Petite Exhibit: Riveted, Repaired & Reused: A Lost Method of Mending Ceramics

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 4:30pm

Hasn’t everyone broken a dish before?  In today’s throw-away society most will either discard the broken dish directly in the trash without even thinking about it or simply get out the super glue and attempt to repair it.

Prior to the development of the strong adhesives or epoxies, that we are all familiar with today, a widely used method of repair included the use of rivets or often referred to as staples, even though no staple gun was involved.  This ancient and lost method of repairing ceramics is no longer in practice nor is it recommended by museum conservators for obvious reasons, including the difficulty of reversing the often damaging repair.

Today these rediscovered riveted repairs look unbelievable in nature.  How could a craftsman hand drill holes into a fragile dish and then hammer in small metal rivets to secure two broken pieces back together?  The technology was highly specialized and required skills that are no longer used.  Most museums that have any quantity of ceramics undoubtedly have examples of dishes, bowls, tea cups and saucers, or platters with stapled repairs.  Come visit the HOF to discover their small collection of riveted repairs.

This petite exhibit is included with general museum admission.