Hands on Heart
This statue of the Sacred Heart was purchased to complement the figure of Our Lady either side of a sanctuary. It seemed a good fit. Except for the colours of course. The statue had a few problems, missing fingers, and a wonky heart that didn't seem to belong. That is, the heart had been placed askew, in order to accommodate the sway of the mantle. The question "What were they thinking" often comes to mind, but its a wasted pursuit - we will never know! Perhaps the heart was added as an afterthought on the part of the sculptor; or he was having an off day. The statue also had an unidentifiable deposit of sorts in the hair, all of which had to be removed along with the gaudy paintwork.
This done, the condition of the wood was revealed. It had a loose grain which split easily. This could be a problem for carving new wooden fingers and splicing them
to the existing palm.
We began alterations by carefully paring down the front of the mantle so that it would neatly cup the sacred Heart. Once the heart was aligned with the chest, the figure of Jesus immediately took on a more dignified appearance.
The next remedy was to carve some new fingers. We used a denser wood than that used for the figure, and spliced these into the palm of the hand. as shown below.
Below is the finished restoration of the Sacred Heart carved wooden statue which now resides in a Stockport church.