Yixing Repair... American Style


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Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 26th, '10, 19:17

After recently being a schmuck and breaking the knob off of a late 60's Yixing pot, I tried my hand at doing a little DIY teaware repair. To my surprise, the repair worked rather well. To my even greater surprise, my friends were impressed enough with my fix that they asked me to repair some of their pots for them.

So now, I am happy to announce four poor wounded yixing soldiers have now been put back into service. I have been using JB Weld Marine epoxy to glue these pots back together- it's non-toxic, waterproof, safe up to 500 degrees F, and is much stronger than super glue. My only complaint is that the epoxy dries an ugly battleship gray- I'm looking into a clear version now though, so perhaps I'll be switching. Here are some photos of the repairs, but keep in mind that I purposely tried to highlight the cracks with lighting and a macro lens. In person, they aren't as noticeable unless you get real close and squint:

My original attempt a fixing the knob I broke off while trying to enlarge the knob hole- doahhh!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2728/440 ... 70cc_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4031/440 ... 5e6d_b.jpg

Here are two lovely pots donated to 'Tingjunkie's Yixing Hospital for the Cracked' by my friend Kingston- an 80's Hong Ni Shui Pin, and a 90's Quing Shui Ni reproduction piece.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2685/446 ... f2ba_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/446 ... 64e8_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4067/446 ... bbd2_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4070/446 ... 42d5_b.jpg

And my best work yet (if I do say so myself). A Taiwanese pot belonging to a friend whose handle broke off in two pieces. In person, you have to stare real hard to see that this was ever broken at all.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4029/446 ... aa49_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2741/446 ... 5243_b.jpg

For future repairs, I'm also looking into waterproof, non-toxic gold paint to rub into the cracks for that authentic repair look. Not sure if it exists, but I'll find out.

And since I had my camera out, I decided to take a family photo just for fun.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2693/446 ... 817c_b.jpg

My masters thesis in Yixing repair is sitting on my table now- a thin walled hong ni shui pin that's currently in 9 pieces. I am planning on documenting the process on that one and will post it here for those interested. I estimate the repair will take at least 9 days, so don't look for the "how to" too soon. :D
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 26th, '10, 19:24

So let me add... if anyone out there has cracked good quality pots they can't bare to throw away, either give this epoxy a try, or pm me and I can take it off your hands on the cheap. :wink:
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby debunix » Mar 26th, '10, 20:41

I have a dinky yixing that I was going to just replace, but it looks like the shop has stopped carrying the ones I liked so much--60mL with a small strainer spout, so I saved it and have been pondering a repair. JB weld shouldn't be too hard to come by. Will try, and post before and afters when I do!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 26th, '10, 21:08

Good luck debunix. I used q-tips to apply a small amount of epoxy to the broken edges- basically just paint on a very thin layer to both sides. Once you fit the pieces together the epoxy should squeeze out a bit. Just carefully wipe off the extra epoxy with a damp (not wet) q-tip. Also, a bowl of dry rice can go a long way when you need to lightly hold two pieces in place together as they dry.
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby debunix » Mar 26th, '10, 21:18

tingjunkie wrote:a bowl of dry rice can go a long way when you need to lightly hold two pieces in place together as they dry.


Great tips, especially this last one, thanks!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby TIM » Mar 26th, '10, 21:26

These are fantastic work my man! You need a rep. an agent, how's 15% sounds!! Well done! Get a shop started :D
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 26th, '10, 22:41

TIM wrote:These are fantastic work my man! You need a rep. an agent, how's 15% sounds!! Well done! Get a shop started :D


Haha. Thanks Tim! Why don't you just offer my services on your new webite? The most exquisite, sought-after teas in the world, and some guy who glues pots together. What a team! :lol:
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Tead Off » Mar 27th, '10, 01:44

tingjunkie wrote:So let me add... if anyone out there has cracked good quality pots they can't bare to throw away, either give this epoxy a try, or pm me and I can take it off your hands on the cheap. :wink:

Very worthwhile attempt! Just think of all the pots that have been thrown away by owners who didn't think they could be salvaged. Now, the next step after the clear glue will be coloring the glue for perfect matches. Are you up for the challenge?! :D
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 27th, '10, 12:08

Thanks Tead Off. The bead of epoxy is so thin that (in theory) I bet clear epoxy would be so unnoticeable that coloring it would be more trouble than it's worth. We'll see. As I said though, I might experiment with waterproof gold paint in the cracks to give the repair the traditional look. I'll keep you updated. :wink:
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby Victoria » Mar 27th, '10, 12:53

Wow, nice work! I actually like the gray, it serves as a "battle scar" of sorts. I think I like it better than just seeing a crack and not knowing if it is fixed, do you know what I mean?

But I understand your concern esthetically. I wonder if some mica powder could be added?

Nice family shot!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 27th, '10, 23:07

Mica powder you say? Hmmm... time to do some more research. :D
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby chicagopotter » Mar 28th, '10, 08:18

I wonder if there is a way they could be re-fired in a kiln for repair?
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 28th, '10, 18:02

chicagopotter wrote:I wonder if there is a way they could be re-fired in a kiln for repair?


I'm no pottery whiz, and I can't remember the reasoning,but I definitely remember this being discussed, and the answer was a 'no.' But, I'm of the school of 'where there is a will there is a way.' :wink:
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby bearsbearsbears » Mar 29th, '10, 14:28

chicagopotter wrote:I wonder if there is a way they could be re-fired in a kiln for repair?


Paperclay!
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Re: Yixing Repair... American Style

Postby tingjunkie » Mar 30th, '10, 00:17

Just an update for those interested...

I am now pretty confident this epoxy will hold up to regular gongfu use. I just boiled the hong ni pot and repaired lid in water for a couple hours to prepare it for use, and there is no sign of the epoxy weakening the slightest bit.

Duct tape, WD-40, and JB Weld... three things no home should ever be without! :lol:
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