Before and After: Statue Restoration by Conrad Schmitt Studios

It is very easy to consider damaged liturgical items as lost to the sands of time, whether it is threaded antique vestments or damaged sculptures and so on. The reality, however, is that liturgical artists and conservationists do exist who can potentially repair such items. This is not always worth the expense of course, but in some instances, they most certainly are, whether for reason of their particular local history or perhaps their general artistic value. What is and what isn't worth preserving will be up to you of course, but as an example of a case in point, I wanted to show a restoration that was undertaken by Conrad Schmitt Studios where they restored four pricket candlesticks that came in the form of angels -- no doubt to stand on either side of a high altar as was popular in the 19th century. Evidently in this instance the owners made the determination they wanted to save these articles rather than simply commission new ones, and it would have been easy to assume they were simply a write off. Not so. 

On the left you can see how degraded the statue had become. On the right you can see the restoration that was undertaken by Conrad Schmitt Studios to bring this piece out of the dumpster of history and back into life. Conrad Schmitt provides some details on the project:
CSS was commissioned to restore four, 48″ high angels from the historic St. Michael the Archangel Catholic church in Convent, Louisiana. The angel’s finishes had deteriorated and suffered significant plaster damage, which included missing hands and feet. 
The extensive plaster repair included molding and attaching missing parts. Fragile paint surfaces were stabilized. A barrier varnish was applied to the statues, followed by the polychromatic painting, which restored soft, realistic color and luminous skin tones. Layers of glazes were added to provide depth to the statue and protect the new finishes.
Here's a closer look:



 For more information, please visit the website of Conrad Schmitt Studios, or see them on social media.

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