Sculpture Maintenance

Though the Century Walk’s 47 pieces of artwork are open for public viewing, they’re also open to the elements of rain, wind, and various other pollutants, causing them to lose their luster.

That’s why brother and sister cleaning team Jo and David DeDecker were brought in to give 22 of the sculptures new life.

“A sculpture when it comes from an artist has a lacquer on it that may be five or six years before the lacquer starts to fade away, and if it’s not waxed the lacquer dries without it faster, and the sculpture in turn will dry out the sculpture faster,” said David DeDecker, Co-Owner of Sculpture Services of Colorado.

Cleaning these bronze pieces require expertise and a delicate touch.

“This particular sculpture we are going to pressure wash it and get as much as bubble gum and tape and mineral deposits off, and then we’ll blow dry it and then take a torch and heat it up to about 160 degrees or so, and apply a coat of fresh wax and with heating it up it’ll burn off all the old wax, burn off anything that’s trying to grow off of it and melt the gum off, and then we’ll put a new layer of wax on it and let it cool and then buff it to a shine,” said David DeDecker.

The maintenance not only helps with its ongoing health, it also keeps its worth.

“Some of our art pieces are 20 years old and 15 years old and they need to be maintained or their initial value is lost and it’s poor public art, which is almost as if you had no public art at all, that’s why we are interested in focusing now on our maintenance program in addition to creating our public art,” said President of Century Walk, Brand Bobosky.

The clean-up doesn’t come cheap, this round was just under $11,000, but to David, the benefit it provides, is priceless.

“Just get in here and get these sculptures cleaned up so they’ll last forever for people to enjoy them,” said David DeDecker.

Maintenance for the average sculpture takes roughly about an hour, and keeping it this way requires the publics help.

And by working together these sculptures can stay shining for years to come.

Naperville News 17’s Jodelle Maglaya reports.

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