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
(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
(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