Big Ceramic Store Blog

Using High Temp Wire To Fix Broken Bisque

I operate a full service studio, including sales, lessons, workshops etc... One of the most frustrating things I've come across is having a customer's piece break before, during or after the final glaze.

I always spend time, after everyone has left, going over the seams and such to make sure they are going to stay together. Recently though, I hosted a large birdhouse workshop, and either missed a seam check on one, or the seam appeared sealed until after the bisque fire. When I went to pick it up, the entire piece fell apart at the seams.

Now what? Since it has large vertical pieces, I don't expect Patch-A-Tatch to hold, I know I can't fuse it with the glaze, and I refuse to send it to the customer in pieces!

Stay tuned while I show you how I plan to fix it, and let's keep our fingers crossed that it works!

So, here's the dilemma... all the seams separated during the bisque fire. What should look similar to this...

IMG_3872

Now looks like this...

IMG_3871

If this were a piece that could "free stand," I would glaze the pieces individually, and let the melting process fuse them together. Since that isn't an option for the sides, I have to get a little creative.

I've used Kemper High Temp Wire for other things like:

  • Hanging beads, chimes, and ornaments, in order to glaze all sides
  • Supporting sculpture pieces during the firing process

I have not tried to wire vertical pieces together however; I think it will work, and there is only one way to find out! Here is how I'm doing it...

  • Gather some tools
    • Drill/Masonry bit
    • Wire cutters
    • Sandpaper
    • High Temp Wire

IMG_3875

  • Gather all the pieces of the birdhouseand lay them out the way they will be put together
  • Sand any rough edges or chips
  • Mark each piece where you will be drilling the holes

IMG_3879

  • Drill small holes where you have it marked

IMG_3878

  • Run a piece of wire through the holes and lightly twist

IMG_3881

  • After all the pieces are wired together, tighten the wire (but not too tight), and trim off the excess
  • Glaze and fire as you normally would

Well, if all goes well, this birdhouse will be one piece when it comes out of the kiln! Check back in a week or so to see what happened.

Share your ideas and/or suggestions by sending us an email at bcscommunity@bigceramicstore.com.

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