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I Want to Repair and Restore My Damaged Ceramics and Glassware!

Damaged porcelain,porcelain repair,damaged glassware

It is possible that you have noticed some signs of damage in your glass items or your ceramic pieces (consisting of pottery and porcelain, made from heated clay) over time. Before you directly jump into the process of repairing or restoration, take a close look at your antique(s). Do you notice any telltale signs that reveal prior repairs and restorations? These might well be the cause for the current brittleness and weakness of your precious stuff!

However, it is not possible to figure out previous conservation jobs so easily. Take the help of black light; its shine will reveal all to you. The glues of yesteryears were definitely not as strong as those manufactured in modern times. So they were bound to give way sooner or later. Even an unsightly yellow look should be enough to inform you that your antique is no longer safe. The glue peels off at times due to aging, resulting in the object shattering on its own. Do be careful when you are handling these scratched and broken glassware or ceramics.

Now that you have realized what needs to be done, you might try and attempt repair jobs yourself. But there are some considerations to be kept in mind, especially for ceramics—

(1) Do not try to camouflage damaged areas with paint. White may seem “colorless”, but comes in around a hundred shades! Which one are you going to choose? You cannot do anything without proper skill and training in matching of colors and shades.

(2) Do your plates reveal some cracks? Well, heating them (especially in an oven) is not going to solve the problem. The cracks will extend and split the plates further. Old and intact repairs might open up, causing further damage.

(3) People who use adhesives for restoring valuable ceramics have been specially trained in the chemistry of adhesives. You are a novice, for you may not even be aware that there are several kinds of bonding materials that seep through! Commercial glues will stick too fast and prove difficult to remove; also, they will cause yellowing.

(4) Have you been advised to try hydrogen peroxide and sterilizing preparations for cleansing? They will stain your antiques and damage them.

(5) Scalpels and sandpaper are a big no-no for pottery and porcelain items.

(6) Previously repaired or currently repaired items can prove to be a health hazard if used for eating or storing foodstuffs.

Breakages are not the only disasters that can hit your valuable items. Has your earthenware been submitted to water logging or total submersion? Get hold of a conservator to offer you advice on how to rinse and dry it. Delay will result in dirty water and stains being absorbed into the body, considering that it is porous in nature.

If you fail to get a restorer in time, then you can rinse the wet pieces in clean water. The water better be distilled or de-ionized. Now, take some paper towels or clean cotton and wipe the objects dry. Do not grab the first towel that you see; it might be covered with grime or grit. Your antiques will get scratched. Even the soil or grit present on the items should not be rubbed off; be very, very gentle. In the remote case that no dry towel is at hand, let warm sunlight take care of your pieces.

On a final note, it might seem that you are saving a lot of time and money with a do-it-yourself attitude. But do remember that it is ancient artifacts that you are dealing with, and delicate ones at that! A professional conservator can give proper information, impart sound advice, and also take up the restoration himself/herself if necessary. So hand over cleaning, repair, replacement of missing parts, and restoration to the qualified experts!

 

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