Viw Magazine

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  • Written by NewsCo

Whether it was your cat or child, when a bit of china or earthenware gets broken, it can be rather upsetting. But don't panic, there are solutions! Whether you get your hands dirty and fix it yourself, or send it to a professional, often you can find a way. There are cases, however, where an item is broken beyond repair and sometimes it's best just to say goodbye, bin it, and move on.

Times when you can fix it yourself

As long as you have all or most of the pieces, often you can fix the china yourself. First, you need to collect any chips or broken bits together, and then decide what tools and glue you will use to repair it.

In the case of a cup, plate, or dish that you use and wash regularly, it’s best to go for a water and dishwasher-resistant superglue that dries transparently or a special glass glue if your item is a bit more delicate in terms of material. This will create a long-lasting bond that will be barely distinguishable to the eye, securing your china indefinitely.

This kind of glue is the best way to fix china and similar items. Just be sure not to get it on your fingers as it dries rather quickly! It’s a good idea to keep a bit of solvent handy just in case!

If however, the item has smashed into many pieces, or you are unable to retrieve key parts (such as the handle in the case of cups and teapots), you might need to consider a different approach.

When to give it to a specialist

There are two circumstances whereby you may need to give your item to a specialist. 

The first is if it is valuable or an antique. These items that we take the best of care of are not immune to accidents and sometimes we may find ourselves in a situation whereby they need some TLC. If your item is rare or collectible, you may need to track down a specialist who has experience in restoring this kind of item. For example, if it’s crafted by a certain artist or producer, find someone who works with similar or the same items.

If it’s completely broken and is not a specialist piece, but you want to repair it anyway, some various craftspeople or conservators can help you. They will typically cost less than specialists or antique restorers but always get a quote first to be sure it’s worth your while.

When it’s time to throw it away

Sometimes it’s best to just cut your losses and chuck it in the bin. If your item is broken beyond all recognition, you can't find key parts of it, and it isn’t a high value, it’s probably not worth the effort. This would also be the case if the cost of repair is higher than the price you paid, or its value.

The only exception to this rule is items that have sentimental value which is therefore priceless in the eyes of you, the owner.  In cases like this, it might be hard to go get rid of anything with a sentimental attachment and story.

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