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  • Writer's pictureMark Erdmann

The importance of maintaining outdoor sculpture:

How often do you wash your car?

Many of us think about washing our cars once a week, or at a bare minimum, once a month. But for those fortunate enough to have their home graced by outdoor artworks in stone, bronze or other metals, how often do you wash or maintain them? For those charged with the care of a public or institutional art collection, do you have a regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance?

For outdoor sculpture, time and the elements can be formidable adversaries to artistic beauty. Pollen, dust, spider webs, tree sap, UV radiation, air pollution, road debris, and rain (which can be acidic) can slowly obscure and erode the surface of these artworks. However, through regular intervals of washing, waxing, restoring, and protecting bronze and stone sculptures, these agents of deterioration can be slowed dramatically. These essential services not only revitalize but also safeguard these iconic pieces for generations to come.

Erdmann Art Conservation: services offered

At Erdmann Art Conservation, we specialize in a range of services designed to preserve, protect and restore outdoor sculptures, ensuring they maintain their splendor through the passage of time.

1. Washing

One of the foundational steps in sculpture maintenance is washing. Keeping outdoor sculptures clean not only enhances their visual appeal but also prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime, which can deteriorate the material over time. It it also a necessary prerequisite to applying protective coatings.

Through a range of washing techniques, we cleanse the sculptures, unveiling their true beauty beneath the layers of neglect.

2. Waxing

Waxing serves as a protective shield for bronze sculptures, preventing corrosion and maintaining their luster. Wax is also sometimes applied to polished stone to create contrast and gloss. Our meticulous waxing process not only enhances the visual appeal of sculptures but also acts as a barrier against environmental aggressors, prolonging their lifespan. Wax can be applied to a hot surface to allow for more thorough penetration and the creation of a more uniform layer, or as a paste to a cold surface for routine maintenance.

3. Restoration

For sculptures that have already succumbed to the ravages of time, restoration breathes new life into them. We can weld cracked and broken elements, remove accumulated corrosion products or failed coatings, and return the sculpture to its original appearance, ensuring it retains its historical and artistic significance for future admirers.

5. Patination

The art of patination involves the careful selection and application of chemicals and heat to create color, and highlight the texture of the bronze. Research is necessary to determine the original color, and when this information is unavailable, a knowledge of appropriate finishes for the period of the artwork is essential.

Embracing the Legacy of Sculpture Maintenance

By investing in professional sculpture maintenance services, you are not only improving the appearance of the art but also participating in the conservation of heritage for future generations to cherish.

At Erdmann Art Conservation, we are committed to upholding the legacy of these timeless creations through our expert services. We would love to partner with you in safeguarding these sculptural treasures, ensuring they continue to inspire and captivate audiences for years to come.

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