation of the materials to be used,

Preventive conservation measures: environmental conditions; packaging; storage; exhibition; transport