|detail after restoration
|carved door by M. Abel c. 1972, after cleaning
Everyone remembers this door as having been really brightly colored when it was new. I sure didn't mind seeing it aged and darkened, but it also became filthy, especially after the recent fires in Southern California, and had a fair number of gouges. The wood had become very dry and the colors faded.
Last week, as the door approached 40 years old, I cleaned and oiled the wood, and re-stained the ornament. Just cleaning the surface revealed a lot of the color and detail.
|Traces of color visible after cleaning
I remember visiting Mr. Abel in his studio in the mid 1970's; he showed me how he made this work, carving it in redwood, or fir, or some other California native wood, and then "staining" the elements with thinned artist oils.
|door after restoration
There were enough traces of the original paint that I was able to match the colors. I also mixed up a seaweed green to touch up the gouges and scratches in the door. In the next few weeks much of the color will be absorbed into the wood. A light oiling every year or so keeps it in good condition.
|carved redwood gates by Mogens Abel
Abel also carved these redwood gates in 1972. After some repairs had been done about 5 years ago, I recreated the polychroming and left it fairly rough. These have since weathered and worn as intended by the artist.