Throwing Thursday - Repairing Green & Bisque Ware

Regretfully I have to create this entry.  At some point however you may need to repair a piece that has been damaged due to dropping, cracking or even a kiln explosion.

Recently I made the mistake of putting three spirit bottles in my bisque fire that had only been drying for about four days.  To bisque fire successfully all pieces must be bone dry.  Needless to say, those four day old pieces were no where near bone dry.  When my kiln reached temp, the water in the clay body turned to steam and blew apart the bottles.  They were destroyed.  My statue was collateral damage.  I found a repair site here.

When the kiln finally cooled down, this is what I saw.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Taking her out of the kiln the crack is barely visible.   This is how I know that she was hit from the outside and didn't rupture from the inside.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Here you can see just how bad the damage is.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
I started out by soaking a raw with water and applying to the broken area.  She was only in the kiln for about 1/2 hour so I'm treating this as a greenware repair.  My understanding is that you can do the same to pots that have been completely bisque fired as well.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



I then sprayed the pieces to get them nice and wet.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Next I had to use a vinegar and water mixture.  The recipe is on the link at the top of the page. I scored the inside of each piece just as you would to attach wet clay together and coated it with the mixture.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Next I attached the arm and put her on her side to fill the crack with slip.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

So far so good.  I now put her outside to dry for a bit.

Two weeks have gone by since my last photo.  I have gone out to the studio and applied several (and by several I mean 6 or so) coats of the slip mixture to fill in the cracks around her front and back side. This is what we have so far.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson




Next we wait.  Because I saturated the inside layer with water, I want to treat her as though she is fresh off the wheel.  I'm going to park this project and wait until mid February to put her in to bisque. That will be another two weeks away.

So here is the final update.  I was able to put her in bisque fire last night.  It has been over a month in the repair.  She turned out pretty good however you can still see the crack.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Renee Olson

Wife, Witch with the Metal Skills of a Dark Elf. I spend my time working with wire, weaving life and magic.

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