We lived in a disposable world—until the economy tanked. Suddenly it seemed smarter than ever to repair instead of replace. Herein, craftsmen and techies who can reupholster that Empire settee, remake your Maytag, rev up an old turntable, save your sole and more.
by Maria Hess
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Roy Blankenship of Arden (royblankenship.com, 529-1184) is the artist most interior designers turn to for repairing or restoring frames. But he’ll also spruce up paintings, prints, watercolors, wooden sculptures, plaster sculptures and American Indian artifacts. Roy’s apprenticeship at Winterthur’s museum conservation program inspired his passion for conserving paintings. After Winterthur he earned his bachelor’s of applied arts and sciences degree, then became a fellow of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the only professional organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. He recently restored the mural at the All Saints Cemetery Chapel in Wilmington. But getting back to picture frames, they’re not all worth fixing. Gilt frames are. They’re covered in gold. Also try: Hardcastle’s Newark Gallery 622 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 738-5003; Peninsula Gallery 520 E. Savannah Road, Lewes, 645-0551
There are only two rug cleaning plants in Delaware, so only two you should trust: Lang Carpet (1001 N. Union St., Wilmington, 655-1533) and Brasure’s Carpet Care (35131 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, 436-5652). Both handle Persian, antique, hand-knotted, needlepoint, hook and hand-tufted carpets. The difference between Lang and Brasure’s and other cleaners is that they are members of The National Institute of Rug Cleaning. (Techs carry credentials from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration.) The typical cleaning involves a rug inspection, then a washing with special equipment. Dusting entails removing soil with a rug duster and vacuum. Washing—both sides—is done with a combination of equipment and wool-safe detergents. Rugs are dried in special rooms using a combination of heat and low humidity. Pros restore hand-knotted rugs by hand. How do you know you have a carpet worth cleaning or mending? “There are rugs that are not necessarily in the best of condition but are worth a lot because of where and when they were made, or sometimes for sentimental reasons,” says David Brasure. Both Lang and Brasure’s offer pick up and delivery, in-house carpet and upholstery cleaning, and both use state-of-the-art, truck-mounted equipment.
China and Glassware
Glass companies typically repair windows and tabletops, but a handful will mend fine china dishes, cups, bowls, decorative glass objects and stained glass. The pros use acrylic adhesive to remarry broken or chipped pieces of china, allow the caulk to dry, then wipe away excess—no unsightly seams. It sounds easy enough, but if you don’t have the gift, pay someone who does, such as: All About Glass & Mirrors 1701 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, 998-6970; Anchor Glass & Mirror 37166 Gull Watch Way, Selbyville, 539-0779; Glass Pros 413 Circle Road, Millsboro, 934-0474