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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.