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Yes, metal polishing is an art. But metal works of art need special care, experience, and knowledge to safely and properly restore or repair. Your metal artwork is precious to you. We are dedicated to our art and use our time tested skills to bring your treasured work of metal art back to life.

The photos below are but a few examples of the beautiful, intricate works of metal art we have restored. We are proud of our abilities and welcome your questions.

brass sculpture restoration and repair

Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Artworks:

"Should I bother to fix this?"

Answer: Is it a family heirloom or made by a famous artist? Then yes, have your metal artwork restored by an expert, don't try to weld or superglue it. Amateur repairs can cause more damage. Bottom line, if it's your treasure, fix it.

Is My Metal Sculpture Valuable?

Answer: Research as much information on the sculpture and the artist before considering repairing your sculpture. The sculpture’s value is determined by the artist, when it was cast and who owned it. Then find out what metal was used to make the sculpture. Many of the metal artwork sculptures that come to us are made of Bronze, Copper, Stainless Steel, or Spelter (pot metal), but metal alone does not determine value.

What Metal Is My Sculpture Made Of?

Answer: Most often we see bronze, spelter (pot metal), and steel. Bronze is an alloy, two or more metals melted together, usually copper and tin melted together at 1,400 degrees F. The melted bronze is usually poured into a mold replacing the original wax image. Bronze is very heavy and when tapped with something hard it makes a ringing sound. Bronze is extremely hard and therefore unlikely to display any damage other than to the surface patina.

Spelter is a lower value metal also known as white metal or pot metal. It is a crude smelted zinc alloy, lighter than Bronze, softer, brittle and corrodes easier than Bronze. Restoration and repair of spelter pieces is extremely touchy and difficult. Bring it in, we will give you an honest answer as to the possibility of a successful repair.

spelter sculpure repair and restorationAs you can see by some of our photos, we are able to restore intricate works of metal art.

The sculpture pictured to the right is a perfect example of a spelter sculpture repair and restoration performed here at Santa Cruz Metal Polishing.

Cast in Spelter, this beauty is by Auguste Moreau and named Joie du Printemps  (The Joy of Spring).  It came into SCMP for cleaning and repair to a broken arm and replacement of two missing fingers.  Moreau, a French artist (1834-1917) produced many sculptures in both Bronze and Spelter. Often, people think they have bronzes and are disappointed when they find they have spelter. To distinguish between the two, perform this simple test at home. On the underside of the sculpture's base, scratch the piece's patina with another piece of metal. If the scratch is a copper color, it's bronze, if it's silvery gray, it's spelter.

Copper, stainless steel and precious metals are also used in metal artworks. We are well equipped to handle an exceptionally wide range of conservation services for damaged works of art and sculpture.

Over the years, our restoration services have been empolyed by museums, public institutions, serious private collectors and for individuals seeking restoration of treasured family heirlooms. We are proud to have the skills necessary to restore, repair and conserve so many coveted treasures.

bronze sculpture restoration servicesbronze artwork restoration service
restoration of metal art lamp professional metal art restoration services
heavily tarnished copper bird sculpture restored copper bird sculpture
metal artwork repairs and restoration service
metal sculpture polishing service

expert restoration of metal artworks

The tails of these large cast brass Dolphins support the thick glass top of a spectacular dining table. Dull and corroded they were first chemically cleaned, then brilliantly machine polished and finally clear coated to prevent future tarnish. The heavy bases have been faux finished to suggest a foaming Caribbean ocean.
Professional repair of delicate metal artwork

This unique and delicate art piece of a little bird alighting on a pearlescent sea shell set in a Sterling silver framework had been broken in several places and needed reconstruction. It was challenging to match all the parts together as originally crafted.
professional metal artwork repair services
metal art sculpture restored by Ian Kelly
Spelt Urn Professionally Restored
Repair and restoration of delicate metal artwork

This antique Art Nouveau mirror arrived in terrible condition, but was a treasured family heirloom very much worth restoring. Each "petal" was rusted tin that had been brass plated in the past. A meticulous acid wash process was employed to carefully remove the rust, then each petal was painstakingly polished with a die grinder before completely sealing with scotch bright. The prepped petals were finally coated with a highly specialized amber tinted clear gloss brushing lacquer. The frame and reverse sides of the discs were then painted gold and sealed.

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