Pottery made to order | repair and restoration studio in Southern Delaware

Repairing Pottery With Metal Staples





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Lakeside Pottery Kintsugi repair
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Broken Ceramic Repair Lessons
(click pictures)

Fixing broken plate lesson - basic lesson
Cementing only lesson
Fixing chipped Italian platter lesson step-by-step lesson
Chipped pottery repair lesson

Fixing broken vase - more complex repair
Restore vase lesson
How to Replace Stoneware Crock's rim using the potter's wheel
How to replace Stoneware crock's rim
Cementing, filling, coloring and glazing broken antique plate
Restore plate lesson including coloring
kintsugi - mending broken pottery with gold
Kintsugi - mending with gold
How to repair crack in ceramic
How to fix ceramic crack
Restoring multi breaks and missing piece antique bowl
Restore bowl lesson w/ missing pieces
How to paint broken china, ceramic or pottery?
Painting pottery after repair
Restoring ceramic sculpture with missing pieces using fired clay
Sculpting missing pieces
Restoring ceramic sculpture with missing pieces using fired clay
Making missing part w/ fired clay
Restoring small porcealin figurines - shoe
Miniature Porcelain
Repairing broken stone sculptures and statues
Repairing broken stone sculpture

Using Metal Pegs and Pins To Join Broken Pottery

Hundreds of years ago before the availability of adhesives, pottery was repaired with metal staples or rivets on particularly valuable pieces holding together the broken ceramic segments. Small holes were drilled in to the piece and then the staples are inserted. Remaining holes space were sometimes filled with organic glue or clay colored or painted to conceal the repair.

We often receive antique Japanese or Chinese vessels repaired with staples and are asked to convert them to a seamless repair. In each case, we attempt to convince the owner to keep the staple-repaired vessel as is to appreciate it's beauty and the skill required to join broken pottery at a time when adhesives were not available. When we do reverse the old repair, as I remove the old staples, I find myself saddened apologizing to the skilled person who skilfully brought the vessel back to life long before I was born. This page was created to shed some light on this extinct repair method, it's beauty and historical value with the hope that it remains as is.


There are cases today where pegs and pins are required even with a seamless repair, Some examples are shown at the end of this page.


The Last Staples Repair Person - China




Reversing Staple Repair Implementing a Seamless Repair

The antique Chinese below arrived for repair requiring to remove the old staples / rivets repairs and re-restore it seamlessly using current and modern process and materials.

This past imperfect but inventive repair lasted for hundreds of years and we truly appreciated the staples implementation and tried to persuade the owner to keep it the way it to preserve history. Unfortunately he insisted to proceed with a seamless repair and we had to remove the staples as shown below.

Pottery repair with staples

Stapled chinese antique bowl
metal covering chipped bowl
Metal covering missing chip
cutting staples with diamond dremel disc
Diamond disc cutting off staples

staples / rivets removed

staples / rivets removed

Metal removed from chip

bowl cemented, breaklines and staple holes filled
Holes and break line filled up with PC11 epoxy filler
filler sanded
Filler sanded and polished - rear

filler sanded
Filler sanded and polish - front
Bowl restored seamlessly
Seamless repair - front

Bowl restored seamlessly
Seamless repair - rear (see repair step-by-step lesson)


Using Pegs and Pins in Cases When Modern Adhesives are Not Effective

Some other examples of using metal pegs, pins and rivets to enhance mechanical integrity of areas with narrow cross sections with heavy load bearing forces (e.g., handles). We have been using this technique in hundreds of cases in places where adhesives alone is not sufficient.
creating a slot across repair line

peg inserted and cemented
Long brass peg along multiple handle breaks
Long brass peg along multiple handle breaks


peg insertend in cemented pitcher handle

Fragmentes stone sculpture using metal insertion technique
Fragments stone sculpture using metal insertion technique





Four pegs inserted in fingers, filled and sanded ready for painting
Four pegs inserted in fingers, filled and sanded ready for painting
Three pegs inserted to proprly bond a horse tail to it's body
Three pegs inserted to properly bond a horse tail to it's body

steps repairing large stone sculptureMore details of how this large Shona sculpture was restored



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