A Tea Addict's Journal

A fixed pot

February 19, 2009 · 9 Comments

I was always intrigued by the use of some sort of a gold looking bond to fix a pot. So, in an effort to figure out what it is, I bought one.

This pot is of an unknown make, but probably pretty old, as I don’t think they fix pots these days this way.

The pot was cracked on one side, but didn’t crack all the way, I think. Either the spout was broken off and caused a big crack along the pot, or, it’s one of those nasty “hot water in cold pot” kind of accident. Either way, the fix was some sort of liquidy looking thing that gelled. I have no idea what it is (chemist, anywhere?). The gold colour is a bit of a paint, it seems, used in all kinds of gilded goods and what not, I would imagine.

Here’s the other side and a closeup

Very cute little thing. I like it.

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9 responses so far ↓

  • cha_bing // February 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Reply

    I’ve also always been interested in the use of gold to repair ceramics. Interestingly, they have a very small exhibit on this matter at the Freer Gallery in Washington DC that I’ve been meaning to go to sometime. http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/GoldenSeams.htm.

  • Anonymous // February 20, 2009 at 12:26 am | Reply

    Ever since seeing some of Mattcha’s repaired pots I’ve been intrigued as well. Nice find.

  • Anonymous // February 20, 2009 at 5:16 am | Reply

    Wonderful photos and nice find! I sincerely hope being one day able to find so wonderful pots.
    More than saving the pot, this repair gives a real charm visual strength to the pot!

    Very recently, a friend of mine told me the break of one of his most used and beloved teapot dedicated to highly roasted oolongs, due to the inadvertently 1m fall of a naughty apple. Neatly and irrevocably snapped in two. And I wonder how a pot can be mended… Maybe it would save his lost treasure!

  • Anonymous // February 20, 2009 at 10:56 am | Reply

    That pot is probably not maki-e.
    If the stuff is hard, it’s probably acrylic.
    Same kinda stuff they use in those shops where women buy the plastic painted nails.
    That would be my guess at least.

  • MarshalN // February 20, 2009 at 10:57 am | Reply

    Yeah I don’t think it is either, Walt. My grandfather, who knows a thing or two about glues, says it’s probably some kind of epoxy.

  • mulcahyfeldman // February 21, 2009 at 7:07 am | Reply

    Can you read the inscriptions?

  • Dogma_l // February 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply

    Looks from here like “gold”-tinted glue, or glue overcoated with gold leaf. Hard to tell from a picture; easy to tell with the pot in hand. Just make a small scratch someplace, and look with a good magnifier. Solid metal will make an obvious metallic smear.

    It could be real gold alloy, though. There are at least two ‘recipes” for fire-on gilding: metallic gold milled into an oily base, and gold salts dissolved in a viscous liquid. In either case, the stuff is painted onto ceramic, then fired in a kiln. Everything burns off but the metal. Gold can wet ceramics well, so would make a good, permanent bond. I have a little bottle of the stuff in the basement from several decades ago when gold was affordable.

    Which is another reason to doubt that it’s solid gold: that would be close to a gram, currently worth more than $30 – presumably, only worth doing if the pot had previously been used by Mao or Lu Yu.


  • MarshalN // February 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Reply

    I think gold tinted glue makes the most sense.

  • Anonymous // February 22, 2009 at 11:02 am | Reply

    @cha_bing – 

    Hey Cha Bing. Thanks for the information on the Freer Gallery exhibit. I am nearby so I will definitely check it out!

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