How to Repair Hairline Crack in Pottery

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Just imagine that your favorite coffee mug that was gifted by someone special, or a pottery bowl that you have sculpted on your own with all your heart, has got a hairline crack on it. It is heartbreaking, right? But nothing is a problem when you have the appropriate solution right at your hand. Yes, you can repair your ceramic pot quite easily at home by following some simple steps. Reviving your cracked pottery and reliving the memories again while sipping from your favorite coffee mug is going to give you inner joy.

 

Ceramic potteries are fragile enough when it comes in contact with any kind of roughness. So, the first thing you should do to save your potteries from such cracking defects is that you should handle them carefully. However, it is quite impossible to stay cautious all the time, and accidental affairs may happen at any moment. If your pottery breaks into pieces, then it might be difficult or nearly impossible to revive it again. But little or hairline cracks are something that you can fix if you follow specific tactics and tricks.

 

Here in this article, we are going to discuss some magical hacks that can give your favorite pottery piece a new life again. All that you need to do is follow them step by step carefully. So now, let’s get started.

 

Methods of repairing hairline cracks in pottery

There are several ways to repair a hairline crack in pottery. And here we are going to discuss some of them. So, let’s get started with the methods that you can apply to give your cracked potteries a new life:

 

1. Fixing pottery cracks at the greenware stage:

If you find a pottery crack at the greenware stage, then there are many scopes to repair it. However, it is quite challenging to find out a hairline crack as they are too fine to be visible. And such fine cracks are enough to lead to the breaking of your pot. So, once you find the fissure, repair it immediately to prevent further more fissures.

 

 

  • Cracks tend to appear at structurally weak points of a clay pot, where the coils get attached or where two walls of the pottery get to meet. Added stress or carelessness while building your pottery may be the reason for the formation of such cracks. So, have a minute checking at those places to find out a hairline crack.

 

  • Once you are successful in finding one, try fixing it when the clay is at the leather-hard stage. You have to start fixing the crack by covering a lot more areas near the exact place of cracking. Take soft clays and fill them into those places by compressing the clay.

 

  • To normalize the addition of wet clay with the previous clay body and let it dry, you can wrap it with a plastic wrapper. It will make the repairing clay stick onto the pottery body permanently. It is better not to use water during this time as excessive moisture may exaggerate the crack. Once the entire clay pot is dry, you will be able to see that you have repaired the fractures successfully.

 

2. Repairing at the bone-dry stage:

You have to be a bit more careful while repairing pottery cracking at the bone-dry stage. As at this point, you don’t have much choice to do with your clay body. Adding some wet clay to repair the cracks is not going to help while bisque firing your pottery. Instead, the fissures might grow in this way. So, avoid adding soft clay, as you did in the previous method. If you want to repair a hairline crack at this bone-dry stage, then follow the below stated process:

 

  • You can try paper clays to repair such points. Get some toilet papers to make paper pulp out of it. Then, mix it with the same clay that you have used for making your pot. Make sure that you are not adding too much water into it. Let the mixture dry a little bit to have similar consistency like that of putty.

 

  • Score the cracked area properly and apply a small amount of water to avoid roughness. After this, you have to fill up the scored place with the paper clay mixture and let it dry before bisque firing it. Make sure that there are no cracks left on the pottery body before opting for bisque firing.

 

3. Pegging method to repair hairline cracks:

Pegging is one of the efficient processes to repair pottery cracks with more mechanical integrity and strength. Before applying this technique, make sure that the thickness of your pot’s wall is quite prominent to get through this repairing method. Below we have provided detailed steps of the said technique in the form of a chart for your easy understanding.

 

Steps

Processes

How to execute?

Step 1 Find the crack and grind the peg insertion Find out the crack first. Then you have to grind channels on the side of the fissures to allow the epoxy to become clear so that the peg can penetrate through the walls of the pot.
Step 2 Prepare the copper peg for insertion Cut a required amount of copper wire based on the measurement of the crack. Use a razor blade to insert through the cracks and make the gap wide enough for plotting the copper wire.
Step 3 Start cementing the wire Start cementing to stick the copper wire properly onto the crack. Heat the pot and associated epoxy at 120-140°F temperature to make the epoxy melt a bit and penetrate through the cracked wall. Then, microwave the pottery for 2-5 minutes.

Check if the epoxy has reached the other side of the crack. Remove the razor blade and insert the clamp before the epoxy hardens. Then, again heat your pottery inside the oven to achieve optimum strength.

Step 4 Fill in and cover the repaired place Take some filler epoxy and sand it with some rotary power tool to fill the lines of repair.
Step 5 Finish off with coloring and glazing Once you are done with filling, hide that place by adding some colors and glaze, and give it a beautiful finishing.

 

 

4. Repairing your cracked pot with milk:

This method is one of the easiest processes for fixing pottery cracks. This technique almost costs you nothing and too simple to do at any time. Milk has an organic and natural protein glue in it, called casein. It gets separated from milk when it is heated and tends to stick onto hard material and settle down there. So, when this glue comes in contact with cracks, it settles in between the two rough edges of the fissure.

 

Besides, if you use your cracked pottery for food purposes, then it is the most effective and non-toxic process that is undoubtedly going to help you. However, how long this repair will last is something that you cannot be sure of. But sometimes it may last for years as well. Also, it is a much quicker way to fix your ceramic cracks. So, here is how you can execute this process.

 

 

  • Take the cracked pot and place it in a bowl or saucepan. Fill the pan with milk and make sure that the cracked pottery gets drowned in the milk.

 

  • Simmer the pan to bring the milk slowly to the boiling point. Don’t boil it vigorously as it may cause more cracking. Once the milk reaches the boiling point, let it boil for some time and simmer it again for an hour.

 

  • After that, place the milk aloof to become cold. After it has completely cooled down, remove your pot from the milk and let it sit for 1-2 days before using it further. Thus, you get cleanly repaired pottery.

 

5. Repairing using a cyanoacrylate glue:

Cyanoacrylate glue can be used as a quick fix to repair hairline cracks in your pottery. This super glue sticks onto the fissures quite fast and creates a strong bond of adhesion by using only a small amount of it. This liquid glue is resistant to water and heat and adheres finely to the pot’s body.

 

 

Though the glue works magically in sticking cracks, it is toxic to use. So, one should not strictly apply it to such ceramics that are used for food purposes. If you want to fix the potteries used for decoration or other purposes, you can quickly fix them by using this super glue. So, let us have a glance at the steps of this repairing technique:

 

  • Find the cracked places on the pot first. Then, wipe the area with a tissue to make sure that there is no dirt or oil left on the surface.

 

  • Apply the glue evenly to that place and make sure that you are not using your fingers to apply this glue. Use a stick or something similar to it to apply the adhesive. You can use cyanoacrylate glues like the Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue Gel for a lovely finishing and superb adhering.

 

  • Make sure you have applied enough amount of glue to allow it for soaking properly.

 

  • After 4-5 seconds, while the glue is still wet, wipe off the excess adhesive with a tissue.

 

  • Let the pot sit for some time to become dry, and after that, you will see that the cracks have disappeared.

 

6. Fixing with a 2-part epoxy:

Cracks also can be fixed using epoxy glue. Epoxy is a two-part adhesive that consists of a resin and hardening agent. It creates a firm bond that works quite well in sticking the cracks. So, fill in the fractured areas on the surface of the pottery by using the 2-part epoxy glue. Now, let’s proceed with the process step by step.

 

Steps

Processes

Step 1 Fill a bucket with sand that will serve as the potholder. It will help you in holding the pot in an angled way.
Step 2 Take the cracked pot and smoothen its rough edges. Use sandpaper on the sides of the crack and rub it onto the place evenly to get rid of raggedness on the pot’s surface.
Step 3 Clean the place using cotton soaked with 91% of alcohol. Then, wipe off the area properly and allow it to become dry for some time. This action helps in sticking of the adhesive firmly and also wipes away the excess dirt and oil that might be present in the fissure.
Step 4 Mix the 2-part epoxy glue properly by keeping it onto a plastic surface. Whisk the mix quickly, or else it can get dried. Once blended well, fill it into the chipped section of the pot evenly with the help of a stick. Never use your fingers to apply the glue, as its powerful adhesive nature may coalesce your fingers.
Step 5 Let the adhesive set for some more time to get dried properly, and after 15-20 minutes once it is completely dry, scrape off the dried adhesive using a razor or knife. After that, use sandpaper over the place to smooth out the surface properly.
Step 6 Finish it off by applying paint onto the cracked area of the pot. You can also use transparent acrylic gloss on the color for better finishing.

 

 

Wrapping up:

 

 

Why throw away your favorite pottery piece when you can fix it on your own that too quite effortlessly? Merely apply the methods mentioned above to give a new life to your pot. Be careful enough while working with such fragile objects. Damage may happen anytime.

 

So, avoid keeping your pottery pieces on the edge of a table or rack. Also, don’t pour piping hot water or any liquid directly into ceramic pottery. These will lead to instant hairline cracking or even breaking of your pot.

 

However, in case your pottery gets a hairline crack, these hacks will rescue you from it. We hope that the afore-said methods and techniques are undoubtedly going to help you with fixing your pottery collection. Happy sculpting!

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