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 able to exactly reconstruct the missing fingers – and the mold of the stumps allowed us to make them to the proper scale, with attachments that would exactly match the statue.
We sculpted the fingers out of an epoxy putty, and returned to the church. There we adhered the fingers in place, and were able to create a paint that exactly matched the color and texture of the limestone of the original statue. We make all of our paints from scratch, using dry pigments that are selected for their non-yellowing durability. Some are the earth pigments yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and carbon black, that have adorned the walls of caves for 20,000 years without discoloring. These pigments are ground into a base of B-72 acrylic, which is the non-yellowing, reversible acrylic that is a standard in the field of museum conservation. Whether handpainted or airbrushed, we make every effort to make our repairs stable and long-lasting.
In this case we added calcium carbonate and pumice to the matched color to give it the texture of the original as well.