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ClayArtsUtah

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Three quick tips for cracked greenware from the Summer 2006 Newsletter:

Magic Water: to a 1 gallon jug of water add 3 TBS Sodium Silicate and 5 grams soda ash. Use the water to create a strong joint with broken pieces, handles, etc. -Submitted by Richard Barker

Spit and Stick: When a dry edge is chipped, the chip can be reattached by spitting on the chip and sticking it back in place. - Submitted by Ken Marvel

Hail Mary Pass: When small parts break from a larger piece, wait until bone dry then quickly submerge the small piece in water and immediately hold in place. As the larger piece sucks water from the smaller part they join. - Submitted by Dawn Atkin

Dawn

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I submitted the "Hail Mary Pass" method to the newsletter, so I knew it worked, but I have really pushed it to its limits lately.  I had an intricately carved arch break into 4 pieces and was able to dip the small pieces in water and rebuild the arch.  It was bisqued and saggar fired and came out fine.

 

The surprise came when I started to drop a small box last week and caught it against my chin.  It broke an orange sized hole in one wall.  The box was all carved and otherwise complete - so why not try to fix it.  I dipped the broken out piece into water and pressed it into place.  An indent scar remained where the edge of clay had broken into dust, but the piece attached quite nicely.  I cant sell it because of the scar, but it made a great test piece for the saggar fire.

 -Dawn


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Dawn Atkin
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At the Box Social last week Tara Robertson and I were singing the praises of paper clay to fix cracks - even in bisqueware.  Thought I should post it. 

Take toiletpaper and shred it.  Mix with slip. Press ino the crack or use to attach the broken piece.  Then re-bisque.  The result can be sanded to refine it further.  if you use a slip made from the same clay as your piece, the repair is very hidden.  It cannot be seen at all after glazing.

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wljames

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I learned a crack repair technique from Don Marr who said he got it from someone at BYU.

This is how I use it:

Make a workable clay from dry clay and vinegar. Open up the crack a bit and fill it with the clay. As it dries, it may crack a bit. Fill that with the vinegar clay. Repeat as needed, but each time the crack should be thinner.

I suspect that this is just a stand-in for magic water but I haven't yet confirmed the deflocculating nature of vinegar.

I have also used a vinegar based slip for attaching handles with good results so far.


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