Mac Whitney "Presidio", 2014 (Private Collection)
Mac Whitney "Presidio", 2014 (Private Collection)

Our Focus Is Prevention

Preventive conservation ensures the sculpture’s longevity and prevents the need for costly and time-consuming restoration. Especially for outdoor sculptures, much of the prevention efforts are focused on combating environmental pollutants, such as acid rain. We help you develop and implement a customized routine treatment program for your collection.

Depending on location and materials used in the sculpture, we usually recommend a biannual (spring/fall) schedule to protect your pieces ahead of the harsh Summer and Winter conditions. 

Whether the collection just needs a thorough cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, or a re-application of a sacrificial wax layer - spring and fall are the optimum time to address these concerns.


"John the Baptist" by Paul DuBois

Fall 2023

The finger and cross of this sculpture were bent due to a fall. OnAim planned to use heat from a propane torch to carefully bend the soft heated metal back to shape, but unfortunately due to the high copper content and low tensile strength the finger cracked along the knuckle joint once pressure was applied. These factors also led to breakage on the bent parts of the cross. Due to differing characteristics of the finger and the cross we went with two separate methods of repair.

An epoxy putty was used on the finger to fill the cracked section and sculpt it back into its original shape. Once cured, a rotary tool was used to make the repairs seamless. For the cross, we removed the old patina and waxes and bevelled the broken section to prepare it for welding. Once cooled, a rotary tool was used again to create a seamless finish.

Finally the repaired areas were treated to match the existing patina, followed by an application of various tinted metal waxes to ensure a uniform appearance.


"A Good Physician (Memorial to Dr. Ruiz)" by Bob Fowler

Spring 2023

The sculpture was moved to the conservator’s shop to conserve the body and restore the two rectangular structures that had suffered extensive rust damage. Both boxes were cut away and completely rebuilt using square metal tubing. The interior of the bottom box was painted with a galvanized coating to protect the mild steel construction and two anodes were added to mitigate rust. 

The body was wire brushed by hand on all accessible parts, treated with a rust inhibiting penetrating oil, and all cracked welds were mended. The pedestal on site was cleaned, sanded, and painted. 


"Poxabogue Pond #31" by Donald Lipski

Fall 2023

The solution, which had brown deposits collected at the top, was first drained before removing the flag. The inside of the glass was thoroughly cleaned and the flag was submerged in clean distilled water several times to give it a gentle wash.

The piece was then reassembled and filled with a new solution. Air bubbles caught at various points were carefully knocked out of place to collect at the top. 


"Commission for Teapot Still Life" by Bouke de Vries

Fall 2022

The sculpture had broken off the base in transport, damaging the central bottom connecting rod and attached butterflies.

OnAim began by carefully detaching the bottom ceramic piece from its acrylic rod and from the central point. A new rod was inserted to connect the central point to the marble base, lifting the sculpture off the base. Once cured, OnAim began adding replacement butterflies using a digital mock-up as a guide. 


"As It Is In Heaven" by Yellow Goat Design

Fall 2022

Due to this piece's location, hanging above a nearby kitchen, the discs had accumulated heavy layers of grease and congealed onto the surface along with a thick layer of dust. OnAim cleaned each individual disc, first applying a degreasing solution to remove the layer of grease then rinsed the discs as well as the beads and support wire with a mild detergent solution using microfiber cloths to remove the remaining dust and residue. After doing so, each disc and bead were wiped down with a rinse aid using microfiber cloths to prevent water spotting and protect the dichromatic glass.


"Kids on Swing" by Bijan Bahar

Fall 2022

OnAim started the process by using a welding torch head to “wash” off all of the silica bronze that was used in the previous brazing. After removing previous welding material, OnAim used a Dremel with a brass wire brush head to remove the old patina.  Parts to be welded were then cleaned with a mild degreaser solution and then wiped down with Acetone to create a clean weldable surface.

Once the surface was prepped, OnAim began the welding process by first brazing together the copper swing rods to the copper wire that will act as the rope around the tree branch.  The copper wire was subsequently wrapped around the branch twice, positioned, and then wrapped around the brazed wire and rod.  This procedure allowed for more structural stability while also lending to the aesthetic of a rope swing tied off to a tree branch. When everything was properly wrapped and correctly positioned, we brazed all parts together. After being allowed to cool, the welded section were cleaned and then patinated.  


"Untitled" by Horace Farlowe

Summer 2018

This 10x10x10 foot steel sculpture was in bad condition. Various areas of the sculpture had been rusted through, with large rust sections visible. It needed a partial rebuild.

OnAim cut the sculpture into three pieces and transported it off site. All paint was stripped off, all damaged surfaces replaced, and then primed.

The piece was reassembled on site using a crane. Once stable and welded back in place, it was painted back to the original color.


Fiberglass Boot Honoring Louis M. Pearce

Summer 2022

The sculpture was first washed and sanded to smooth the hard edges of areas with missing paint or chipping. Areas with large holes or gashes were filled in with white caulk. This allowed the new paint to blend in more subtly with the original paint layer.

OnAim retouched the paint using acrylic paint medium, clean water, and various sized brushes. OnAim was conscious not to obscure the original brushwork and diligent about matching the original look. Once the retouching was complete, a final protective layer was applied.

Preventive Conservation

"Kneeling Figure" by Donald Baechler

Summer 2022-present

‘Kneeling Figure’ is a 5 foot tall bronze sculpture and fountain. The sculpture had fallen forward which resulted in damage on both palms of the figure's hands, exposing bare metal.

Entirety of sculpture was cleaned using a basic mild detergent. Sites of exposed bronze were blackened using an antique metal finish. The piece was then “flashed” with a propane torch, better allowing the metal to receive wax.

Preventive Conservation

"Firefly" by John Clement

Spring 2022-present

Conservation of artist John Clement's sculpture "Firefly" located in The Woodlands, TX.


"Leda and the Swan" by Reuben Nakian

Spring 2020

This small tabletop bronze suffered a penetrating fracture that caused a small piece of the extended foot to break off. OnAim did not recommend using brazing or tig welding methods as this would cause the need for a complete stripping and refinishing of the patina and finish. Instead, two small holes were drilled and a small brass rod was installed to create a mechanical lock between the sections. A two-part epoxy was used to join the two together.


"Feel It" by Rob Wynne

Fall 2018

The mirrored backing for each glass piece was stripped and recoated. To prevent future moisture build-up that led to the deterioration of the backing, the piece was reinstalled with a thin gasket material at points of contact.


Jonathan Thomas

Fall 2018

The totem pieces by Jonathan Thomas had been installed on a ledge inside a swimming pool. The chemicals had broken down the black paint on the steel poles that hold the pieces, slowly causing the steel to rust and breaking down at the base.

OnAim replaced the poles with stainless steel poles that can withstand the chemicals inside the pool. The rust stains on the concrete bases were removed. The actual pieces were carefully cleaned of all debris, restoring the pieces to their original vibrancy.

Light Wings by Ed Carpenter


"Light Wings" by Ed Carpenter

Fall 2018

“Light Wings” is located in a pedestrian connector at Terminal A at the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. It is made of laminated dichroic glass and cellular polycarbonate panels suspended by stainless steel cables attached to stainless steel pipe. The piece spans 78’ feet long, 40’ feet wide, and 15’ feet deep.

The installation was cleaned on site with a scissor-lift, provided and operated by airport staff. OnAim used a variety of magnetic and microfiber dusters attached to extension poles to remove dust from dichroic glass components, stainless steel cables, turnbuckles, and tensioning nuts. Using a mild detergent solution, OnAim spot cleaned all parts of the lower level glass and removed all bird droppings that could be safely reached. Hardware tension was inspected and tightened as needed to ensure the safety of the piece.


Stained Glass

"Lady of Transformation"

OnAim cleaned and installed a seamless LED light panel behind this stained glass and steel piece by Mike Miano.


"John Connally" by Sharon Connally Amman

Summer 2019

‘John Connally' is a bronze monument on a granite base. Everything was cleaned with a power washer as well as all crevices detailed using a soft bristle brush. Remnants of old wax were removed. The sculpture was then burnished and a new coat of wax was applied and buffed to a light shine.


"Man's Struggle for a Better Environment" by Bob Fowler

Spring 2018

This 10 x 8 x 22 foot steel sculpture (corten and stainless steel) was in bad condition. Various areas of the sculpture had been rusted through, with large rust sections visible. Rain had washed rust from the corten onto the stainless panels, creating a discoloration. The underlying structure was damaged in part and needed sections replaced. This piece needed a full exterior rebuild.

OnAim set up scaffolding on the median and started cutting away panels to get a closer look at the underlying structure. As panels were removed, damaged structural pieces were fixed, and a template system was created to cut the new panels to skin the outside.

Except for the top spire, all stainless panels were replaced and installed with an eighth-inch reveal so that water can run off behind the panel and not stain it.


"Red Figure" by Tony Cragg

Fall 2019

This bronze sculpture suffered some large indentions and deep scratches during transport. After cleaning the sculpture, the sculpture was wiped down with mineral spirits to remove old wax. The damaged areas were lightly sanded and filled with bronze filler.

When OnAim removed the wax coat, it became clear that the wax layer was tinted black and that there wasn't a lacquer layer. Once repairs were done, comparable black tinted wax was applied to warm surface then burnished and buffed during the cooling process.


“Once Everything Was Much Better, Even The Future” by Nir Hod

Spring 2020

This motorized snow globe sculpture was having mechanical issues when turned on. There was evidence of fluid leaking from the globe. Upon closer inspection after draining all liquid, OnAim determined that all hoses and pumps/motors would have to be replaced, partly due to normal wear and tear.

Using the original manual from the fabrication of the snowglobe, OnAim was able to source and replace the damaged parts as well as follow the electrical and mechanical schematic to reconnect everything back in its place. All of the electrical components were working properly and kept original. No changes were made to the original design.

Once the mechanics were sealed and deemed leak-proof, fluid was poured back into the globe. The outside of the sphere was cleaned with acrylic plastic cleaner and subsequently polished with a two part polishing system.


"Unknown Title (from the Water Lilies series)" by Donald Lipski

Winter 2020

Parts of this glass sculpture were broken in transit, leaking the interior fluid and damaging its contents. OnAim started by fabricating new Drainline pipe pieces to replace the broken parts. A close working relationship with the artist led to the remaking of the artist-specific solution to fill the interior of the sculpture and preserve the long stem red roses. Finally, OnAim let the sculpture sit at changing angles to ensure that there were no leaks and left room allowing for temperature expansion and contraction of liquid.


"Call Ernie" by Jim Love

Spring 2018

“Call Ernie” is located at Houston's Hobby Airport. Any spots showing rust or a bubbling of the paint were addressed by cleaning, sanding and then primed and painted. The entirety of the sculpture and base was hand washed using an AWLGrip AWLwash cleaning solution.

Entirety of the sculpture was buffed using an optical grade cutting polish followed by two coats of a rub on polymer treatment (AWLGrip AWLCare) that is recommended by the paint manufacturer AwlGrip.


Sculpture Conservation

"Axis" by Frank McGuire

Winter 2018

Restoration and preventive conservation of artist Frank McGuire's sculpture "Axis" located in Houston, TX. The sculpture received a complete sanding, washing, and repainting.

Sculpture Conservation

"West of the Pecos" by Rolf Westphal

Summer 2017

Restoration and preventative conservation of artist Rolf Westphal's sculpture "West of the Pecos" located at the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX. The sculpture received a complete sanding, washing, and repainting.

Mosaic Restoration & Preventative Conservation

Dixie Friend Gay

Fall 2021 - present

Restoration of artist Dixie Friend Gay's mosaic murals located under the Waterway Avenue Bridge in The Woodlands, TX.