Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MARUYAMA - Repairing Porcelain Figurine

The figurine lay broken on the floor. The carriage and 18th
century couple are intact, but the jaunty white horses are
shattered and my heart is broken.
I love the story the figurine tells. John Coachman has the air of one who is trying to be invisible. He sits on the box, eyes forward, holding the restive horses.  The pair looks ready to be off, but one horse ear is turned back, listening. Standing next to the carriage is an 18th Century couple. The courtly gentleman leans slightly forward, one hand held out palm up.  In supplication? What is he offering? Excuses?  Apologies?  Tea? Is he begging Her Ladyship to stay, or to allow him to go with her?  Has her Ladyship just arrived or is she about to depart?
 Consider her, the confidence in the perfect posture, the charm of her swaying skirt, and the tilt of her head. My Sensible Voice says, ‘That’s not a carriage dress. She isn’t dressed for travel; this is just a social call. And shouldn’t you being folding towels, or washing your car, or, I don’t know… earning a living instead of standing here inventing drama???’ And the answer is yes I should, and I do, but thoughts of Georgian romance and intrigue go with me and later I’ll dig out one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. These Old Shades, Powder and Patch, A Convenient Marriage .
The figurine sat on a shelf in my moms’ garage for years, occasionally unwrapped, admired, then carefully rewrapped while I silently promised myself that I’d unwrap it for good when I had a safe place for it and for me. I’ve lived long enough to have a few bruises where it doesn’t show. I’ve keep a lot of things wrapped up sitting on a shelf waiting for a safe place.
The figurine lay broken on the floor. The carriage and 18th century couple are intact, but the jaunty white horses were shattered and my heart was broken. It seemed like a bad omen to find it broken twice less than a week after being unpacked.  It was reasonable to assume that this time one of the Three Little Kittens had knocked over the figurine, and nothing and no one was to blame except me for not considering the route taken by a pot bellied cat traveling at high speed from window sill to door.
 I placed the broken china bits in a box but couldn’t bring myself to toss the box in the trash.  An online search confirmed what I suspected. A replacement was going to be costly - when I could find one. The loss felt bigger than just a pretty trinket and looking at the bits of china I felt more than a little sad. 
Sighing I set the box aside and turned back to the paperwork on my desk. A kitten twined its' chubby self around my ankles and settled on my feet as I sat at my desk. She looked up at me with wide eyes and blinked slowly. I felt my heart expand.  That silly kitten makes my heart full in a way a pretty trinket never could, or should.
That afternoon Someone Else begins reconstructing the china horses.  It is painstaking. Tedious. Large fragments first, then small shards, but Someone Else doesn’t seemed to mind  and I start thinking a little moss here and there might help camouflage some of the damage.  I am grateful to realize there is someone who, without being asked, is willing to help me pick up the pieces.
The figurine still has a story to tell.  In fact its' value has increased in my eyes. Patched up and imperfect like me, like most of us, it survives and I am glad.

 Repairing a figurine using Super glue tips:

Use the glue sparingly. Dab a small amount on each side of the join.

Gently hold the pieces of your ceramic figurine in place for a few minute to give the glue time to set up.

Use masking tape to hold the piece together while the glue cures. Carefully tape across the glued portion of the figurine. Let it set for at least three hours.

 Clean your hands or any surfaces of glue before it dries.

Wipe any glue in excess on the ceramic figurine away with a cotton swab - you can dip it in nail polish remover.
Repair Tutorials -Suggested Link:

1 comment:

  1. We just had the same incident. Our dog accidentally knocked over our figurine display. Luckily, the damage was not that bad and we'll be able to fix the broken pieces. We just painted the figurine to make it look sort-of new.


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