A Professional Bronze Statue Restoration Project

This is "Anne".

Cast in the late 1990’s, the bronze statue sat high atop a broad wooden column directly in the Detroit River.

Over years, the location’s exposure to harsh environmental elements and perching wildlife have corroded, stained and discoloured her once original bronze surface.

To maintain the original intent of the artist, a qualified bronze conservator was engaged to assess and treat the artwork.

The carefully planned bronze cleaning and conservation process began with a pressure wash to reduce and remove surface corrosion.

Lightly scouring with Teflon loosened more of the corrosion; then, a washing of Orvus Paste and water, followed by a clean water rinse to remove residue.

Anne’s Patina was then tested on the left side base to determine the correct chemical, or combination of chemicals, to bring her patina back to its near original appearance.

Her rich patina colour was achieved by gently heating the surface and applying the chemical.

Finally, hot waxing, cooling and a tender buffing deepened the intense brown finish.

This is “Anne” now.

Bronze conservation is indeed a work of art in itself.
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Conservation projects like "Anne” begin with a thorough assessment process by a qualified conservator. These activities focus on the collection of prior reports on the artwork, photographic documentation, discussions with the artist (if possible) and owner, examination of the structural integrity of the statue and testing of potential treatments.
Many conservators follow a simple 4 step process to survey an outdoor sculpture such as "Anne”.
  1. Technical descriptions and condition assessments.  A detailed accounting of materials, information on the fabrication, past maintenance records, surface condition assessment and a measurement of structural integrity.
  2. Maintenance recommendations. It’s important to take into account the history, condition and location of the sculpture, including its proximity to water. The conservation plan should include routine care and periodic treatments and cleaning.
  3. Assignment of priorities. Based on the technical information gathered, these priorities are taken in relation to historical, funding and other priorities.
  4. Estimate of resources. The labor costs of the maintenance proposed are represented in monetary figures or in hours of work.  Conservators, technicians and other specialists will generally take part in a preservation program,  particularly if it is a collection.  Supplies and equipment costs are also estimated over the term of the maintenance plan.
A well-managed conservation program will maintain an artwork’s beauty and near original condition; retaining value for   future generations!