Your Questions Answered

Please telephone me or e-mail me before you bring or send me anything for restoration, so that we can discuss whether it is feasible, how long it may take, and how much it might cost.

Payment is required on collection or before delivery. I take cash, personal cheques, or payment by PayPal to my email address show on the home page.

I accept work by post from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Goods will be returned to you by recorded delivery unless you advise me otherwise (e.g. for insurance purposes).

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Q. Do you repair glass, metal, plaster, papier-mache, enamels or plastic?
I specialise in ornaments and tableware of ceramic materials, e.g. porcelain, bone china, stoneware, pottery and even terra-cotta. I can also restore the type of resin casting which is becoming increasingly popular (See under Resin Castings) and hope to expand into glassware soon.

Q. What is the difference between Repair and Restoration?
Repair or Conservation puts an item together again with an adhesive and prevents further damage. The repair is usually visible. Restoration involves repairing the item and then concealing the repair by painting over the area. A perfect restoration will be invisible.

Q. Is a restored item as good as new?
No it’s not. We can’t use the same means to repair ceramics as was used to make them in the first place. We have to use special adhesives and paints; these are softer and do not wear as well as the original material.

Besides this, certain types of finish are very difficult or impossible to reproduce by painting; in particular lustre or certain translucent coatings cannot be reproduced well, and gilding of significant areas is best done by a specialist. If there is a problem in this area, I will discuss it before proceeding.

Another consideration is the amount of work needed; generally I try to make a restoration very inconspicous - even if total invisibility is attainable, it is usually a lot more expensive!

Q. I have an ornament which was broken and stuck together very badly. Can you improve it for me?
Most badly-repaired ceramic items can be taken apart and reassembled to a much higher standard. Up to half of all jobs I get have been previously repaired by amateurs. (See examples under Moorcroft, Royal Doulton and others).  This may not be possible with resin castings.

Q. I have a vase which has a small crack in it, but it is stained. Can you clean this and fix the crack?
Yes, generally !

Q. I have broken a Woolworth’s mug which has great sentimental value. Can you fix this sort of thing, besides rare antiques?
Indeed I can. A lot of my work is on items of little intrinsic value, but great sentimental value.

Q. Can I have an item from my china tea set restored so that I can use it again sometimes?
You can have it repaired or restored, but it may not be possible to use some items. For example, you can have a cleanly broken handle on a teacup repaired, and it can be restored so that it would be reasonably durable to washing and could be used occasionally. But if a cup required painting on the inside to restore it, it would not be a good idea to drink tea out of it!
Food or drink should never come into contact with paints or adhesives, in case of toxic or allergic reactions!

Simple repairs can often be tough enough to withstand daily use for a while, but eventually they will weaken and break again.

I will assume that any item sent to me is for decorative purposes only, unless you tell me otherwise.

Q. Some of the bits have got lost! Can you do anything about this?
This is a very common problem, and can usually be fixed, if I can work out what it ought to look like. A figurine with a missing head would obviously cause difficulty!

Q. So what do I do with the broken pieces?
Count the pieces and note the number. Try and find them all, even little chips!

Do not wash them. Wrap each piece in tissue paper or kitchen paper. Small chips may be put in envelopes. KEEP EACH PIECE SEPARATE, ESPECIALLY the chips! Please don’t let adhesives (e.g. Sellotape) come in contact with the bits.

Put all the wrapped bits in a good box - an old biscuit tin is often ideal if it is to be posted - with enough packing material ( e.g. crumple up an old newspaper ) to fill it well, and enclose your name, address, telephone number, a note of the number of broken pieces enclosed, and any other information.

Bring or send the box to me for an estimate!

Q. And how much is it likely to cost?
For a small crack or chip, or a single very clean break on a small item, a minimum of around £10.
A medium-sized ornament, broken into 3 pieces, and with a couple of chips off, needing some straightforward redecoration, might cost around £40 - £50..
There would be a charge for postage and packing if needed.

Q. How long does it take to get a piece repaired or restored?
A minimum of two weeks, and up to some months. The high quality materials used often dry or cure very slowly, and a complex item will have to go through many stages. It also depends, let it be said, on the restorer’s current workload!

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