Ceramic Projects

Roseville Futura Vase

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American art pottery is one of our owner Michael's very favorite types of object to restore. Each studio had its own distinct style that would evolve throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The molded stoneware, low relief, and incised decoration was a carefully crafted backdrop for glazes that would highlight the form and texture of the pottery. This Roseville vase was manufactured in the late 1920s as part of the Futura pattern. Perhaps it is a more modest example of the Art Deco style, but it ...

Picasso Woman Lamp

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This is one of many editions Pablo Picasso created in collaboration with Madoura Pottery. Every piece in the edition, titled Woman Lamp, is hand-painted and unique. A face is depicted on each side with incised lines and a familiar palette of glazes over engobe. Though some of the damage to the piece was new, there was evidence of previous restoration. This isn't unusual when it comes to pottery of this quality. Everything was carefully reassembled, minimizing any evidence of adhesive. Such porous surfaces are ...

Blanc de Chine Figure

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This Blanc de Chine figure likely depicts the Taoist immortal, Magu. She is often shown as a beautiful young woman, adorned with flowers, holding a ewer containing the elixir of life in hands with long, delicate fingernails, and is accompanied by a deer, a symbol of immortality. Similar items, also known as Dehua porcelain, were created as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This example, however, likely dates from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The clear glaze over the white porcelain can create a ...

Bente Hansen Sculpture

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This piece by contemporary ceramic artist Bente Hansen was a perfect candidate for our more conservative restoration techniques. The fine stoneware was reassembled almost seamlessly allowing the restorer to fill the losses and match the glaze with minimal impact to the original aesthetic of the sculpture. Art pottery is one of our specialties and we were delighted to see such a fine example coming to us by a Danish artist.  

Jazz Bowl

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This magnificent ceramic bowl is about 20” in diameter. About eighteen of them were made and it is considered one of the iconic pieces of Art Deco ceramics. It portrays symbols of New York night life in the 1930s, hence its name: the Jazz Bowl. Two of them were purchased by Eleanor Roosevelt – one for their private home and one for the White House. One of them, however, seems to have been purchased and forgotten – and it wound ...

Vintage Bathroom Sink

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There are times when a sink or other porcelain fixture is worth saving. Sometimes it is part of a color suite, and the whole set would need to be changed out (exact color matches in porcelain replacements are extremely hard to find except in white). The durability and design of such a piece may also be irreplaceable, as there was a time when plumbing fixtures were made to last as long as possible. This sink had two problems – there was ...

Porcelain Sauce Boat

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This Meissen porcelain sauce boat, in the traditional onion pattern, had lost a handle. In order to replace it we molded and then cast a replacement from the handle on the other side. We used a water-clear, non-yellowing optical epoxy that we carefully tinted to be a good match for the surrounding porcelain – not only the right color, but the correct degree of translucency. This handle, when joined to the piece, fit so well that we decided with the ...

Shattered Porcelain Vase

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This porcelain vase was so smashed that it is hard to imagine what happened to it. It required the patient, deductive skill of a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast to fit all the pieces together. Then the chips were filled and the lines coated with an optical epoxy so that the pieces could be safely sanded smooth without damaging the porcelain surface underneath. Airbrushing and careful hand-painting followed, with a final coat of a durable glaze that was hand rubbed to the ...

Heirloom Porcelain Plate

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This is a straightforward job for our studio, and a few examples need to be shown because such jobs are, in fact, the bulk of the work that we do: plates and other objects that may have no great value, but are a part of someone’s life – for whatever reason. In such cases we are often asked to put the pieces together, to fill whatever missing areas there may be, and to hand paint the damage. The effect of such ...

Blue and White Chinese Ewer

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This lovely early Ming xuan-de pitcher had old cracks in the handle and the spout support. We sealed these cracks first to give as much strength as possible to its slender curves, then we filled and airbrushed the cracks, recreating the spreading softness that the underglaze blue cobalt glaze acquires when it is fired. It is a challenge to soften these color edges, and to perfectly recreate the subtle range of blue shades that the cobalt takes on as it ...