Funny how most of the job offers I get are for unpaid work. Also funny how a good many of them come from someone to whom I have a very hard time saying "no"- mother.
Latest one is a job mother got from some of her friends. They attend a church which is undergoing repairs/renovations, and were there on a day when workmen had taken down three large, old plaster statues from the pedestals, and raised their hammers to smash the statues, making them easier to transport to the garbage. The friends stepped in, caused a ruckus, until the parish priest stepped in, and told the ladies they could take the statues home with them, if they so desired.
The problem is that the statues were indeed in rough shape. But that's okay, because they knew two people who had fixed a few statues for another church years ago: namely, mother and me. We didn't get paid for that job either.
Mom called me to tell me all about her friends and their new acquisitions.
Mom: ...So I said we would fix the statues.
Mom: I said you wouldn't mind.
Me, sighing, and without much hope: Do these friends have any money?
Mom: Well, one's a haridresser...
Me, internally: Translation: no.
Mom: And I can't remember what the other one does...
Me, internally: Translation: unemployed, ergo no.
Mom: But they have a much bigger house than I do...
Me, internally: And therefore a really big mortgage, so, they in fact have less than no money.
Mom: ...But that doesn't really matter, does it?
Me: Apparently not.
I was over at mother's this weekend doing my part of the job on the first statue- filling the the cracks and dings in the plaster, and rebuilding a few minor breaks. The ladies who saved the statues inadvertently increased my work by doing mother and me a "favour" and removing the old, cracked paint with wire brushes, thus leaving many long, deep gouges in the old plaster. I was also aided by younger, who peered intently at the statue as I worked. We had conversations like this:
Me: There! I am now finished.
Younger: You missed a spot.
Me: Oh. (a few minutes later) There! Now I am finished.
Younger: What about this one? And that one over there? And there's another one...
The statue is one of St Mary, arms outstretched, and it was a very pretty stature, and hopefully will be so again real soon. Mother has started applying the gesso to ready the statue for its new paint. I realized too late that this would have been a decent series of posts, had I only brought my camera.
Neither my mother and I have any training or experience in doing this sort of thing, beyond the fact that we muddled through doing some before. I do not exactly recommend it, but it is possible to restore the statues in your church in need of minor repair without hiring very expensive professionals.