Above: Damaged processional statue after restoration .
A recent request to restore a statue of Our lady for a May procession, proved a bit more of a challenge than usual. The face had lost its shape beneath layers of paint. The broken hands sported broken thumbs which had been replaced with "plaster sausages."
The lining on the mantle was textured with old repairs resembling a gold-painted rock fall.
The condition of this statue was rather poor, considering it for a decent burial seemed the kindest thing to do. However, the statue held memories for a number of parishioners, and so we did all we could to save it.
In this particular case, old paint had to be removed to reveal the true nature and extent of any damage. This would ensure that repairs would be sound and thorough. The inner walls were strengthened and her face remodeled along with her thumbs.
After many hours work, the statue looks good again, the surface of the gold mantle is smooth and her face pretty again -she will serve as a processional statue few more years yet!
Left: plastering over old paint makes for a poor repair, with low adhesion. It has made the thumb too large for the hand.
A section of the statue wall, compared with a two pound coin.
Reverse of the statue shows the split in thin plaster wall, and damage to the hands
A cracked neck suggested that the face may have been damaged when the head had fallen off at an earlier date. Nose, mouth and eyelids had to be rebuilt.
2017 marked the centennial of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima Portugal. Anyone devoted to the prayer of the rosary will be aware of her request for prayer for the conversion of sinners, and for the triumph of her Immaculate heart.
In the U.K. Marian devotions tend to circulate around Walsingham and Lourde, and these are the statues we restore the most, yet before the year of 2017 ends, I am posting a couple of Our lady of Fatima statues which we had the pleasure of restoring earlier in the year.
Mr Power was delighted with his 20 inch plaster statue, as were the
school children of St. Werburghs when we returned their re-decorated resin statue of Our Lady. The statue was blessed By Archbishop Longley
on the occasion of the schools fiftieth anniversary
I am not sure Saint Louis ever attempted the sculpting process himself, but I do know that sculpting figures requires discipline, and hard work – as can praying the rosary sometimes!While the physical efforts of producing a sculpture result in a temporary reward - the work put into praying the rosary with devotion will be "Eternal!"
The following quotes are from” The Secret of Mary" By St. Louis De Monteforte.
"....Mary is the great mould of God, fashioned by the Holy Spirit to give human nature to a man who is God by the hypostatic union, and to fashion through grace men who are like to God.
When parts of a statue are missing, I always sculpt a new replacement part to ensure that it is modelled to the correct style and proportions of the statue. In this way the the figure retains its original aesthetic.
So, this week I have been preparing a clay model for the replacement - (Photos below) and hope to make the mould and cast it by the weekend.
As we will be making the sceptre too, the statue should be complete within a couple of weeks, when I will post the results of the completed restoration.
Above: Three views of the clay hand, to the right it holds a modelling tool which is the correct diameter for the sceptre.
Since writing this post, we visited the area where the statue was to be displayed, and it was decided that the statue would hold a rosary rather than a sceptre.
The image below shows the finished results, click image to enlarge.
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Bar Convent Madonna
Manchester Oratory (1)
Gilbert Scott Reredos (1)
Symbol of Pelican
Our Lady of Walsingham symbolism
Sculpting Mary's hand
Sculpting the Madonna
Sculpture of Risen Christ
Sculpting St. Catherine
Plaster corpus restored
Family nativity set
Nativity shepherd & flute
School "Fatima" statue
Five new Icons
English Martyrs Mural
Processional for May
St. Anthony's book & Bread
Catholic statue repair & church artworks by Lewis and Lewis:
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