HomeFeaturesLocal artist Randy Heidinger also offers specialized home repair...

Local artist Randy Heidinger also offers specialized home repair service

By MYRON LOVE I last interviewed Rand Heidinger something like 30 years ago. Thus, it was nice to be able to catch up with the local artisan and learn how his career has evolved.
“Most people who know me think of me as an artist,” says Heidinger. “But I offer much more. I have developed what I consider a boutique business model. Repairing and restoring damaged and sentimental items I akin to a cosmetic surgeon.”
He notes that he is often called in when the client doesn’t know who else to turn to to fix a problem. “I get a lot of calls from moving companies and contractors,” he points out. “Maybe the movers scratched the wall or floor or chipped some furniture. I can fix the problem in a way that will make everyone concerned happy.”
He adds that he doesn’t consider himself a handyman. Coming out to fix one’s loose gate latch or painting a peeling gutter is not what his wheel house is about.
“My thing is to be superfocused on the issue and make what was damaged look new again,” he says.
One project he took on, for example, was an art collector who had an addition built onto his house to showcase his collection. The addition had a corrugated metal ceiling. “When the electricians installed the pot lightsthey butchered the ceiling by cutting circles for the lights,” Heidinger recounts. “The contractor called me in and I came up with a solution which didn’t require a brand new ceiling. I did the work myself. Everyone was satisfied.”
He tells of another project wherein movers managed to shatter the ornate cast metal legs of a marble table. “The legs were made of zinc, so I couldn’t weld them back on,” Heidinger recalls. “I figured out a way to rebuild them and re-attach them so that they looked just like the original legs and were a lot stronger.
“I have always had a curious interest in researching the many compounds, adhesives, fillers and more in order to be able to do the restorative work that I do,” he notes.
He will also tackle projects if the challenge attracts him. One job he is currently working on is the restoration of a set of damaged tiles that were created to honour the Dutch Resistance after World War II and commemorate the Dutch liberation.
“I like learning about the back story of some of the articles I work on,” he says. “The tiles were created in secret to honour Dutch liberation.”
And, not only is he repairing the tiles but he will also be mounting them in a way that will be a museum quality display.
Heidinger demonstrated his ability to improvise relatively early in life. Having left school at 17, his first job was working for relatives who operated a gallery showing abstract and contemporary works – in the early 1980s. “I first started out working for my uncle in the construction business he was operating,” the future artisan recalls.
“At the time, the gallery was having the framing for its paintings done by an outside company. My uncle wanted to have it done inhouse. He offered me the job. I ended up teaching myself the art of custom picture framing.”
Heidinger had already started painting, so framing for the gallery presented him with the opportunity to interact with potential buyers for his own works of art. “People would come in and notice my work. I learned how to communicate with clients, and satisfy their needs and wants,” he recalls. “Our gallery also offered to hang the pieces we sold. So I learned that skill as well.”
His restoration service, he notes -which he began 15 years ago, grew out of his art hanging for clients. “I would be hanging a piece and the client might mention a table that was scratched or a ceramic keepsake that was broken. I would offer to see what I could do. I kept taking on these side projects and it grew into a business. My clients have the peace of mind dealing directly with me on a project from start to finish.
“I get satisfaction out of helping people who are in a panic and restoring their peace of mind.”
To see the wide range of Randy’s problem solving solutions, go to CreativeFixer.com

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