Restoration for a Chaise

For the Goodman's production of Berhardt Hamlet in 2019, the designer selected a chaise longue we had in stock. But, one of the arms had been damaged years ago and replaced with ... I don't know what. So, I was tasked to create a new wood carved arm.

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But, rather than carve a new arm out of wood, I decided to make a mold of the existing arm. I used Rebound 25, a brush on silicone, to capture key details of the carving. I then used Plasti-Paste to create a mother mold. The two square features at the bottom could be re-used without modification, as they were symmetrical. The plan for the vine up the center was to cast it in dyed Smooth Cast 325 resin. This resin, when dyed, sets slower than normal. So, I knew I could pull it out of the mold when it was like a rubber, and bend it the other direction. I affixed these pieces onto a piece of wood.

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For the parts I couldn't reverse, I used Apoxie Sculpt, which is an air drying two part putty. It's water soluble and has a long pot life, making it easy to work with. I used photoshop to create a reverse image of the good arm as a comparison. I also used the Dremel tool to carve texture into the wood.

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After adding a layer of primer, the whole piece came together. And, it was a nearly perfect match to the other wood carving. Once it was fitted to the arm, the chaise longue was off to the paint department for finishing.

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