Rosanna Polizzotto, painter with a magnifying lens


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The Fixers, the Home section’s series on the artisans of home repair and keepers of dying trades, has been something of a surprise hit. When it comes to chipped china, scratched silver and ripped cane chairs, we suspected that people these days might be more likely to repair than to replace. We just didn’t expect the series to generate so many letters asking for more, more, more.

More are on their way. For our latest profile, writer Ariel Swartley visited the Topanga studio of enamel restorer Rosanna Polizzotto. You can click through a photo gallery, or sample this snippet from Swartley’s full article:


The durable art of enameling -- in which powdered glass is heated on metal until it fuses in a translucent layer -- requires heat that reaches almost 1,500 degrees. The resulting bond between glass and metal is strong, but still, as the pieces awaiting Polizzotto’s attention attest, chips happen. The cherubs on an 18th century bracelet are flaking away, a Victorian vase has lost most of the meadow at its lovers’ feet and some of the guilloche compacts are so battered they will have to be stripped. ... Cheese domes and fluted glass cake stands line the shelves in her work area, offering protection during the hours a repair takes to harden. The minutest speck of dust will cause a smooth surface to bubble. Anything less than exact proportions when she mixes the two resins will result in a finish that remains soft and easily scarred.

Bookmark our series archive, which so far includes family-run cane repair and silver restoration shops. We’ll be adding to it in the months to come.

-- Craig Nakano