Works of Art Restoration

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How to avoid common Hazards:


No matter what is happening, take pictures, put them in the envelope above, it will allow us to be more accurate.
You can also contact us at the workshop by phone : +33.490 865 659

Just like a good doctor, François Bronze's Workshop can give you some general guidelines over the phone, but never fix things up right away without seeing your precious "little baby".


We have seen the pictures you sent us by email and you have been able to follow the restoration of your object in the same way:

CONGRATULATIONS !  the result of your work is beautiful! I'm very happy, i will send you a smaller statue of the same period for the restoration of the patina. I will proceed in the same way by sending you a picture first. Once again, thank you for your excellent work!
Best regards,

- Jean Louis Marone -                     

These tips and advices were written for you to avoid damaging your objects further with innapropriate products such as vinegar, salt, amonia, acid, and so on... Those tips are given to you freely by people who earn their living in that field of expertise. So please, be kind enough not to ask for more "secrets" about restoration over the phone. Sadly, it happens some time!

And as you know there will always be people to tell you otherwise.

* What is this metal??

Regarding metals, it is much harder than you think to identify what metal it is. At first try to analyse the color on the break point or workout areas (sharp edges), the weight can also be a good indication. If the break have the appearance of a quartz crystal, then the metal is called Zamak, also known as "regule" (a zinc and antimony alloy).

* Can I clean it with acid? Certainly not!

Unless you are positively sure it is made of iron or grey cast iron, and yet... You should not use acid, on the one hand it is polluting, and dangerous for people and yourself, on the other hand it can deteriorate your item. With acid, your object can lose it's gilding, become porous, and it is also likely to break, and change color definitly.

*So how to clean it?

First ask yourself the question : will i remove some dirt, oxidation, or the few layers of the original patina still present? So why not try to learn from what is left at first! You should also never use soda because it will destroy the patina. You can, on the other hand, use oil (white spirit, kerozene, kerdane or heating oil). So start with that and you'll see from there. The oil will slowly dissolute the oxydation on copper, brass or bronze. It will also diluate the filth on any metal. Another advantage : it will give a nice finish on tin : dipping a piece in oil for several days, with a little work, can give very good results.

*Regarding the "stripping" :

Many people want to clean their statuettes; to avoid mistakes, and before doing anything, you should know if it is made of bronze or "regule". Why? Well, because a bronze patina is "embedded" chemically in the depth of the metal while the patina of a "regule" is like a coating of paint. That is the reason why strocking with a soft cloth can improve a bronze patina but can also "remove" a regule patina. If the patina of a regule is damaged you can apply a layer of wax on the object to protect it from the upcomming of white spots. Of course, you can also ask us for a quotation.

*How to fix what is broken?

Save your time and money. Glues stick very poorly on metal alloys. Plus, during heating, the glue will penetrate the alloy and prevent it to melt, and in the process : prevent the welding of the two pieces back together.

*Believe me, i am not making things up, just read on please :

"I thought my chandelier was going to blow up! Let me explain : first a few bulbs flashed from time to time, and I, who do not understand a thing about electricity found it amusing, not of any danger, after all it is not uncommon, we see this sometimes. Then a few months later, the bulbs went out one after the other, or the circuit breaker jumped once, or twice ... and then suddenly : nothing ! It did a "zittt" sound and this time, the breaker did not want to switch to normal again, so we had to unplug the chandelier, and the thing is that it comes from my grandmother, so, can you do something?"
Yes, I can re-electrify your grandmother's chandelier, of course I can. An electrical wire wears off like anything else, and sometimes you have to renew it. Send me a picture by email to receive a quotation of such a work.

*"Can you weld back in the arm of my chandelier?"

Yes, but in order to do so, we need to have the whole chandelier or at least, two arms, in order to put back in the pieces at the exact original position. It is necessary to repair a twisted piece before welding it back in and also, a twisted piece does not break when being bent back in shape.

*"Our home have been flooded and our few items have been under muddy water for several days. We washed all of them but there is a remaining muddy coat that has dried is the hollow spaces and our items are oxydizing, could you give us a quotation?"/p>

Yes effective solutions exist. We know this matter quite well because we live and work in a floodable area. Flooding occure quite often in Provence and the Camargue.

*"My lamp is shaky since at least twenty years, but i like it a lot, and i dont know where to take it to get it fixed. Can you do something about it?"

Yes, send us a picture by email or mail it to us and i will be able to answer you more accuratly.

*"My english teapot has already lost a foot long ago, but yesterday the remaining three feet have melted on a hot plate, can you save it?"


*"This lion's tail was lost, could you recreate it from scratch?"

Yes, either from the statuette's style, or either from a record (archive) of some sort, either from pictures, or even from nothing!

*"Our chandelier fell to the ground! The cage and the arms are twisted, can it still be saved from this desperate state?"

Probably, yes, send a picture quickly.

*"Our house burned down, we are left with only two clocks in a desperate state. Both are covered with a layer of dust as hard and thick as the one on a cauldron. Of course, given their condition, no workshop want to take a chance at restoring them. One of them has certainly lost it's beautiful bright gilding (finished with agathe) that makes it's charming. What can you do if you can do anything at all? We can't resolve ourselves to give it up."

I understand you perfectly, I had a similar case in my workshop, take a look at the clock's page on this website and you will see what results can be obtained with a lot of patina and the best working secrets.

I certainly did not cover up all the possible scenarios in there. But before concluding, here is an amusing fact : "cats and "others" are most of the times responsible for our intervention on an object."



2, chemin de l'Épi - 84000 AVIGNON - FRANCE
Phone number : +33.6 51 33 44 08