Our Approach to Sculpture Restoration
If you are requiring sculpture restoration, or statue repair, you may be responsible for a monument, war memorial, contemporary sculpture or public sculpture. We offer a wide range of services from basic sculpture cleaning to full sculpture restoration services.
The first stage of our work involves research. We need to establish the sculpture’s original finish. This enables us to assess how much change has taken place over time. Understanding the statue’s context helps us decide what weight to give to these changes.
This part of the process of sculpture restoration involves several stages such as
• looking at unpublished documents
• meeting with artists
• looking at the sculptures context and history
The next stage of sculpture restoration can involve the analysis of corrosion products. This is not always necessary, but it can help us to pinpoint the nature of unusual types of corrosion. Figuring out why a particular a sculpture is degrading can be like piecing together a puzzle.
Once on site, sculpture cleaning is invaluable. With a clean surface, we can examine the sculpture accurately and plan the details of the method we intend to use.
The approach and methodology of the practical work will be particular to the issues the sculpture. We involve the client in every step so that they are clear on why the work is necessary and how we mean to carry it out.
We specialise in carrying out even the most difficult repairs and treatments in situ. This benefits the client by minimising costs and risks incurred in
• handling and storing large objects of high-value.
We are always happy to give advice on sculpture restoration. You can contact us to discuss concerns or to help with decision making.
Regular monument cleaning and maintenance is the best way to protect bronzes. The added bonus is that it also keeps them looking good all year round. Bronze conservation can stabilise an object and reduce disfiguration without the need to restore, though bronze restoration may be necessary when the disfiguration of the original patina has occurred.
Bronze conservation can stabilise an object and lessen disfiguration. The aim is to avoid bronze restoration if possible, though at times avoiding it may be impossible.
In such cases, it may be necessary to use techniques such as TORC, a wet/air abrasion system. Repatination might be necessary after corrosion removal. We mix bespoke patination formulas to match surviving patina closely. The final stage would be the protection of the monument with a suitable coating.
If you would like to see some of the projects that we have undertaken, then take a look at our gallery. Or read about The Aldersgate Flame project which had some interesting conservation ethics issues.
Contemporary Sculpture Restoration
Contemporary sculpture can be made of traditional or contemporary materials. These materials have very different conservation problems than those of bronze monuments. Often artists and those that fabricate their art, while expert at their execution, are less familiar with how the materials will age. This is where we come in.
If a particular material is degrading rapidly, we will investigate the root cause. It could be that the original material used has been an unsuitable choice. Or, external factors have unduly affected its stability. In some instances, we may have products tailor-made to suit the object’s precise needs. Whenever possible, we involve the artist in conservation solutions aiming to respect their vision of the object.
We can survey, analyse, report and advise on the condition of contemporary sculpture. We encourage clients to draw up preventive conservation plans with us. This is one of the few ways to minimise the impact of the environment on the sculpture.
Public Sculpture Restoration
Public art is both loved and hated. The public use it as a platform to celebrate publicly, or a vessel to vent frustration.
Either way, when the public interact with their art, it can often result in damage such as
• physical breakages.
We can respond rapidly to such situations because we are familiar with carrying out emergency works discretely. We are used to interacting with the public and working safely alongside them.
Public art often hits the news if there has been antisocial behaviour or a national event. We work with the press often to communicate the conservation aspect of what we do. We have further examples on Our Gallery page
If you are a custodian of bronze sculpture and you’d like to learn more about how to care for bronze sculpture – take a look at our online course, Bronze Behaving Badly, created especially for you.