Archive for the ‘anecdotal’ Category

Blueberry picking and inventive repairs

Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Every July I look forward to picking wild blueberries at our farm in Upstate New York and showcase the bounty in various pieces from my collection of make-do’s. Pictured first is one from this weekend, followed by examples from summers past. For more information, click on each of these previous posts: Nanking reticulated basket, c.1750, “King’s Rose” pearlware bowl, c.1850, Chinese footed dish with fort scene, c.1840, and Pierced creamware fruit basket stand, c.1790.

Celebrating Independence Day, 2022

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue make-do! Happy July 4th to our American friends.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 8th, 2022

Early repairs in ancient Italy

Sunday, March 20th, 2022

I just returned from a memorable trip to Italy and in addition to eating my way from Rome to Naples, I spotted quite a few examples of inventive repairs. Although I didn’t find many make-do’s hiding in plain sight in the many museums I visited, I did find these outdoor repairs.

In the Archaeological Park of Herculaneum, I came across a pair of partially buried earthenware jars with multiple cracks at a thermopolium (cook-shop.) Both jars have multiple butterfly inlay repairs made from what appears to be wood or resin.

As you can imagine, the ruins of Pompeii are home to many early repairs. I mean, the city itself is practically one giant make-do. Long ago, most of the important artifacts were moved to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, yet I was still able to find a few early repairs left behind.

This large cylindrical jar with a rolled rim and a decorative foot was sitting next to a trash receptacle and showed many ancient battle scars. Overscaled iron rivets have done a terrific job of holding it together for hundreds of years.

The Fountain of Mercury in region VI of Pompeii is host to a quartet of enormous iron clips.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Roman Forum, where I found a bird sitting serenely on a carved chunk of stone with large metal braces.

Bangkokian Museum, Bangkok

Sunday, February 6th, 2022

In December 2018, Mark and I took a trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. In addition to taking in the lush landscapes with breathtaking views, I spied many an inventive repair at local museums and historical sites within in the cities. The small and charming Bangkokian Museum in Bangkok boasted a few make-do’s hidden in plain view. In addition to spotting the more familiar staple/rivet repairs on ceramics, I was surprised to find an unusual repair on the glass display cabinet, effectively and efficiently using wire and metal coins to stabilize cracks in the glass. Definitely a first for me!

© Kevin Miller / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo courtesy of Bangkok Info Guide

Pots in Action

Sunday, May 23rd, 2021

In 2005 I was asked by ceramic artist Ayumi Horie to submit images for Pots in Action, a new Instagram page she was creating. The objective was to show ceramics in use, and she thought it would be fun to show some of my wounded survivors. These are the results, photographed by my talented husband Mark. I’m thrilled with how they came out and hope you like them as much as I do. Thank you Ayumi and Mark!

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend by Bonnie Kemske has just been published and I am sure that anyone who enjoys my blog will enjoy reading this well written and informative book. It’s beautifully printed, with extensive colorful photos and historical information. There is even a section showing the step-by-step kintsugi process, which is fascinating.

I am pleased to have a ceramic plate with my own kintsugi repair featured in the first chapter, Cracks Made Whole In a Golden Repair.

Click on this link to see more photos and information of the plate: Kintsugi repair, at last!

…as well as another plate that I repaired: Family platter with kintsugi gold repair

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

This is the only heart shaped metal brace I have seen. For more photos and details, please check out Heart-shaped metal brace on Chinese bowl, c.1770.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and if you happen to have a broken heart, I hope at least it is mending well with with staples, braces, or gold.

Happy Halloween, 2020!

Saturday, October 31st, 2020

Could 2020 have been any scarier? With the double whammy of the worldwide pandemic still threatening our lives during one of the most polarizing US presidential elections in history, I think not.

Here are some of the scariest victims of metal staple repairs in my collection, no doubt inspired by Frankenstein’s monster himself.

I’m going to assume the hidden side of the teacup is riddled with metal staples.

Have a spooktacular Halloween!

Boris Karloff photos courtesy of Universal Pictures

Happy Labor Day, 2020!

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

Thank you to all of the unnamed itinerant china & dish menders, tinkers, and repairers of all things broken throughout the world.