Restoration of a 20 inch Nativity crib figure that was very near to becoming scrap.
This handsome figure is from a set of eleven; sadly they had been so very poorly repaired in the past, that three of them were not salvageable.
To make a good new repair, old repairs have first to be removed.
Photos above show leg has fragments have been misaligned and fixed with glue.
The head shows a thick wad of hard glue which has built up due to being repeatedly repaired.
Clearly the repair has been inadequate, and the head has fallen off several times.
The loose head has been damaged repeatedly as a result.
The photos below show that the plaster has perished revealing old air bubbles in the original casting. The poor surface is typical of damp storage conditions.
The eye socket had been poorly repaired resulting in a loss of definition to the eyes; (see below left) and the chin - (another poor old repair), decided to " jump ship", and fall off.
Below right shows the face as it is re-built using plaster.
Once the figure was re-assembled and the missing areas re-built, and repairs complete; the shepherd figure was prepared for painting. Because the figure of Saint Joseph was to have a green cloak, the shepherd was given a shift of warm terracotta and a creamy coloured sheepskin mantle. (Below)
While professional restoration of Nativity figures gives the best results; a lot of damage can be avoided by careful handling and storage. Its best to inspect Nativity figures after display to check their condition, and if needed, have them repaired. They do get a lot of wear and tear - especially if used in schools, but regular maintenance is better than finding they are no longer displayable. Christmas is a time of wonder for children; and the school nativity set is part of the legacy of faith which we pass on to them.
Colour schemes for statue restoration
I was in the middle of restoring this Wise man from a Nativity set (that had almost come to the end of its life,) when Mr. D, a friend of mine came to visit.
Of course the subject of colour arose, something which we like to discuss in relation to church interiors and related furnishings, including vestments.
Pope Francis says the Holy Year is “dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy” which God “constantly extends to all of us.”
He explains the year will begin on December 8 to commemorate both the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, which called the Church to proclaim the Gospel to the world in new ways, bringing God’s mercy to everyone.
He recalls that the motto of the Holy Year is “Merciful like the Father.”
After the Holy Door of St Peter’s is open on December 8, the Holy Doors of the other papal basilicas will be opened in subsequent days. As well, as a sign of communion of the whole Church, the pope has requested that every diocese in the world open a similar “Door of Mercy” for the local celebrations of the Jubilee.
As with all Jubilees, a plenary indulgence is granted during the Holy Year of Mercy for those who fulfill all of the usual requirements.
The Holy Year will conclude on November 20, 2016, on the feast of Christ the King.
The nominated flower lady at my church went to Spain. She went to a wedding. She stayed for the wedding, and the party, and then for a whole month...or two.
During her absence, there had been a wedding at our church too; it left its florific mark on the sanctuary for weeks...shedding petals one by one, and becoming more pungent as the weeks passed. I didn't think it my place to tidy it all up; and couldn't understand the reluctance of others to do so.
Finally, the thought of decaying blooms in the house of the Lord got too much for me, and I could see it was distracting the servers, Deacon and Priest. Each time they brushed past a display it crumbled or stained them with pollen. Eventually, with their permission, I cleaned up the lot.
In that short time, I had to "fill her shoes" and learn floristry pretty quickly; when she returned, she was happy to learn that someone had " picked up the baton."
So with the advent of my Garden's Camellias in bloom - (a sure sign that the flowering season is on its way)...for those who would like to make a start at Church flower arranging, I have compiled the following PDF file on this very subject.
Have fun, and don't forget to ask for God to bless your work!
Lewis and Lewis
is a Catholic family run business: specialising in statue restoration, and church interior projects.
Jeanette is a professional sculptor/fine artist and designer; husband David is a traditional upholsterer/technician.
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