Repairing Broken Ceramic or Pottery
Fixing Broken pottery or ceramic
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How to Repair Broken Stone Sculpture: Lesson 11

fixing broken resin  or stone sculpture

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Broken Ceramic Repair Lessons
(click pictures)

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Plaster lamp repair w/ missing parts
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Repair Moroccan Tagine




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Repairing a Stone Sculpture with Detached Head and Missing Fragments

This tutorial / illustration was put together as an example showing how Lakeside Pottery generally repairs and restores stone sculptures. The key elements are: Choosing the right pins for strength, drilling accurately on both sides of the break lines, using the right bonding adhesive, using the right filler adhesives, hiding the repair lines and preserving the repair areas. In this example, the sculpture head broke off and was glued back on with the wrong adhesive. The old adhesive was difficult to remove and increased the repair cost. The main issue with this repair was the break line was not clean and many fragments were missing . So even if it was aligned perfectly, the break line would be very visible and therefore had to be filled. Once filled, the complex sculpture surface texture was required to be duplicated to hide the filler.

Tools used: Drill, carbide tipped drill bit, pencil, brush, paper, scissors, vice, hacksaw with metal cutting blade, putty knife, metal brush, air compressor, torch, Dremel, diamond bits, airbrush, brushes, pin tool.

Materials used: Stone dust (drilled from sculpture), Elmers glue, stainless steel threaded rod, high strength 2-part bonding epoxy, 2-part filler white epoxy mixed with stone dust, acrylic paints, matt protective clear coating.


Step-by-Step Illustrations:

The selection of drilling location needs to be in the center of stone mass on both parts, the head and the body. The drilled stone dust is saved for later to be used to fill in the large gaps between the two parts once cemented.
broken lime stone sculpture
Broken stone sculpture - about 70 lbs
drilling holes in sculpture
Drill holes using carbide tipped bit
collecting stone dust
Collect the drilled dust for later use
markeing the break edge
Mark outline of break area


Once you have drilled the holes on one side of the work, how do you match the holes in the other side? Place a paper over the drilled surface, glue it down with water soluble glue (tape did not work in this example - it did not adhere to the soft stone surfaces) and outline the hole and the edges of the stone. Then, poke holes through the paper marking drilled holes. Follow the steps below and mark the exact hole location on the other portion of the sculpture (head) for accurate alignment location transfer.

marking the drilled holes
Mark the hole location on paper
cutting paper
Cut paper

Place Elmers glue on the head side

Place head on paper
fitting head stone over base
Make sure paper does not move

Align perfectly
removing paper
Paper glued to the un-drilled part
marking holes on other side
Mark location for the holes


Note that the epoxy, once cured, is much harder than the stone in this case and therefore drilling the holes wider will not be a problem and will ease the fit requiring less accurate holes alignment. Remove dust from holes, remove old cement and clean surfaces well.


Verify marking and drill the holes
clean dust
Clean dust with air pressure
use torch to remove old hadhesive
Clear old adhesive (in this case torch)
scrape old glue
Scrape


Cut rod to size (in this case about 4-1/2"). Place in holes and verify alignment

brush and clean surfaces
Brush
cutt stainless steel rod to size
Cut metal threaded pins to size
dry run fit
Place pins and verify fit
mix epoxy
Mix Clear epoxy


Mix enough epoxy to fill holes in bottom and top and cover the surface. If using 5-minutes epoxy, make sure you are all prepared and possibly have an assistant. The 5-minites epoxy starts to set after 2-3 minutes.

Once clear epoxy is cured, mix the filler epoxy with the stone dust you have saved (about 30% dust and 70% epoxy) and fill all the gaps. In this case, we used the PC-11 slow cure filler epoxy. Wait 24 hours before handling.

apply epoxy
2-parts epoxy in holes and surface
wait for curing
Wait 8 hrs or more for epoxy to cure
mix filler epoxy with stone dust
Mix the drilled dust with white epoxy

Fill gaps and wait 24 hours to cure

Grind, drill, poke, and scratch surface to duplicate the rest of the sculpture surface texture


Using Dremel diamond bit for texture

Texture phase 1

More detailed texture creation

Repair done w/ protection coating

Match color and mix the right sand grain sizes with the matched acrylic and bonding materials


Texture accomplished - close up

Match color and mix with sands

Restoration complete




Pictured below are before and after results of a similar process.

shona stone repair
Broken Shona soap stone sculpture

Zimbabwe sculpture repaired
soap stone repair
Verdite stone elephant broken
stone african elephant
Verdite stone sculpture restored
Broken stone statue
Large stone sculpture before repair
Repaired stone statue
Large stone sculpture repaired
Antique chinese horse sculpture broken to many pieces
Broken Chinese horse sculpture
Antique chinese horse statue repaired
Chinese horse sculpture repaired


Your input is greatly appreciated and will help in creating improved pottery tips.

Thank you, Patty and Morty

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