Archive for the ‘anecdotal’ Category

Happy Labor Day 2019!

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Happy Labor Day to all of the unsung heroes of inventive repair throughout the world!

Dog days of summer

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

As I type, the temperature has reached a scorching 94° F / 34° C , and heading upward of 97° F / 36° C. Rather than go out in the heat, I have decide to stay inside my nicely air conditioned apartment and share with you some canines with inventive repairs representing the dog days of summer.

To see the original posts, please click on each title. Enjoy! Now, stay inside and eat a popsicle.

Cold painted cast lead dog figure, c.1930

King Charles spaniel jug, c.1865

Bohemian milch glass mug, c.1750

Toy dog with replaced coat, c.1920

Welch jug with metal handle, c.1850

Happy Pride 2019!

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

A rainbow of inventive repairs…

Jim Thompson House Museum, Bangkok

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

This past December, Mark and I traveled to Southeast Asia, visiting Cambodia, Thailand, and Bangkok. All the while, I was on the lookout for inventive repairs in museums and antique shops. Although I did not find any examples for sale, I did see quite a few in museums.

Here are some examples of stapled ceramics I stumbled upon at the Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok, where I seemed to be the only one who noticed these large stapled beauties hiding in plain sight.

Chinese ceramics at the Frick, Pittsburgh

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Last year while working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I sublet a house in Point Breeze, just around the corner from The Frick Pittsburgh. I immediately bought a membership and whenever possible I attended exhibits, walked the grounds, and ate in the cafe.

Last August, to coincide with the opening of Crazy Rich Asians, I posted about the ceramics I used as set dressing in the movie. I received a comment from Sarah Hall, Chief Curator, Director of Collections at the Frick, who mentioned that the collection included a pair of large peach vases, similar to ones I used in the film. Soon after, I met with Sarah and Dawn Brean, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, to discuss an upcoming exhibit Dawn was planning and asked if I would like to write a piece about ceramics used in Crazy Rich Asians.

Flash forward 6 months and I am pleased to report that the exhibit recently opened and will be on display as a part of their permanent collection through early 2020. If you are in the area, please stop by and check out the wonderful exhibit, as well as the rest of the museum and beautiful grounds, and Clayton, the former home of Henry Clay Frick, industrialist and art collector.

Inventive repairs at the Grand Palace, Bangkok

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

This past December, Mark and I took a trip to Bangkok, Cambodia, and Laos, in search of regional culture and delicious food, but not necessarily in that order. While walking the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, I stumbled upon several large ceramic planters, each with large metal staple repairs and banding wires. I imagine only I, and the fine readers of this blog, would have noticed these make-do’s hiding in plain sight.

Rescue me, Marie Kondo!

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Today I take you behind the scenes and into my office/research center/storage room, where the bulk of my collection of nearly 600 examples of antiques with inventive repairs is kept. As you can see, the shelves are filled to the rafters. Mind you, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Fearful of the direction I seem to be heading in, I took an online test, Hoarding Symptoms Test for Adults, and thankfully discovered that I am not in danger of becoming a hoarder. At least for now.

Ferrin Contemporary at MASS MoCA

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the current exhibit at Ferrin Contemporary, located at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Leslie Ferrin has her finger on the pulse of what’s hot in contemporary ceramics and has cultivated a veritable “who’s who” of the best ceramic artists from around the globe.

The exhibit features ceramics by Paul Scott, a Ferrin favorite, who puts a contemporary twist on antique blue & white transferware plates and platters. Many pieces are refired, embellished, cut, reassembled and repaired with gold, utilizing the ancient kintsugi (“golden joinery”) technique.

Elizabeth Alexander is new to me but I am already a huge fan of her work, which includes deconstructed white teacups and saucers from her Heirloom collection. I especially love the grey shadows created by the negative spaces of the pierced tableware.

I am including new work by alliterative potter Peter Pincus, inspired by Josiah Wedgwood’s classic 18th century basalt pottery. None of his pieces are broken or repaired, but I am showing them here just because I love his ceramics!

On the streets of New York

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

I just returned home to NYC, after a 10 month gig in Pittsburgh, to be greeted by the make-do desk left out on the street. Didn’t realize how much I missed little old New York! And no, I did not take it home.

Early iron metal repairs

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Early repairs can pop in unexpected places. For example, last May I went to visit my mother who lives in a small town in the Berkshires. Near her house is the Barnard Cemetery, with grave markers dating back to the middle 1700s, where I came across rusty iron braces holding together broken tombstones. I have seen similar early repairs on stone steps in Florence, Italy, so keep your eyes open for other repairs such as these throughout the world.

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