Case Study: the ceramic dog and rabbit

One of the biggest causes of restoration is due to damage happening in transit. When special items are entrusted to transport companies to be safely delivered it is frustrating when instead they arrive needing repair.

For particularly fragile ceramics, safe handling for long journeys is particularly important. For Mr Grisdale, his two ceramic ornaments were damaged while being moved to a new home.

Mr Grisdale contacted the studio to see if we would be able to help, and with our expertise in repairing ceramics, we were glad to take a look and offer our advice.

The Restoration

The two solitary ornaments are of a rabbit and a dog. They are important pieces to Mr Grisdale, and likely date back to the 1920s or 1930s.

The breakages both happened on the most fragile areas (and therefore the most susceptible to damage), to the ears. The ear on the dog ornament was snapped off in one piece, but the ear of the rabbit was broken into fragments. 

It was very helpful that Mr Grisdale gathered as many of the broken pieces as possible. This allowed us to see that some remoulding work would likely be necessary for the rabbit ornament.

Once they arrived in the studio, the ornaments were first cleaned to remove any dirt and contaminants, particularly around the damaged areas. It was important to ensure that the ornaments and the damaged parts were cleaned so that when were rejoined, the finish was as seamless as possible and did not contain any contaminants in the join. Due to the ornaments being hollow, it was important to guarantee that all dirt was removed and not left trapped inside.

The piece of the dog ornament that was saved, and intact, was re-attached using a bonding material. 

For the rabbit ornament, there were some minor parts missing and so were subsequently re-moulded to carefully match the rest of the ornament’s structure, texture and aesthetic style. 

The colour matching of the newly remoulded areas was carefully considered. The rabbit ornament has greying ears and black stripes inbetween. With precision and care, the areas were carefully colour matched and in-painted for a discreet and uniform finish. The subtle details of the ear were also closely considered, in keeping with the artist’s impression.

The result was a seamless restoration, and Mr Grisdale was delighted with the outcome after receiving the ornaments back.

We were absolutely delighted with the restoration of our ornaments, please thank your restorers. We could not remember which side of the items were damaged and had to check the ‘damage’ photographs to be reminded! There is not a blemish to indicate the repairs.

We were very pleased to restore such sentimental ornaments, and were delighted to receive a grateful thank you note afterwards from our client.

For further insight into the restoration of ceramics, you can read our advice on how to deal with a breakage, learn more about the ceramic restoration process, or contact us if you would like our recommendations and a quote for your own items.

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