Yixing Repair... American Style


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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Bert » Jun 14th, '10, 09:54

Inspired by your post of your American style repair of broken asian ceramic I tried an Europian approach. :wink:
I once bought a kyusu from tokoname which broke by regular use in two pieces.

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I kept them because I thought I can fix it somehow but didn't find a solution. After reading this thread I bought a pack of regular j-b weld. Looking at the german packaging with it's health and security details I can say that j-b weld is rather toxic for humans and water organisms untill the two components are mixed and hardened. The "steel" component cointains BPA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A) .. But I cannot imagine that it will leak that much making it a health concern.

However the pot is fixed and I love it.

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I couldn't fix the crack really even but it isn't that obvious as it seems by looking at the photograph. The pot is small (about 100 ml, 3 floz) and the photo was taken as macro.

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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Herb_Master » Aug 5th, '10, 18:13

Time for me to order some JB Weld, my collection of damaged pottery is getting too large!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Chip » Aug 5th, '10, 18:22

Question, is the "marine" version of JB Weld clear? The JB Weld I found at the local Home Depot is dark gray.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Aug 5th, '10, 18:51

No, Marine version is gray as well. JB Weld does make a clear version, but it's not on their website for some reason, and I can't find any info about it, so I haven't tried it yet.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Oct 11th, '10, 23:58

My latest project with photos of the process...

After repairing the badly cracked lid of a sweet 80's Hong Ni Shui Ping for Tim of The Mandarin's Tearoom, he very generously donated a beautiful 80's Zisha teapot to Tingjunkie's Yixing Hospital for the Cracked! This pot is made from very high quality Zisha, and was specifically designed for Anxi TGY oolong. Sadly, the pot was the victim of overzealous airport baggage handlers, and had one huge piece broken out of the side of the pot. Letting such a nice pot sit in pieces would have been an undignified fate, so it's getting the full rehab treatment!

The lighting in these pics does not show the true purple color of the great clay. Having a big chunk blown out of the side offers a rare glimpse into the impressive craftsmanship that went into this pot. Notice the uniform thickness of the walls.
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I have never seen a pot cracked in this way before. Usually it's the lid, spout, or handle. The missing piece still fit perfectly though, so it was a fairly easy fix. The bowl of dry rice makes a great working area to hold the pieces in place where I want them.
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Out comes the trusty JB Weld Epoxy- Marine Formula. This stuff is non toxic, safe up to 500 degrees F, 100% waterproof, and will hold until eternity. Equal parts of the liquid steel and hardener are mixed together on a piece of foil with a plastic q-tip until it becomes a smooth uniform gray color.
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With the cotton part cut off (so no little fibers get stuck in the epoxy) use a q-tip to spread a thin layer of epoxy along both sides of the crack. The goal is to have both sides uniformly covered without a ton of excess globs of epoxy.
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Carefully fit both parts together EXACTLY. Make sure everything lines up perfectly. Don't worry that the epoxy oozes out along the seam. That just means you have enough in there to form a really good bond.
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I didn't take any pictures of the next step because it requires two hands and is the most difficult and involved step in the process. Once the two pieces are fit snugly together, you need to carefully and gently remove the excess epoxy. The way I do this is to have a small cup of very hot water and a TON of q-tips at the ready. You want to dip the cotton part of the q-tip in the hot water, dab the excess water form the q-tip off on a clean towel (you want it very damp, not dripping), and begin to remove the excess epoxy in a gentle swiping/rolling motion. The hard and frustrating part can come in when you aren't gentle enough and accidentally knock the fit pieces out of place again. Be very thorough and go over the seam several times to get all the extra epoxy. Don't be afraid to use lots of q-tips as well. They are super cheap, and using a ton will help you remove the epoxy, rather than just smearing it around.
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Make sure to get the inside as well as the outside. It also helps to carefully press the pieces together again to see if you can get the crack any smaller. A second very thin bead of epoxy should squeeze out, which you will need to remove in the same way.
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Once all the excess epoxy is wiped off, carefully set the piece in the bowl of rice to dry for about 24 hours. At that point it will be safe to handle, but you don't want to make tea just yet. Wait an additional 24 hours, then boil the pot to get rid of any epoxy smell that might be lingering. The pot should be good to go after that!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Tead Off » Oct 12th, '10, 00:38

Bravo!!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby debunix » Oct 12th, '10, 00:44

The bowl of rice is a brilliant technique for positioning the broken pieces.

And fabulous work on that pot.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Oct 12th, '10, 08:26

Thanks guys. :)
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby brandon » Oct 12th, '10, 14:26

tingjunkie wrote:Thanks guys. :)


You're cracked. :P
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby rabbit » Oct 12th, '10, 15:05

they sell these furniture crayons that come in different shades of brown and they are used to repair cracks and scratches on wood furniture... I wonder if you could use that to hide the cracks on the repaired yixings?

;) added for nonc_ron's approval.
Last edited by rabbit on Oct 12th, '10, 16:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby nonc_ron » Oct 12th, '10, 15:59

rabbit wrote:they sell these furniture crayons that come in different shades of brown.

Ah ha ha... With out the use of Smiley Faces people can't tell that you're joking. I'm Sure they're a few people out there that won't make the connection between crayons (wax) and Teapots (hot) :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Oct 12th, '10, 18:07

Yeah, crayon wax meets boiling water... maybe not.

Rather than try to hide the crack, I'd rather highlight in some way. Maybe by rubbing gold paint into the crack, or clear epoxy mixed with mica powder (as per Victoria's suggestion). I will probably experiment with one of these ideas soon.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Aug 7th, '11, 10:59

Long time since this thread was updated, but as of last night, my mind is officially blown! I discovered something called Precious Metal Clay. It's just fine silver or gold powder mixed in with an organic bonding agent. You work it just like modeling clay, then fire it. The bonding agent burns off, and you are left with pure metal in whatever shape you want. They even make a paste/slip and thin sheets of the stuff.

I plan on getting some silver paste to practice with, but in the meantime, can the ceramics folks on the forum weigh in and tell me if they think this would work for fixing cracked pots? Would gluing the pieces back together with the slip, then firing them in a kiln (1650 F) hold together? Anyone work with this stuff before?

So freakin' excited at the possibilities this presents! Here is a good sampling of the products available: http://www.metalclaysupply.com/
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Drax » Aug 7th, '11, 13:32

Hrm, I hadn't thought about using PMC that way... I'll be interested in seeing if it works!

Is there any 'weirdness' in re-firing a pot...?
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby TomVerlain » Aug 7th, '11, 14:50

you might be interested in this link

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/02/AR2009030202723.html

Fav quote in it "Japanese collectors developed such a taste for kintsugi that some were accused of deliberately breaking prized ceramics, just to have them mended in gold. "

I did not read this whole thread, so someone might have mentioned this before.

Also, you might be able to grind to powder a broken piece to use as a fill or surface coating on the JB weld.
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