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Here we go - this statue is called the Infant of Prague, and it is extremely old. The statue was originally designed to wear different crowns and elaborate gowns during different holy days observed by the Catholic Church. The plaster on the chest area was broken away, right down to some support wires that go to the head and arms. The first steps were to clean the areas carefully using a soft brush. Then, reattachment of any portions of plaster and chips was necessary. They were held in place with a special cement glue. The final filling in was done with Plaster of Paris and more special resins. When dry, sanding to a smooth finished shape was done.Many of the pieces were usable, but a large cavity still needed to be filled. Mom uses dental tools to do some of the finer more detailed molding, shaping, and sculpting. Unfortunately, I misplaced my files of the finished statue, but you can get the idea of how smooth the plaster has to be before paint is applied. Mom does very well at matching paints to the original color, and she touched up the hair and the nose before calling the owner to come and pick up her treasure. It turned out very well, and the lady was so pleased!
She did a fabulous job, and continued getting calls from folks that had cherished relics in their homes needing a touch only she could provide. Some she accepted payment for in the form of donations, some folks just could not pay - and still today she gets calls as her name is passed from here to there. A few weeks ago she got one of those calls...so I decided to go over and learn the 'lost art of statue repair'!Whoops - this isn't the statue, but I think it is a funny photo, so I'll leave it here!
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