Posts Tagged ‘American’

“Stippled Medallion” glass spooner, c.1865

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

I purchased this humble flint EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) spooner in the Stippled Medallion pattern many years ago while visiting Mark’s aunt and uncle in Framingham, Massachusetts. It was made by Union Glass Company in Somerville, Massachusetts, just 20 miles northeast of Framingham, between 1860 and 1870. It measures 5.5 inches high, and has a diameter of 3.5 inches. After its original base snapped off, a simple turned wood base was made (most likely at home) and the spooner was returned to the dining table and put back to use.

I spotted it at an antiques shop, sitting on a shelf among other “perfect” glassware, with a faded price tag of around $10. I assume it had been gathering dust on that shelf for many years, watching as dozens of nearby pieces came and went, feeling as an orphan must feel seeing others taken away to start a new life. It’s a good thing I found it and added it to my collection, or else it might still be sitting on that shelf, anxiously eying each customer and hoping “maybe this is the one…”

This example still has its original base and shows what mine looked like before the crash.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Pin cushion, c.1900

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

For years I have resisted buying a single make-do pin cushion, the most prolific of all repairs. I am not a fan and think of them as the “Hummel figurine” of the inventive repair world. I will admit that on a couple of occasions, during moments of temporary insanity, I came close to buying one for my collection. But last year at an antiques shop in Pittsburgh, I caved in and bought this sad little example.

At home repairs like this are the most common type of make-do, with endless variations made from broken household items, including oil lamps, goblets, and candlesticks. This one was most likely made in America during the late Victorian era and stands 4.5 inches high. The base is made from a broken cut glass decanter stopper and the top is made from a ball of fabric covered in colorful wool yarn. I will try hard not to succumb the next time I encounter another one of these.

This collection of make-do pin cushions, each with a different glass base, have yarn tops similar to mine.

Photo courtesy of Live Auctioneers

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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Brass kerosene oil lamp, c.1900

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

This small kerosene oil lamp has a brass reservoir joined to a square metal base using a hand carved wood conical stem. I found it in a small New England antiques shop a few years ago and although it is unmarked, I believe it to be American. It stands 8.75 inches tall and the base measures nearly 4 inches square.

Lamps such as this were commonly used worldwide, from the mid 1800s through the mid 1900s. They were sturdy and made to last so I am puzzled by what caused this one to become unhinged. The replacement stem appears to be a home made job, and although practical, it is less than elegant.

This brass oil lamp with similar form has all of its parts and shows what the original base on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane

Mansion form teapot with metal lid, c.1750

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

This whimsical teapot in the form of a three-story Georgian mansion is made of saltglaze stoneware pottery. The molded decoration includes a coat of arms, guards, animals, vines, birds, a dancing couple, and a crane on a serpent’s head spout. It measures 5.75 inches high, 8 inches wide from handle to spout and was made in the Staffordshire region of England, circa 1750-1760.

After the original lid broke or went missing, an intricate tin replacement in the form of a shingled roof with a chimney as knob was made by a clever tinker. This is one of just a few replacement lids I have come across where the repairer copied the form of the original, and I am so glad that he (or she) did!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This teapot of similar form suggests what the original lid on mine might have looked like.

Photo courtesy of eBay

Glass oil lamp with wood base, c.1880

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

This American pressed glass oil lamp, dating from the late 1800s, can be seen in the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York, on view through October 1. It measures 10 inches high.

It is not uncommon to find glass oil lamps with a make-do repairs. Starting in the late 1700s, most homes had at least one glass oil lamp and due to their daily use and frequent handling, many became damaged. On this example, a brass ferrule joins the surviving glass bowl to a carved wood replacement base, which appears to be an at home repair. The burner is a modern replacement and allows the lamp to function as it originally did over 130 years ago.

This lamp with similar form suggest what the original base on my lamp might have looked like before it took a tumble.

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Photo courtesy of Oil Lamp Antiques

Pressed glass goblet with wood base, c.1860

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) goblet in the Honeycomb pattern was made in America during the Industrial Revolution between 1850 and 1870. It stands 3.25 inches high.

After the base snapped off, it was repaired at home with a primitive wood replacement. A quick and easy, yet inelegant, fix. Please take a look at two other similar pieces, Honeycomb pattern goblet and EAPG glass goblet, each with different shaped wood replacement bases. I would like to attend, or perhaps host, a dinner party with mismatched wine goblets such as these, and being able to use the jumper rentals in Phoenix (https://jumpersnrentals.com/phoenix/) would complete my dream. And if things get rowdy, I may have to do a bit of re-repairing of my own.

This goblet with base intact shows what my goblet might have looked like before it became undone.

Photo courtesy of Brey Antiques

Paper box with handsewn edges, c.1880

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Veering away from my more typical posts showcasing inventive repairs on ceramics and glass, today I am featuring the art of a mended paper box. Before the invention of masking and Scotch tapes, damaged paper products were repaired using strips of thin fabric, patching with paper, and mending with thread. I have long admired the unintentional artistry created by patterns made by tiny stitches used to repair torn pages in a book.

This small green paper box, most likely made in New England in the late 1800s, measures 4.75 inches by 4.25 inches and is 1.75 inches tall. It seems the entire box fell apart and rather than tossing it into a roaring fire, someone quite cleverly stitched up every edge, giving it a unique folksy look.

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Pewter teapot, c.1850

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

This unassuming pewter teapot was most likely made in America in the mid 19th century. It stands 9 inches tall and has a fanciful wooden handle and knob. As pewter is a soft and malleable metal, many early pieces did not survive intact. This pot is one such example.

At some point during the past 160+ years, the original base was damaged and the tea stopped flowing. A tinsmith fashioned a simple tin conical foot as a replacement and the teapot was able to function once again. At the time of the repair, the shiny metal base stood in stark contrast to the dull pewter. But today, both metals appear to have melded and the repair is now hard to detect.

This pewter teapot with similar form suggests what the original base on mine might have looked like.

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Photo courtesy of eBay

NCECA conference 2016

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the NCECA conference in Kansas City, MO. I wasn’t prepared for seeing over 5,500 artists, curators, students and ceramic enthusiasts at the convention center and at various galleries, nor the abundance of the wonderful work on display and for sale.

Breaking (no pun intended) tradition from my weekly postings of inventive repairs, I am showing just a few of my favorite pieces, all perfectly intact. But after my lecture on the art of inventive repair, I am hoping some of these artists and others will be inspired to repair their own work, just in case the inevitable happens.

Mariko Paterson, Bird Brain, Bird Vain, 2016

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Lorna Meaden, Punch Bowl, 2016

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Kevin Snipes, Numbers, 2016

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Steven Young Lee, Maebyeong Vasw with Fish Decoration

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Richard Notkin, Brave New Old World

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Kristen Cliffel, Welcome Friends, 2012

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Jessica Brandl, Struggle and Strive, 2015

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Michelle Summers, Untitled Series, 2015

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Shari McWilliams, Octomug, 2013

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