This is a Cambodian stone Buddha that creates a serene mood in a secluded garden on Cape Cod. When the ear lobe went missing, it made a disturbing asymmetry in the harmony of the pose. Working outdoors can be a challenge because of the weather. Epoxies dry very slowly below 70 degrees, and hardly at all below fifty degrees. Sometimes a sculpture can be tented to create a higher temperature, but in this case it was sufficient to mount a hair dryer on a camera tripod to accelerate the hardening of the epoxies. First the broken area of the ear was drilled in two places to allow a loop of stiff wire to be glued in as an armature. Then the earlobe was reconstructed around it out of epoxy putty. As this became hard enough, it was painted with B-72 colors and textured with powdered pumice to recreate the texture of the original stone. The pigments we use in such a job are largely dry earth pigments, like burnt umber, carbon black, and yellow ochre. These are extremely durable colors, having survived on walls in ancient Egypt and Lascaux for thousands of years.

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