WHY RESTORE AND/OR REPAIR?
One of the most often asked questions we hear is "Is this piece worth repairing?" The only person that can answer that question is you. Our studio can give you the cost of the restoration and/or repair and tell you what it will look like when it is finished, but only you can decide if it should be done.
COMMON REASONS FOR RESTORING AND/OR REPAIRING BROKEN PIECES
*To increase the value of the piece usually by enhancing it's appearance
*To perserve as much as possible of the original piece (broken pieces are often misplaced or lost)
*For sentimental reasons (i.e., family owned)
*Restoration and/or repairing should be done to increase the structural or chemical stability of the piece
As master artisans, our job is to preserve as much of the original piece as possible. As restoration artists, we must do what the client wishes even if it means making the piece look like new.
A valuable or one of a kind piece that cannot be replaced is almost always restored usually invisibly. An heirloom or a piece with sentimental value is usually repaired, not always invisibly, as it is the piece that counts and while you want to keep the piece as part of a heritage it may not be out on display where appearance counts. If the piece is going to be displayed then it is worth considering hiding the repair even though the cost of the repair will be three to four times as much.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
One more of the frequently asked questions concerns the amount of time a restoration and/or repair takes. Most restorations and/or repairs take two to three months but some may require up to one year to finish. The reason lies in the materials and techniques used in the repair, as well as the number of steps needed, i.e., reverse original gluing, cleaning, remove stains and/or deterioration (prolonged soaking if necessary), adhere (gluing), in-fill (fill cracks, chipping, etc), moldings (create piece if missing), sculpting (in a lot of cases in-fill and sanding a couple of times), texturizing, priming, painting and glazing.
If it is a piece that is to be preserved in as close to the original condition as possible, such as a museum would do, then it is important to stabilize the piece by gluing the piece back together with a reversible adhesive and replacing the missing pieces, where necessary, with a neutral colored, reversible patching material. This allows the piece to be taken apart again easily for further study without inflicting further damage.
HISTORICAL OR NON-HISTORICAL?
Before attempting any type of restoration and/or repair on your treasured broken piece, it is essential to place the piece in the category of choice: historical or non-historical.
A piece needs to be placed in either category so a direction can be given for the correct method to be applied so it can be brought to the desired state. We emphasize this categorizing, as once the non-historical method is chosen, in most cases, more damage is done that is irreversible. Most pieces fall into this category.
Pieces such as figurines having broken arms, legs, flowers, etc. that are not repaired, result in the pieces get lost and is very important to save all the pieces. New pieces can be fabricated to replace these parts but the cost is higher than that of regluing the original piece. When one has tried to glue the piece themselves before seeking professional help, they may cause a lot more damage to the piece. The cost of the repair is higher to cover the cost of reversing the original gluing as well as for the extra damage done to the piece.
IS PIECE MADE OF MULTIPLE MATERIALS?
If a piece consists of several types of material such as a clock in a ceramic case, you may have one restorer deal with the whole restoration or you may take it to the different restorers youself. If you choose us to do the whole process, expect to pay for the time it takes to take it apart and put it back together again.