Sculpture restoration and conservation (T)386-956-1724
Sculpture Repair
by Brian R. Owens
"God is in the details"

- unkown author
Most of my sculpture repairs involve small works of art with broken limbs. Once, I received a box filled with little pieces. Usually, I discover that not all of the pieces are there and that the repair involves not only adding material but resculpting a portion of it in the style of the other artist.

The first three sculpture repair projects below are alike in that they involve sculpting missing parts. Two of the repairs are "structural". In other words, it wasn't enough to simply reassemble the parts using adhesives. The repair involved stainless pins or some other means of adding strength.

Normally, my sculpture repair price estimates are based on photo-images sent to me via email. That's usually good enough. If I have any reservations, I discuss it with the client over the phone before they deliver it. Everything is in writing. My experience with sculpture repair has been very positive and varied. For example, I sculpted a missing wood part for a Russian religious icon that was smaller than my hand. I also repaired superficial damage done to the patina of a large bronze sculpture located in a public area and in the process, discovered a crack (due to a failed weld) that could have brought the 900 LB sculpture down. I fixed that as well. All of my customers have been extremely satisfied.

I do try to determine who made the sculpture and what it is worth well before I agree to do the repair. The market value of the sculpture (and the artist who made it) may have a bearing on the methods and materials selected to affect the repair. Once work has begun, my general attitude towards the sculpture repair is always the same. This is the discipline: Be efficient but don't watch the clock; pretend like it belongs to you; and adhere to the maxim "do the right thing".
Clay Sculpture Repair

sculpture repair 1

This clay sculpture of St. Francis was delivered in 4 pieces with 2 additional missing pieces that would have to be sculpted. It had a natural, complex "patina" created by long exposure to the elements. I wanted to eliminate, do the degree possible, all evidence of the repair. But first, I had to put it back together.

sculpture fix 2

I decided to use a combination of adhesives and aluminum pins.

sculpture fix 3

Here you see me test fitting a broken arm prior to adding the missing fingers.

sculpture fix 4

This tiny clay bird, a separate element of the sculpture, was about 2-1/2 inches wing. I used pins again, as you can see, for added strength before I sculpted the missing part.

sculpture restore 3

This hand was sculpted to match the one on the other side. In the end, it was easier to match the colors and textures than I had thought. There was virtually no evidence of the repaired areas when the job was done.

sculpture restore 4

The restored clay sculpture of St. Francis and the bird prior to delivery - stronger than it was before - but still just made of clay.

Hollow Cast Resin Sculpture Repair

sculpture repair 5

This sculpture, consisting of hollow "roto-cast" white resin - exceedingly detailed and equisitely painted, arrived with both of the ears broken off. The pieces that formed the inner left ear were missing.

sculpture fix 6

Those shapes inside the ear were sculpted out of epoxy and then painted with an air brush.

statue fix 7

Rear View

statue fix 8

The finished sculpture repair prior to delivery via a ground carrier to a client out of state. A sculpture like this requires extreme care in boxing and packing. This service is included in the price.

Pewter Sculpture Repair

sculpture repair 1

This small figure of a boy scout - that is probably a genuine antique - was a thin-walled pewter casting with structural cracks and missing pieces that prevented it from standing upright. Someone of questionable experience had attempted to repair it before. My mission, given my limited budget, was to get it standing and make it pleasing to look at without completely restoring the design of the base.

sculpture restore 2

Back View

statue repair 3

The shape in grey is the part of the base that was missing. The bottom was also filled in and sanded ulta-smooth. It was hand-painted to match the figure.

statue repair 4

The repaired sculpture back in its owner's home.

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Brian R. Owens
(T) 386-956-1724

© 2004 Brian R. Owens (T)386-956-1724
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