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 sold 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:

Display Photo

I was devastated when I found the figure was damaged during the shipping. But after seeing how it was packed, I was not surprised. The seller provided no packing and did nothing 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. The damage to the figure was extensive, particularly the cape. You can see some pictures below:

Cape Detached

The cape completely broke off from the main body of the figure. In fact, it shattered during transport:

Cape Shattered

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.

A week later, I received a text from her. She said that she had completed the restoration and asked me to pick it up. I went the same day to pick it up, slightly anxious on the quality of work done. Now, here’s the whole “yay” part of this post. The work she did was absolutely perfect. Not only did she restore the figure and match the colors, she made the repaired seams almost invisible. She even modified the statue (with my consent) to further stabilize the figure to prevent it from breaking accidentally.

Here’s the photo of the final figure:

Figure Full

As you can see, from the front, the figure looks perfect. There are no signs of restoration on teh figure. 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). However, adding this would provide greater support for the cape. This would prevent the cape from breaking off accidentally. However, adding this was completely up to me. I chose to take her advice, as she had experience in doing restorations. I actually expectedher to add a lot more material. 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:

Back Full

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.

Cape Zoom

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

Cape Bottom

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 asked for the restoration, and the lovely, high quality of work, Homa and her husband are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Extremely friendly, very easy to talk to and just an all-round pleasure to deal with. I have never had such a positive interaction with another person before.

If you are living in Dubai and want to learn 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 this shows 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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