In order to keep our stunning Grade II listed building and historical artifacts at One Great George Street in peak condition, our Fine Art Restorer Lucia Munoz-Barrena has a constant stream of projects to keep her busy. Here’s a behind the scenes sneak peak at her latest studio work…
Frame Restoration – A Painting by Clive Gardiner depicting John Duncan Watson
John Duncan Watson (1860-1946) was a pioneer in the development of sewage purification and was a former Engineer to the Birmingham, Tame and Rea District Drainage Board. The painting is signed by Clive Gardiner and was presented by Watson in 1936. In order to restore the frame to its former glory, the gilded frame was cleaned and the gesso losses were restored by casting bespoke moulds which were gilded to match. The repair work was then toned down by distressing the new gold leaf and applying a patina of watercolours to match the surrounding gilding.
Main Staircase Repair Work
The below slideshow shows how my colleagues Jose Valladares, Joe Suena and I repaired the broken marble on the staircase with two-parts resin which was then carved to match the specifications and polished before the carpeting could be re-laid.
Mc Clean Statue Cleaning
The aptly-named Mc Clean statue below (a marble bust measuring 76 cm high of J.R. Mc Clean, 1818-73, signed by M. Wagmüller in 1869) was cleaned with non-ionic detergents. The photograph below depicts the statue mid-cleaning.
Main Hall Pillar Repair Work
The limestone pillar in One Great George Street’s reception area had four perforations from wall plugs which needed to be repaired due to the relocation of one of the venue’s digital signage panels. The holes were filled with lime mortar for optimum compatibility, and toned down with lime water and watercolours using a stencil technique.