José María Muñoz-Poy Sánchez studied Fine Arts in Seville and Rafael Aguilera Casado studied History of Art in Malaga. Both completed a postgraduate master's in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Assets at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Since opening their workshop in 2013 they have dedicated most of their time to the restoration of artworks: oil paintings, textiles and sculptures, but they have also recovered the tradition of the so called "Flores del talco”. In order to restore art, it is necessary to have extensive knowledge of the original techniques and procedures the works were made with, and this knowledge is a source of inspiration and creativity. Santa Conserva's "talc flowers" are very similar to those that were intended for sacramental use and so have the charm of the monastic flowers, but they still blend well with 21st century aesthetics.Read the full interview
José: I believe that quality is the result of many ingredients: knowledge, care, good materials and a skilled hand. There are lots of hours of training, reading, practising…in fact just learning before successfully making an object that can be considered excellent.When did you start restoring and making talc flowers?
Rafael: We founded our workshop in 2013. We both studied restoration and conservation but in truth each piece that you restore has its own history, that of the person who made it with his techniques, so each time you learn something new. We had to make talc flowers for a sculpture and continued to make them after for other purposes.
José: Restoration is more than a craft; it is technical and scientific. It is a trade that requires many hours of detailed work. In addition, as restorers, we know an infinity of artistic and artisanal techniques. We must know these techniques in order to understand how works of art or crafts are made, in order to restore them properly.Do you have a special link with your homeland?
Rafael: We are surrounded by art and beauty. Andalusia has an enormous heritage, thousands of years of history have seen so many cultures leave behind aesthetic wealth. From the Roman occupation to the Omeyas, the Habsburg king to the present day, there are so many marvellous buildings.