Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome to My Blog!

Despite the Italian name for my new blog, it will be written in English; my Italian is almost non-existent. The name means Statue Renewed (I hope that's right; I've had to change it twice from the original name after conferring with my Italian guru). Its purpose is to post pictures and descriptions of the work that I have been doing in repairing damaged religious statues. Most of these statues are quite old and made in Italy of plaster. Over time the extremities of these statues break off exposing the armatures. Additionally, the paint is chipped and the dirt of age accumulates on the surfaces. I try to restore these pieces, not to look as they originally did, but keeping the patina of age which gives them their special appearance.

To the right and in the upper right sidebar are pictures of the statue representing Our Lady of the Barn, as I have named Her. She is the inspiration for my work restoring religious statues. The story goes like this:
In the town in which I live there is a lay organization called The Barn for the Poorest of the Poor, which, inspired by Mother Teresa, collects and distributes food for those in need. Outside the building, which serves as the distribution center for The Barn, is a structure, much like a well, made of concrete and stone. Atop the well is a statue of Our Lady, which, I believe, was given to the founder of the Barn by Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity in Harlem, NYC. It is a duplicate of the statue at the Sisters' convent and was blessed by Mother Teresa.

In the early spring of 2008 a severe wind knocked the statue off the well breaking both her hands in the process. I was made aware of this by one of the Religious Sisters in my Parish. She asked if I were able to repair her hands. I took up the challenge, even though I had never done such work before. Many of the minute pieces were collected by the Barn volunteers and I pieced them together. Where parts were missing I used polymer clay as a substitute. All came together well and after much sanding, the statue was sprayed with two coats of paint.

These are After pictures of the hands of the statue of Our Lady. Unfortunately, there are no Before pictures as I had no idea that repairing statues would become an avocation for me and so did not think to record my work progress.

Since I felt reponsible for the statue of Our Lady of the Barn, I planted a Mary Garden around her and am responsible for its maintenance. So now, do I have to spin off a Mary Garden blog? Maybe when Spring comes 'round again I'll feel so inspired.

The story continues in the post "Our Lady of Grace".

Maria

4 comments:

Maria Denzer said...

Hi M,

E likes your new blog...

-E

Maria Denzer said...

Thanks E, but you have to stop sneaking into my blog to leave your comments...

M

Anonymous said...

M,

These pictures are amazing.As usual, you do mah-velous work.

Rita

Richard said...

Hi Maria,
I belong to a small parish in Haines Alaska. We have some plaster statues that are older---look similar to the ones in your blog. No broken plaster, but a fair amount of chipping on the paint. Paint appears to be pearlized (?) as it appears in several of your pictures. I have an art background and would like to repair the chips, but am not quite sure what materials/paints to use. I've been searching the web. Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.
Carol Flegel
Haines, Alaska