Art Restoration: The Difference Experience and Talent Can Make

I recently had a very rare Supergirl statue delivered to me via DHL. Unfortunately, it was not packed well and was damaged during transit. So I asked a professional ceramicist to try and restore it for me.

Fragile

To start off, let me first talk a bit about the statue. The statue in question was sculpted by someone living in the Philippines, under a brand named “Moonlyte Studios”. There’s very little to find about this company. What I could gather is that the kits for this statue used to sell for $600-$750. The statues come unpainted, and require the work of a professional artist. However, the molds were ruined and were never re-made. Searching online for these figures will yield very few results, mostly in the hands of avid Supergirl collectors. A picture of the figure on display is shown below:

DisplayPhoto

I was devastated when I found the figure was damaged during the shipping. But after seeing how it was packed, I was not surprised. It came with almost no packing and nothing was done to ensure the figure did not move during transport (contrary to popular belief, it is always better to ensure a figure does not move, rather than jiggle around in the box). There was a lot of damage done, particularly to the cape. You can see some pictures below:

CapeDetached

Not only had the cape completely been detached from the figure, it actually shattered during transport:

CapeShattered

Figures like these are rare, not to mention expensive. As an avid collector of Supergirl figures, I wasn’t going to write this figure off. I was determined to find someone that was experienced and competent enough to be able to restore this figure to its former glory. Living in the UAE, I knew that would be a challenge. Finding people that do restorations is hard enough, let-alone finding competent people.

After searching online and calling a few places up, I came across Homa Farley, a ceramicist living in Dubai who also teaches pottery to students. I spoke to her a bit over the phone and she asked whether she could look at the figure in person. She seemed confident that she could restore the figure (and had the appropriate credentials to back it up).

The following day, I visited her home and showed her the damaged figure. She gave me a quote for a price for repair, and said it would take around 2-3 weeks for the repair to be complete. I dropped the figure off and hoped for the best.

Not more than a week later I received a text from her saying that the work was done. I went the same day to pick it up, slightly anxious on the quality of work that would have been done on it. Now, here’s the whole “yay” part of this post. The work that was done it was absolutely perfect. Not only was she able to restore the figure and match the colors, the seams where the cape was shattered were barely visible. She even made tiny modifications (with my consent) to further stabilize the figure to prevent it from being damaged accidentally.

Here’s the photo of the final figure:

FigureFull

As you can see, from the front, the figure looks perfect. There is no sign that the figure had ever been restored. With regards to the modification made, you can see it circled below:

Modification

In the above picture, she added a little bit of material, which attached the cape to the bottom of the skirt. She said that adding this would be unnoticeable (which it was) but would provide greater support for the cape which might prevent it from shattering in the future if the figure were accidentally bumped. However, adding this was completely up to me. I chose to take her advice, as she had experience in doing restorations. I was actually expecting a lot more material to have been added, but I’m really glad that the change was subtle. Very unnoticeable unless you’re actually looking for it.

Here’s a picture of the figure from the back:

BackFull

Here’s a zoom of the back, with where the cracks were to start. As you can see, unless you’re actually looking for it, the seams are very well-hidden. The fact that the paint-work is so great with regards to the color matching further hides the seams.

CapeZoom

The bottom of the cape was also damaged. It had a hairline fracture which I had forgotten to take a picture of. Here is the work she did on that:

CapeBottom

It is pretty much invisible, and the figure appears to be in mint condition – a sign of someone with a lot of experience.

In addition to the fair price she offered for the restoration, considering the difficulty of performing such a restoration, and the lovely, high quality of work, Homa and her husband are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Extremely friendly, very easy to talk to and just an all-round pleasure to deal with. It has been one of the most positive interactions I have had with another person.

If you are living in Dubai and are interested in learning pottery, need restorations done, or anything else which may require the expertise of an experienced ceramicist, I highly suggest contacting her. She teaches pottery and you can find her website (along with her contact information here). Her work clearly demonstrates not only experience, but a genuine passion for what she does. She clearly cares about the quality of her work, and that is reflected across everything she has done. You could not ask for a better mentor than her.

Once again, if you are reading this, thank you very much Homa, for a job well-done. I could not have asked for anything better!

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2 Responses to Art Restoration: The Difference Experience and Talent Can Make

  1. Homa Farley says:

    Dear Faisal,

    Thank you for all your kind words. I am so happy that you are satisfied with the restoration. It was a great pleasure meeting you too.

    All the best,

    Homa

    • aommaster says:

      Thank you very much for your post. I really hope this post makes you easier to find in the UAE for any ceramic-related work. You truly deserve it!

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