Professional Doll Restoration or Doll Repair?
So, what is the difference? The dictionary says:
* to repair is to mend or make usable
* to restore is to bring back to an original condition
If you are going to bring a broken, dilapidated doll back to its original condition, you must be a skilled doll restoration artist.
Whether you are doing a complete doll restoration, or a simple repair, you must be skilled and knowledgeable about the materials used in that particular doll. If not, you risk devaluing your doll. Think of the quality of work between a regular handyman and a skilled, certified repairman. They can both get the job done, but often the results are vastly different.
Below is a picture showing a doll patched together on the left. You can still see the glue and no effort was made to fill the crack or match the paint. On the right, a 10” bisque kewpie had a missing piece from her shoulder and the loop on the arm was also missing. I filled in the hole on her shoulder and rebuilt the stringing loop. I then matched the color and airbrushed her repaired areas. It is not possible to bring a broken porcelain doll back to original condition, because it cannot be kiln fired like it was originally, but by appearances she now looks like she did originally. Doll restoration should be nearly undetectable either on the shelf, or up close.