Repairing smashed ceramics

by Jun 21, 2022Restoration

Fixing a broken china lamp

This lamp came into Gadsby’s in 24 pieces of varying sizes. The client was sure (or at least hopeful) that they had all of the pieces but until the rebuilding process is complete you never know for sure.

The first stage of the repair was to rebuild the lamp. This process is just like doing a jigsaw – putting the broken pieces together.

After the lamp has been re-built filler is added. The filler is needed because ceramics rarely break cleanly, material is almost always lost leaving small gaps and rough edges where the pieces fit together. Once the filler is set/dried then the pattern has to be painted back on to minimise the visibility of the repairs.

Limitations of ceramic repairs

Perfection is rarely achievable. Close inspection will usually reveal that the item has been repaired. Most clients realise that before talking to us and accept the breakage and repair as part of the history of their treasured artefact. Also, although not relevant in the case of a lamp, ceramic/china items are not suitable for use after restoration for eating or drinking.

Related Articles

Repairing a soapstone ornament

Repairing a soapstone ornament

Soapstone is beautiful to look at and to touch and a fantastic material from which to make ornaments. The structure of the material which makes it so nice to look at and work with means that it is also susceptible to breakage if roughly handled or...

read more
Please can you clean and repair my picture frame?

Please can you clean and repair my picture frame?

Damaged picture frames It never ceases to amaze how many picture frames get damaged. The causes of such damage vary greatly, but the query "Could you please clean and repair my picture frame?" usually remains consistent. Frames get damaged: During...

read more
Oil painting & frame for restoration

Oil painting & frame for restoration

Every painting, every frame, every ornament, every objet d'art receives the same professional care and attention when it comes in to Gadsby's for cleaning, repair or restoration. But, like everybody else, we have preferences and some articles seem...

read more
Small ornament repairs

Small ornament repairs

Many of the ornament repair projects we undertake are quite complex jigsaws. Sometimes with dozens of pieces needing careful reconstruction and repainting. But, we also repair many small ornaments and figurines where there are just two or three...

read more
Creating Stardust – the horse

Creating Stardust – the horse

Unusual request this time! Instead of restoring or repairing an object we were asked to take an undecorated horse's head and decorate it to resemble Randolf Scott's horse - Stardust. After some research to establish which colours to use we really...

read more
Elephant Ornament Repair

Elephant Ornament Repair

Elephant ornament damaged by the frost This 3'6" high elephant ornament was accidentally exposed to frost which caused damage. Probably the biggest ornament the restoration team at Gadsby's have worked on - in recent years at least. It was a...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This