Tuesday, June 26, 2007

180 yr. old Jesus statue restoration

This was an interesting job that came my way awhile back through my buddy Cat. He had a friend that needed some repairs made to a 180 year old religious statue that he had brought back from Mexico but had gotten damaged during the transport. Since I had done some repairs for Cat, he recommended me and I met the client and his mother who told me about the piece. The 1st thing that struck me was the pristine condition of the statue. There wasn't a speck of dust or dirt on it and the color was bright and colorful. Apparently the reason it was in such good shape is that it was in an air-tight display case and never removed for 180 yrs (!). The statue was about 2 ft. tall and we suspect it was made of paper mache with wooden head and hands. The fingers had been snapped off during transport and needed to be reattached and made to look like it hadn't broken. I did a little research on statue restoration and talked with a few guys at Hollywood hardware, who I trust with my life. I glued the fingers back on with wood glue and patched up the seams with some wood filler (the smoother, the better). After it had dried overnight, I sanded it with light sand paper and painted it with gouache paints to match the existing skin tones. Overall, the client was quite pleased and wants me to repair a few more pieces and I can add restoration to my growing list of marketable skills. Click on the image to see a larger view.

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