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Can pottery be repaired?

Handmade pottery with its unique beauty and character can be something we want to cherish forever, damage to our special pieces can be heart breaking we totally get that. Repairing handmade pottery is not always a straightforward task. Due to the nature of the crafting process, intricate details, and the firing process, restoring these pieces to their original form can be quite challenging.

When a handmade pottery item is cracked or chipped, it may not be possible to restore it to its original perfection. While some minor cracks may be fixable on a decorative piece, the repair can be evident, altering the piece's aesthetic appeal and integrity. Fixes such as this aren't suitable for tableware due to the higher standards for food hygiene. Once pottery goes through the firing process the glass like finish on the surface makes it next to impossible to mend.

However, a beautiful aspect of handmade pottery is its adaptability. Even if a piece has minor flaws, it can be repurposed rather than discarded. For instance, a cracked mug can find new life as a  plant pot. Embracing imperfections and turning them into new functions can add to the piece's charm and create a sense of uniqueness.

Alternatively, the traditional Japanese art of Kintsugi can be used to repair broken pottery. Kintsugi involves mending broken pieces with a special lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. This technique not only repairs the item but also transforms the break lines into beautiful, shimmering veins, making the mended piece even more alluring and valuable. You can purchase DIY kits to try at home as there are few Kintsugi specialists available with in the U.K. 

While repairing handmade pottery can be a challenge and it's disappointing to stop using your favourite mug, it adds to the story and history of the piece. Better your pottery being used and broken than made to sit on the shelf untouched. Each crack or blemish tells a tale of its journey. 

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