Can you restore my broken plate/teacup/statuette/vase or other ceramic item?
I will make an assessment of the damage first, and in most cases I will be able to restore your ceramics to a flawless finish.
Will you be able to match the colours and pattern exactly as they were before?
Yes, every effort is made to restore articles to resemble the original as closely as possible.
Will you be able to restore a ceramic article even if there are missing pieces?
Yes, I remodel missing shards, chips, hands, handles, bases, finials, etc., using task-specific casting materials which, as closely as possible, resemble the body of the ceramic in question.
If an article has missing parts, will you recreate them exactly like the original article?
Yes, wherever possible, I undertake to research images of the original, unbroken article; ensuring maximum relevance.
Do you restore any articles that are not considered crockery or ornaments?
Yes, I have undertaken the restoration of picture/mirror frames, lamp bases, ceramic door handles, ceramic light fittings, porcelain dolls, toys, enameled objects and myriad objects d’art. My services extend to the restoration of a wide range of materials, including jade, porcelain, pottery, crystal, glass, stone, ivory, marble, plaster, and resin.
Will one be able to tell if a restored article has been previously damaged?
Upon close inspection, with a trained eye, one will be able to tell that an article has been restored; however, due to my precise craftsmanship and high standards, most people will not be able to tell that an article has been restored.
Do you re-fire the broken article in a kiln to restore it?
No. Not under any circumstances. The re-firing of ceramics is an extremely unpredictable, and thus, risky procedure, not recommended by ceramics conservators. All bonding, filling and retouching of ceramics in my studio is done in a controlled manner with the aid of chemicals and their interactions. This prevents any possible further damage being incurred by articles during restoration, and also allows for the potential reversal of restorations in case this becomes necessary.
If I am not satisfied with restoration procedures performed on my article, can they be removed?
Yes. As mentioned above, all my restorations are reversible, without further damage to the item in question.
Will my restored ceramic article be as strong as it was before it was damaged?
Yes and no. While the strength of bonded breaks (e.g. handles) can be relied upon, the surface retouching will not be as robust as the original. The final decoration and ceramic glaze may lift, peel or discolour with constant use; especially in instances where an item is put in contact with heat and liquid.
Can I wash my restored item?
Yes. A gentle wiping with soap and water is recommended, taking care not to scour or soak in hot water. Dishwashers are not recommended, as the intense heat and prolonged immersion in water will be detrimental to the restored areas.
Can I cook with my restored item?
No. Heat above 30°C could damage the restored areas of the item, rendering it unsightly, or even dismantling the item along break lines.
Can my restored articles be returned to service once restored?
In some cases, yes, in others, no. In the instance of a handle, finial, base, or outer edge of an item having been restored; the restored areas will stand up very well to constant use, as long as care is taken not to heat or scour the item, or steep it in water. In the case of, for example, a teapot, teacup, or coffee cup having been broken; involving restoration on outer and inner surfaces, the restored areas may discolour after several uses, eventually degrading completely.
Do you guarantee your restorations?
Yes, I guarantee the reliability and strength of bonds, and the endurance of the high quality finish on all my restorations, excluding, however, those items intended for use. My guarantee is valid for two years on items intended for display purposes; however my restorations can be expected to last indefinitely on such items.
Is it safe to drink out of a restored teacup, or use milk from a restored milk jug?
Yes, it is completely safe to use restored articles with food and beverages.
Do you have any client referrals or examples of your work I can check before I engage your services?
I have been in business for more than 20 years and have many satisfied clients who may be contacted, as well as a substantial portfolio of work, part of which may be viewed on my ‘Before & After’ page. You may also contact ‘The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation’ for more information regarding restoration in general and about me specifically.
What are your qualifications and where did you train?
The South African Institute for Objects Conservation, (currently The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation), awarded me a certificate in ceramics restoration via its former short-course programme (introductory level), in 2002, and I have since completed five mid-career modules (also via the Institute’s former short-course dispensation). During the past 10 years of extensive and successful studio experience, I have restored more than 1,500 items.
How can I contact The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation?
The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation is contactable via their website: www.sainst.org
How can I find a ceramics restorer in my locality, as I do not wish to send my goods by post?
Should you not be able to find an alternative conservation studio in your area via an online search, The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation may be approached via their website (www.sainst.org) to assist at their discretion.
How can I get a quotation from your studio?
The easiest way to get a quotation from me is by contacting me on the ‘Contact Me’ page on this website, requesting a consultation.
Can you repair porcelain dolls?
I restore porcelain dolls depending on the extent of the damage.
You may contact me with any other questions you may have which are not covered on this FAQ page.