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Pottery/Repairing Clay Prior To Firing


QUESTION: I have problems with pre fired clay projects, getting from my home to the kiln.  Part, ie, ears, stems, etc break off when moved.  
I use soldate 60 clay and make sculptures big and small, how do I repair cracks, and broken parts, prior to and after bisque firing? See attached picture.  The ear broke off prior to having it bisque fired.
Thank you

ANSWER: Dear Tom,

Thank you for your recent question. First, lets address the transportation problem for it is better to fire a whole piece than to have to repair one. When transporting your bisque ware, it is best to place your pieces in individual boxes with at least 5 inches between the piece and the box edges, all the way around. Place approximately 10 inches of shredded paper in the box, then place the bisque ware inside and center it. Continue to add shredded paper until the box is full. If you have delicate pieces on the bisque ware, such as the ears on your dog, allow the head to extend above the box. The shredded paper should be thick enough to prevent the bisque item from falling over, but not dense enough to cause breakage or keep the bisque ware from giving when the car moves or hits a bump in the road.

As for the repairs, yes, you can repair the bisque ware. The link below will take you to Bailey Ceramic Supply where you can purchase Mr. Mark's Ware Repair, located about the middle of the page. It is very inexpensive and you can glaze over the repair. You can fire it up to cone 10. I have used this before and it does very well on repairs. However, there are some tricks to getting the ware mended.

Apply Mr. Mark's Ware Repair to each side of the broken piece. Make sure there is at least a 1/4" build up of the repair on each end. Place each end together and hold long enough for the pieces to attach. Wait up to 10 minutes for the repair to set, but not long enough for it to completely dry.

Take a small very soft brush and apply the repair to the brush and gently brush the repair vertically across the mend applying a new layer of repair onto the mended area. Do this on both sides of the broken bisque pieces. Wait up to 10 minutes for the application to set, but not long enough for it to completely dry.

Repeat the brush application again, but this time, follow the broken area with the brush. Allow to completely dry. I let my work set for at least 12 hours.

To assure the pieces do not separate during the initial stages of firing, I carefully place a piece of masking tape over the inside and outside areas of the repair. It doesn't have to be pressed down onto the repaired area, only attached to either side of each piece. Then fire the ware.

Once fired, you may find that the mended pieces are rough and have sharp pieces of the fired repair on the surface. Use a Dremel tool with a grinding stone, on low, to gently grind off the repair until smooth on the surface of the bisque ware. Do not press down hard on the repair, but allow the Dremel tool to gently take off the excess repair. This should smooth up the surface and create a match between the broken piece and the original piece. Then, glaze as normal and fire as normal.

The link to the repair is below.

I hope this helps you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service. Happy Holiday's and much luck to you.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your help.  Is it the same for damage after firing?

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your follow up question. If your ware is still in the bisque stage, yes, you can repair it using the above instructions.

However, if you have already applied glaze and fired, you will need to use a two part epoxy glue to repair the ware. To repair, mix the epoxy according to instructions. Use a toothpick to apply the epoxy to each piece, being careful not to get the epoxy on the glazed surface. Attach the pieces together and hold for 20 seconds. If you are able to press the pieces together with enough force to cause a little epoxy to squeeze from the joint, then carefully clean off any epoxy using a clean toothpick and by scraping the epoxy along the edges of the mended sections. Allow to dry.

Remember, any pottery piece mended with epoxy is not food safe.

I hope this further answers your questions. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


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Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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