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How to Repair Broken Pottery?

How to Repair Broken Pottery?

Broken pottery happens to everyone eventually. After a certain amount of use, someone is bound to drop a mug or plate. Luckily, it is easy to fix ceramics using special products and techniques. Follow the tips below to successfully prepare your broken ceramic pieces.

Fix Broken Pottery with Industrial Strength Adhesive

Often times, people will recommend using a two-part epoxy when fixing ceramics. Though the two-part epoxy works well, it is difficult to maneuver over a small area like the edge of the ceramic crack. It is easier to use an industrial strength adhesive gel.

Industrial strength adhesives, such as the E-6000 brand, can be purchased at local craft or home stores. The adhesive comes in gel form which makes it easier to apply to the ceramic. It is packaged in a small tube with an applicator tip, also making it easy to apply to small spaces.

Before gluing the ceramic, try piecing together the broken parts to make sure they fit snugly. If any small parts are missing, the ceramic piece might not be salvageable. Also make sure that all of the cracked parts are dry and free from dust. Run a dry paint brush along the break line to brush out any excess dust or dirt.

Next, use the applicator tip to apply a light amount of industrial strength adhesive gel to the crack. Remember that the gel will spread when the ceramic pieces are pushed together. Because of this, only apply a thin line of glue that does not cover the entire width.

Carefully but firmly press the two parts together and hold for around ten seconds. Wipe any excess glue away using a dry paper towel. Place the piece in a cool dry place to dry for a day.

Reusing Broken Ceramic Plates and Mugs

Never drink or eat out of broken ceramic dishes. Not only could this weaken the bond of the glue, but it could also be potentially harmful due to swallowing dust or glue chemicals. Instead, find other ways to use ceramics around the house.

Plates can be used to hold candles. Place a large pillar candle on a ceramic plate or fill the plate with river rocks and place a few votive candles amongst the rocks. Smaller pillar candles of varying heights can also be staggered on the plate for an interesting centerpiece.

Mugs can be used as pencil holders in the office. They also make nice planters for herbs or small flowers. Mugs can even be used to hold small hard candy, as long as the candy is wrapped in plastic.

Easily Fix Broken Ceramic Dishes

Though they can’t be used for eating or drinking again, ceramic dishes can serve a decorative purpose in anyone’s house. Luckily broken dishes and pottery can easily be fixed and still provide a variety of uses around the house.

National Center for Khmer Ceramics Revival (NCKCR)

National Center for Khmer Ceramics Revival (NCKCR)


The NCKCR is a non-profit and non-governmental organization aiming to rediscover and reintroduce Khmer ancestral pottery techniques and support the development of contemporary Khmer ceramic art. In the process, NCKCR creates economic opportunities, helping to decrease poverty in Cambodia.

Serge Rega established NCKCR in Siem Reap-Angkor, renowned for the Angkor temples. Tourists abound, creating substantial incomes, but paradoxically Siem Reap remains one of the poorer provinces of Cambodia. Siem Reap is emerging as a developed city, but geographically, poverty is displaced by about only 2 kilometers.

NCKCR is involved in Vocational training, which helps the poor rural population and will decrease poverty. Training is provided free of charge. Students are given an allowance to compensate for ‘lost’ time, which would otherwise be spent earning a living. Vocational training includes working with clay, but also technical skills, such as building a potter’s wheel, a kiln, tools etc. A student finishing a vocational training session with NCKCR must be able to establish his/her own studio. After training, students may be hired by NCKCR, or NCKCR may provide help to the young potter to install a studio.

Serge Rega says “rural workshops will help the poor and will allow women to express themselves, play a role in society and become participants in an economic activity”. The first rural workshop will be installed in August 2007 in Koh Ker (80 km north-east of Siem Reap) in collaboration with Heritage Watch NGO. A second rural workshop will be installed in May 2008 in Pouk Area, 30 km west of Siem Reap. Rural studios will provide economic assistance for poor peoples but will also play a role in the prevention of looting of Khmer Archaeological sites.

Research on Khmer Antique glazing and techniques – Antique Khmer ceramics are renowned, but the technology was lost during the recent terrible upheavals in Cambodia. NCKCR has sought to rediscover this technology, researching antique Khmer glazing, bisque, kilns, potters language etc. NCKCR wants to soon start the construction of an antique Khmer kiln (Dragon kiln). A first firing is scheduled for December 2007-January 2008. It will be the first time in 500 years such a kiln will be fired in Cambodia – a 10 day and night event. We will make this an international event, in order to facilitate exchange with potters from all around the world. For many years international potters have had exchanges with each other. Khmer potters rarely have the opportunity to travel outside of Cambodia to meet their peers, so this meeting will be held in Cambodia at the NCKCR. The kiln will allow us to fire our reconstituted antique Khmer glaze under the same conditions that it was made in Angkor. Such a kiln is a major tool in the research of antique Khmer techniques.

Revival of contemporary Khmer Ceramic Arts – NCKCR has rediscovered ancestral techniques, which it now teaches. When this knowledge is established, students are encouraged to develop contemporary Khmer ceramic art, with the support of a French volunteer designer. Contemporary Khmer ceramic art consists of stoneware, salt-glazed wares and raku. Different technologies will be used in the future.

Fight against illicit trade of Khmer Antiques – Looting of archaeological evidence is catastrophic for the understanding of our past, our roots. Looting of antiques include two actors: the looter of the archaeological site trying to support his family, and the buyer. If NCKCR can offer the buyer high quality Khmer antique replicas, it can help to avoid the purchase of originals. Looting of archeological sites destroys potential income from tourism in rural areas, while it’s a unsustainable source of income for poorer peoples. Serge says “Installation of rural workshops will offer a chance to get sustainable money incomes for populations”.

The goal of self-financing will ensure the sustainability and independence of NCKCR – NCKCR is not a cursory project – it’s aim is the long-term promotion of Khmer ceramics. This includes establishing a Khmer potter’s library with books translated into Khmer language, workshops, raw material furniture, research etc. In order to reach this goal, NCKCR’s target is to be self-supporting within two years,

Rascal Ware in Canton

Rascal Ware in Canton

It’s not every day that we are honored with our own museum exhibition. Of course, in accepting the invitation, we have also bought some pressure. After all, we want to show only our best work. But there are five of us here–Junior, Pilcher, Mosley, Hairy and me. While I’m the famous one, the others are artistically and emotionally involved and the question arises, “Can we agree on what IS our best work?” These four guys really bear down, spouting something about pressure making diamonds. I see it more as “under stress, they regress.”

If you watch them closely and ask a few questions, you’ll find that each comes to his love for ceramics from a different place. For Hairy it’s the only honest way he knows to make a living. For Mosley it’s an immersion in magic; he loves fire, chemicals and watching clay thrown on a wheel. The fact that he can’t do the latter makes it all the more desirable. Pilcher is a recovering academic who can’t get past his first step. To him, no process or question is too small to track down. Having made his discovery, he is then compelled to talk about it, and at great length. Unfortunately, he has more words than discoveries, so while I’m running the pottery, he’s running his mouth. By the law of averages, he does come up with some great stuff. But even that’s a black hole because, while he’ll tell you all about it, he won’t tell you how he did it.

Junior is the toughest case. He comes to ceramics as if it’s a religion. He is a born-again, fundamentalist, clay-thumping potter. For him, Rascal Ware is a divine calling that guarantees dignity and meaning with every breath, even if every breath is oxygen depleted. He takes that as a sign to embrace reduction firing. Junior seeks nothing less than the Kingdom of Clay, such as it might be, where he and George Ohr will sit at the right hand of whomever. He shouldn’t hold his breath. It’s rumored that Bernard Leach is still in purgatory for condescending to . . . well, pretty much everyone.

For my part, I am the power behind the thrown-that’s not a typo. Nor is it an exaggeration. By the strength of my personality, imagination and wily fingers, I can play these guys like a piccolo – though they would tell you I beat them like a drum. I remind them that some men would pay for that kind of experience.

What we have produced for the Canton Museum of Art is, of course, a collection of everybody’s strength. There are not that many seashells-score one for Georgette! I call it the Rascal Ware Trifecta: “Twos and Fews,” “Pete and Re-Petes”, and “Inspired and Expired.” You can look at these works as pottery that is born of poetry, prose, biography and our collective human condition. All of the pieces are driven by the Rascal Ware Story, the first five chapters of which are on display. You really should read them in order to understand what you see. Some readers will discover truth and beauty. The truth we build with a pitchfork; the beauty is just a skim coat.

Ceramics of pals Natsoulas, Kavaljian at Solomon Dubnick

Ceramics of pals Natsoulas, Kavaljian at Solomon Dubnick


Lee Kavaljian, 84, and Tony Natsoulas, 51, are the odd couple of art.

Natsoulas, despite his small stature, seems larger than life. Outgoing, boisterous, full of energy, he’s a force of nature. Kavaljian, also diminutive, is quiet, shy, diffident and self-effacing. Yet they are the best of friends, and both are strong ceramic artists who are sharing a show at Solomon Dubnick Gallery.

Their works are as different as their personas. Natsoulas, who was described as one of the top 100 artists in the country in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive of American Art, is known for brightly colored, large-scale figures and busts that range from guitar players and shoe salesmen to characters from popular culture and Greek mythology.

Kavaljian makes small- scale “spirit houses” based on various forms of Asian architectural miniatures that were placed in graves in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Intricate and ethereal, they are delicately daubed with as many as 11 layers of glaze that give them rich but restrained surfaces.

You would expect Natsoulas to overwhelm Kavaljian, but once you get him talking, he more than holds his own with the younger and more famous artist.

Now retired but still teaching biology and botany at California State University, Sacramento, Kavaljian came to making ceramics almost by accident. In 1956, he had some students in class who were art majors but were having difficulty doing botanical drawings. When Kavaljian teased them about not being able to draw, they explained that they were ceramics students, not draftsmen.

In self-defense, they challenged Kavaljian, who could draw on the blackboard with two hands, to try making a clay pot. To their delight, his first attempt failed absolutely as the clay flew off the potter’s wheel. But they invited him to come to the ceramics lab on Saturdays and keep trying. Eventually Kavaljian succeeded, and his work wound up in a show at the Richmond Art Center.

After that he was hooked. He continued studying ceramics with Ruth Rippon, Yoshio Taylor and other prominent regional ceramists. Eventually he developed his own method of constructing clay sculptures using leather-hard ceramics as opposed to the wet clay used for throwing pots.

A student and teacher of Asian art, who will appraise Oriental objects at the Crocker Art Museum’s appraisal day in May, Kavaljian became entranced by ancient Chinese “spirit houses” made to ease the passage of the deceased in the afterlife. Not being able to afford one, he decided to try making one. He was so successful that he was given a show of his efforts at the Judith Weintraub Gallery in 1990. Since then his spirit houses have won many awards and have been featured in Lincoln’s annual “Feats of Clay” exhibitions and in California State Fair art shows.

In contrast, Natsoulas settled on a career as a ceramic artist at age 11. While still in high school, he took concurrent classes in ceramics at the University of California, Davis, where internationally known ceramic sculptor Robert Arneson taught. It was the beginning of a long academic journey where he studied at California State University, Sacramento, with Rippon, Bob Brady and Gerald Walberg; at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore; and again at UC Davis, where he got his master of arts degree in 1985.

Over the years, he has done public art commissions, including monumental ceramic figures for the Downtown Plaza and municipal projects for the city of Sacramento and most recently, Stockton. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shigeraku, Japan; the University of Iowa; and many California museums, including the Crocker, the San Jose Museum, Oakland Museum, Laguna Museum and Triton Museum.

Natsoulas’ early works were raucous, expressionistic figures influenced by the Funk school of ceramics founded by Arneson and David Gilhooly. In recent years he has focused on entertainers, from the Beatles to Audrey Hepburn; a series of campy, over-the-top 18th century figures; and his current work, which relates to mythological figures from a variety of cultures.

Drawing on his Greek ancestry, he gives us a bust of Hephaestus, the Greek god of metal forging, sculpting Pandora. The oversized head of the figure is modeled on Natsoulas’ friend sculptor Joe Scarpa, and the small body is surrounded by attributes of the deity, who was also the god of volcanoes and employed the Cyclops and two robots of his own making in his studio.

Kavaljian is the model for another of his works titled “Lee Counts His Snails Under the Bodhi Tree,” which illustrates a story about the Buddha. In it, Kavaljian’s head is covered with snails, calling up the legend that when the Buddha was meditating to gain enlightenment, his head was burning in the hot sun until a congregation of snails came to rest on his head to protect it. It’s a charming piece and a good likeness of Kavaljian, which won the Best of Show Award at last year’s California State Fair.

In other works Natsoulas looks at Lilith, the apocryphal first wife of Adam who preceded Eve, and a series of mythical creatures including a sea monster and a Philippine version of bigfoot. Also on hand are examples of his cartoonlike footwear, including a pair of “Banana Slippers” and “Break Shoes,” which are decorated with coffee and doughnuts.

Kavaljian’s works range from the tall, pagodalike structure “Dancer’s Spirit House” and the folk art- flavored “Bird Palace,” to the ethereal, powder-blue “Crystal Spirit House” and the innovative “East Meets West in a Roman Ruin,” which blends elements of classical Roman and Asian art in a semicircular structure that houses a small Thai Buddha. Fanciful and ornate, the houses seem to contain dark recesses in which spirits might dwell – not only the spirits of the deceased but, in some cases, the spirits of the land where modern structures were built. In either case, they are magical.



The pots we use in our home are like stage sets. At rest on a table, dish drainer, or in a cupboard, they are visually engaging. Through use they provide access to other activities: gathering food from the garden, cooking, conversation, dining, arrangement of flowers, sorting of papers. This daily relationship with the pots offers up both utility and continual visual inquiry. Like a stage set, the pot has an ability to disappear and then reappear.

Linda Christianson is a well-known and respected Minnesota studio potter and pottery instructor. She received her BA in Studio Art from Hamine University in St. Paul where she also participated in their Graduate Apprentice program. She pursued further practical experience through a Ceramic Studio Workshop program at the Banff Centre School for Fine Arts. Her work has been widely exhibited across the country and around the world. Linda has also taught in many centers for ceramic arts and her reputation as an educator puts her much in demand for her workshops in functional pottery, surface decoration, and wood-firing techniques.

Ceramics show at Rowan gallery

Ceramics show at Rowan gallery

GLASSBORO Rowan University’s High Street Gallery will welcome ceramic exhibits to its space in downtown Glassboro beginning March 24 and continuing through April 3.Ê

A joint opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.Ê Rowan student ceramist Emiley Ross of Millington will be exhibiting work in her show “The Main Course” along with the ceramic works of Professor Joe Gower’s students in a show titled “Rowan University Student Ceramic Exhibition.”Ê

“My senior show is focusing on simplicity and functionality,” Ross says. “I want viewers to look at my ceramics and pay more attention to the form and shapes, rather than the glaze and colors. My pieces in the show emphasize curving lines and full-figured forms.”

Gower’s group show is an exhibition of student work from the Rowan University ceramics department. “Rowan University Student Ceramic Exhibition” presents works by Sarah Ginder, Brian Rowan, Jason Trautz, Brenda Kele, Will Ott, Jane Choi, Colleen Bialecki, Scott Middleton and Mike Mergner.

High Street Gallery is a student-run and operated gallery space dedicated to assisting Rowan University’s student artists in gaining valuable experience in exhibiting their work. The gallery is located at 11 E. High St., and is open Wednesday through Friday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m