Discard or Repair

Discard or Repair

Every so often it happens that one of the statues I make becomes damaged. It breaks in half or just loses a leg or another small piece. That is a nuisance of course. I made a beautiful statue and that should stay in one piece. Besides, once a statue is broken it is hard to sell it because it’s value has been decreased.

I might restore it. For instance when I really liked the statue myself and wanted to keep it for my own or when I know people still want to buy it regardless of the damage. I started to call it restoration instead of reparation ever since someone asked me to restore something. I carefully put all the pieces back together and the moment I realised it was whole again gave me such enjoyment it convinced me that in some cases reparation precedes discarding. Crummy work should be disposed of all the time. That is not worth wasting your time on.

For restorations I always use a white adhesive designed for wood. It is really strong and becomes transparent when it is dry. Now you should stick the two pieces exactly together the first try. Closely observe how they should be fixed towards each other. Some of the glue may be squeezed out but that doesn’t matter, you can easily remove that with a knife afterwards. Try to maintain the pieces in the same position while holding it together. When the small fringe of glue no longer draws back into the fissure you can put it aside to dry. If glue still bulges out, cut it away with a sharp knife. Don’t worry about missing fragments. You can easily make up a paste consisting of some crushed up ceramics of the right colour and a bit of glue. Either use the small blob of clay you sometimes find at the bottom of a statue or use whatever lies around that happens to have the desired colour. Preferably use the same material the statue was made of. Carefully wad this paste into the cavity. You may have to repeat this several times due to the glue shrinking when it dries. Make sure to resemble as much as possible the original coating of the statue using a spatula or a small knife. You could even use a crayon to color the wadded piece. You’re missing some shiny enamel? Clear nail polish works just as well! If the fracture is something small, like a tail of a leg, try to incorporate a thin piece of silk at the bottom. That will not show and adds a lot of extra strength.

Good luck!