What do Dresden dolls and your grandmother’s favorite teakettle have in common? They are both porcelain items! There are more than 300 manufacturers and independent contractors around the world who create intricate and beautiful pieces of porcelain artwork, and, due to their fragile nature, all of these are subject to damage. Porcelain repair companies are able to restore previously damaged porcelain to pristine condition.
What are the Different Types and Brands of Porcelain?
Porcelain, like people and everything else in this world, can come in many shapes and sizes. Unlike people, however, certainly not all porcelain is created equally. Porcelain can be decorative as well as functional. Some examples of decorative porcelain are figurines and dolls (such as the aforementioned Dresden dolls), decorative plates, and clocks. Some examples of functional porcelain include all sorts of dinnerware that is actually used, clocks that are kept in working condition, and candlesticks. These items of porcelain, as mentioned, can be made by a wide variety of manufacturers. These brands include but are definitely not limited to Abbeydale, Dresden, Copeland, Minton, Royal Standard, Stetson, Vernon Kilns, Hanker, Booths, Seto, James Kent… and the list goes on and on. There are more than 300 well-known brands of porcelain and countless other independent artists. Some companies and individuals may exclusively produce one type of porcelain item, but there are also other companies which create a large variety of goods, some functional while others are clearly purely decorative.
Why Should You Have Your Porcelain Repaired?
There are so many ways that porcelain can become broken, and clumsiness and neglect are the most common ways. It’s very easy for a child to simply drop a porcelain doll given to him or her as a gift by a friend or family member. Ancient teapots passed down by your eccentric great aunt may become cracked from lack of use. A dinner plate may dry out and chip, and the dust settling on it may become engrained into the rough edges left over from damage.
Every single article made out of porcelain is a true work of art. The artist of any given piece has likely spent hours of time gaining the experience for if not actually shaping the piece you handle with less care than you should. The crafting of porcelain is an intricate process, so it makes sense that porcelain repair is just as difficult, if not more so.
How is Porcelain Repaired?
Porcelain is repaired in much a similar way to the way chinaware is repaired, since the materials used to craft each are very similar. There are ways to have the various parts of a broken piece stuck together so that they will stay in relatively the same place, and this is called structural repair. Structural repair is typically used to hold pieces together until a more conducive time and price range are available to do a more subtle and specific job. A related and permanent alternative to structural repair is cementing and filling in. This involves cleaning the broken segments and putting them back together using cement. A true repair expert is able to match the color of the new material to that of the old material almost exactly. This process can be done visibly or invisibly; the visible process will leave marks on the porcelain that will be visible to the naked eye, whereas the invisible process contains a few extra steps that makes identifying the old fault lines much more difficult. This second option tends to be the pricier of the two, since it requires more expertise and time in order to do a better job.