Shona Sculpture Repair Tips

The Shona people, a large culture of roughly 9 million people based in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Shona people have strong family values that can be seen in their artwork. Artistic abilities and stone sculpting run deep in the Shona culture. These sculptures are typically made with locally mined serpentine stone in Zimbabwe, then carved, and waxed.


If for some reason your wax finish needs to be touched up or re-done, apply a clear wax, beeswax, or furniture wax. Just be sure that it is clear and not colored. Get the stone and wax in the sun for a little bit to warm up, then use a soft cloth to rub in the wax to the area that’s needed to be re-waxed.


Accidents happen in life and there is a solution!

Materials needed to get out a scratch are:

1 coarse sheet of sandpaper (40 or 50)

1 medium coarse sheet of sandpaper (60 or 80)

1 very fine sheet of sandpaper (180)

Heat gun/hot air gun

Clear wax

2 Soft cloths

Dip the sandpaper in water and work in a circular motion over the area. Do not press hard! Wash off the sculpture after each piece of sandpaper, allow it to dry, and judge on how much more you need to do. Once the stone is completely dry and the scratch is out, it’s time to heat the stone up to be able to apply the wax. Using the heat gun/ hot air gun, heat the stone until it is hot. Apply the clear wax with one of the soft cloths onto the stone. Allow the wax to cool off to an extent, and use the second cloth to buff it once more.

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