bone-dry clay repair 9.21.2017

I made another coil-built vessel out of porcelain clay (you can view a similar pot I made earlier this year here.) After the latest piece was bone-dry, which means all moisture has evaporated from the clay and it’s ready to be bisque fired, I picked it up to dust off any teeny bits of clay left, and in doing so, broke part of the top edge off. Here’s a pic of the broken piece.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 3.27.53 PM

Of course, I know that bone-dry clay is VERY brittle and that it breaks apart easily, but the perfectionist part of me couldn’t resist touching the pot. My first thought was something like oh s*** – I’ve wrecked it. And I was going to throw the whole piece in the reclaim bucket, where all unfired broken pots and clay scraps go to be recycled and one day be made into new and wonderful pots. But then I remembered all the work that went in to this piece, and thought that perhaps there was a way to save it.

I wrapped a damp towel around the top edge, then wrapped the entire pot-with-towel in a plastic bag and let it sit for a day. When I opened it back up, the top edge of the broken pot had softened up sufficiently for me to work some new clay back into the broken area. Here’s what it looks like today!


I can’t tell it was ever broken! I’ll let it dry super slowly, in hopes that the pot and the new clay “get to know each other” and the chance of cracking is lessened. And I won’t try to perfect it any more once it’s dry. I just hope it makes it through both kiln firings!

UPDATE January 2018


It worked! Here’s a pic of the final piece.


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