Vintage Bathroom Sink

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There are times when a sink or other porcelain fixture is worth saving. Sometimes it is part of a color suite, and the whole set would need to be changed out (exact color matches in porcelain replacements are extremely hard to find except in white). The durability and design of such a piece may also be irreplaceable, as there was a time when plumbing fixtures were made to last as long as possible. This sink had two problems – there was ...

Micro Mosaic Greyhound Brooch

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Micro mosaics like these were done in the 18th and 19th centuries by the same workshops in Rome that meticulously copied all the paintings in the central nave of St. Peter’s, and replaced them so that the originals could be kept in a humidity controlled, incense-free environment. It was even noted, at the time, that the atmosphere inside the huge volume created by the enormous dome, had its own weather – and sometimes even created clouds that would hover in ...

Porcelain Sauce Boat

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This Meissen porcelain sauce boat, in the traditional onion pattern, had lost a handle. In order to replace it we molded and then cast a replacement from the handle on the other side. We used a water-clear, non-yellowing optical epoxy that we carefully tinted to be a good match for the surrounding porcelain – not only the right color, but the correct degree of translucency. This handle, when joined to the piece, fit so well that we decided with the ...

Shattered Porcelain Vase

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This porcelain vase was so smashed that it is hard to imagine what happened to it. It required the patient, deductive skill of a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast to fit all the pieces together. Then the chips were filled and the lines coated with an optical epoxy so that the pieces could be safely sanded smooth without damaging the porcelain surface underneath. Airbrushing and careful hand-painting followed, with a final coat of a durable glaze that was hand rubbed to the ...

St. Paul Church Statue

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The two fingers of the Jesus in this statue were broken off and stolen. The gestures on such statues are very specific, and as this sculpture had been carved specifically for this church, we were able to solicit a photograph of the original sculpture from the congregation. Work on site would have been disruptive to the church, so we made a silicone rubber cast of the broken hand, and took it back to our studio. From the photograph we were ...

Steuben Bowl

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As Steuben becomes rarer with every year since the workshops have closed down, it becomes more and more worthwhile to save their pieces from oblivion. This elegant Steuben bowl was missing a 3” by 1” curved section from its rim, and would have been completely useless if not restored. We made a silicone rubber mold from a good section of the rim, and cast the missing piece with optical epoxy. While not an exact refractive match to the original lead ...

Tiffany Glass Pendant Shade

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This is a Tiffany glass globe that broke out on the side. Although we had all the pieces, the simplicity of the final surface made the assembled pieces quite obvious. Even though the optical epoxy made the seams almost disappear, there was a slight surface expression of the seams. The next step was to mask off the surface to limit the extent of our coating. Then we airbrushed several clear coats – first to completely cover the seams, then to polish the ...

Tiffany Crystal Sail

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Working with a chip in a large, clear glass sculpture can evoke a creative solution. Any chip or deep scratch attracts attention to itself, and the whole piece completely loses its aesthetic impact, because it depends on clean simplicity. With such a pieces we have a variety of options, from filling the chips with an optical epoxy, to regrinding and polishing the scratched surface – to imperceptibly lowering the rim of a glass to remove a chip. In this case, however, there ...

St. Joseph Statue

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This statue of St Joseph is larger than life. The neck had been broken and reglued, and the fingers of one hand were missing. As this is an outdoor sculpture, the approach was to make the repair strong and lightfast. We drilled a separate hole for each finger and installed 3/16” bolt stock for the fingers. This is quite strong and the threads make a good bond with the epoxy putty from which the fingers were sculpted. If the finished ...

Gilt-Lacquered Buddha Sculpture

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Gilt-Lacquered Buddha This gilt-lacquered Buddha has a striking presence. It is Japanese, and actually a Buddhist Arhat, or saint – possibly a portrait of a revered abbot. It is approximately 2-1/2 feet tall and is make of several blocks of wood glued together. The damage resulted in part from these blocks shrinking at different rates, causing large offsets at the surface – thankfully mostly on the back. There were also patches of missing lacquer. The rest of the surface had been regilded ...