Tuesday, February 5, 2013


An afternoon scrounging at the antique shops at Philtrade lead me to this small statue of the Risen Christ (aka Cristo Resuscitado, Resurrecion). It was such in a sorry state—one arm lost, another lopped off, its body caked with grime and dirt from years of disuse.

There was nothing spectacular about the softwood carving—the facial features were commonplace, the musculature, not very defined.

Yet, this figure of the Risen Christ—done perhaps in the 50s, or early 60s—aroused my interest: it was only 10 inches tall, excluding the cloud base.

Despite the lost wig, it retained tow of its miniscule brass potencias and a crude estandarte fashioned from a brass sheet and wire. I knew immediately that this was going to be restoration challenge.

The only thing holding me back was its price; for such a damaged condition, the price was rather steep. So I left the santo and thought about it for a week.

When I called the dealer, the santo was still available, and happily, the price had been slashed off to almost 50%. That same weekend, I took home the figure of the Risen Christ and figured how to go about restoring it. The first thing I did was to give it a thorough cleaning, and at once, Christ's distinctive features showed.

For this project, I decided to ask the help of Mang Kiko Vecin, who had a ready team of carvers and painters working in his Makati workshop.  He readily accepted the assignment and my wait lasted all of 3 weeks.

When I picked it up, the missing parts have been carved, attached and repainted. I wasn't too sure about one restored arm--it looked too thick to me, but I guess the carver just matched the style with the simple carving of the body.

Now came the finishing which I attempted to do myself. I had pre-ordered the jusi wig, so outfitting the hair was easy.  I was lucky to come across 3 mini-potencias at the Greenhills Antique Fair early this year, so that went to the head of the Risen Christ.

For the tapiz, I tore apart a vintage santa cape I had been keeping for years. A few snips and stitches, and I had the wrap done in a jiffy. As a final touch, I secured the tapiz with a small maroon tassel. The results are on this page for you to see. What I thought to be a challenging restoration proved to be easy and hassle-free. "He is risen...just as He said!" Thanks be to God (and to Mang Kiko Vecin!).

No comments:

Post a Comment