Lessons by Walt -
From time to time a carving may be damaged or broken.  What can be done about it.  In most cases carvings are relatively easy to repair, however, at times the repair can be quit challenging.

Things to think about before requesting a repair:

> Do you have the broken piece or pieces?
~ Obviously missing pieces can complicate the repair effort, but it does not preclude a quality repair result

> Why is it worth attempting to save or repair?
~ Is it part of a collection?
~ Is it a family heirloom?
~ Is it a financially valuable scul[pture?
~ Is it something that is simply liked?

> Are you willing to accept a repair that may have some indications that a repair has been executed?
~ In some cases it may be imposible to totally hide a repair.  For example if the a piece is missing on a natural finish it is most likely that it will be imposible to match the wood grain, thus the "glue line" may show.
~ The biggest issue with masking a repair is simply the fact that you and the artist know where the repair was executed, thus and slight change or contour shadow may be found.  In addition slight texturing deviations accross the glue may also be found upon very close inspection.

OK you have decided to repair your carving or sculpture.

Repair Approaches:

> If you have the broken piece it can be “re-glued” in place. 

~ The glue joint may be hidded by prestaining the glue, as well as, using texturing and pinting techniques to mask the joint.  Particular attention is paid to minimizing the "glossy" finish of the glue in the joint so that a consistent paint finish is obtained.
~ For a repair on naturally finishd objects, artists paints can be used to match the "wood grain" prior to adding the final finish.
~ For stained finishes the joint can be minimized by adding fine sawdust and stain to the glue during appliction to the joint.

> If the separated piece cannot be recovered, a replacement piece may be carved and glued into place.  
~ The glue joint(s) may be hidden using the same approaches as if you had the original missing piece. 
~ For natural finishd sculptures, the base wood hue and grain will have to be simulaed with paint or stain.

> In some cases it may best to leave the broken piece off and simply hide the break.

> For repairing surface dents and surface scratches, fillers are most commonly used.  The surface is then retextured and refinished.  In most instances the filler is pre-colored with paint or stain.