I will never understand the idiocy of some people. Especially when it comes to something as simple as carefully wrapping up something fragile, before you send it through the mail. Do you really think our mail carriers pussy-foot around, carefully looking out for every item that comes through their hands? Even when it’s marked as fragile? Please, disillusion yourself.
A member of my family buys and sells certain figurines on eBay, and we received another box in the mail, the other day. They were very excited at this particular find, knowing that they were a popular item. Until the box was opened, and we found out the original seller hadn’t used the brain they were born with.
If your box of figurines comes with pieces of cardboard that will hold the ceramic item in place, why wouldn’t you use it? Or use it correctly? This seller had put the piece of cardboard, with the perfectly cut shapes in it, upside down. The three figurines in the box had immediately come loose, and two were broken. Somehow, the camel survived the trip.
This is where I come in, because I have a love of gluing things together that is slightly insane and makes no sense to anyone else. Ok, it doesn’t make much sense to me, either. I enjoy puzzles, now and then, but they are nowhere near as fun as gluing a broken vase or figurine back together again. However, the fact that the item was broken in the first place doesn’t make me happy. If it did, I’d be breaking my mom’s things, left and right, I suppose. : )
What I do like is knowing that, often, the item has sentimental value, and if it can’t be restored to mint condition, it can be restored and continue to give someone joy. Perhaps it was a special vase, given as a wedding gift? Even if it will never hold water again, if it was special, it can still be treasured, complete with cracks.
At first glance, you can’t even tell that the standing angel is broken. But once you turn him around, you’ll see that the halo was busted off. I almost gave up, at this point, because it’s impossible to hold broken pieces firmly against the head of that angel, when you can’t get your fingers between the wings on his back. But luck was holding on, still. There was a small piece of ceramic still attached to the halo itself, which allowed me to glue the two broken pieces to it. Once dry, I could attach the whole piece to the head of the angel.
This was not my best glue job, to date. My super glue bottle seemed to be old, and was not drying in a few seconds, as it should have. Instead, I was having to hold the pieces firmly together, for ten minutes at a time… very unusual, if you know what super glue is like. And no, I still didn’t glue my fingers together, and I never have. But I was not pleased with the cleanliness of some of the fixes, because you could see the cracks more than normal.
I fixed these on the first day of June, when we finally turned our air-conditioning on. When my mom announced we were turning it on, and shutting the window, I was holding an angel’s head together with two hands. So, I switched him to one hand, and went around, shutting any window that could be shut one-handed. And no one either laughed or questioned me for walking all over the house, with an angel in my hand. I haven’t decided if they were being unobservant, or they’re just used to me doing odd things like that.
If you’ve actually read this far, wondering how I can write on and on about broken figurines, then hang on. There was another point to this post. We’ve been amassing a collection of broken figurines, because for every 10-15 pieces that arrive intact, you’ll have one that was chipped or smashed. I fix them all, and they go on a certain shelf until we decided what to do with them.
As the number of fixed angels and shepherds climbs, we’ve begun to debate whether people would buy a broken set, for a much reduced price, knowing that they wouldn’t have to worry so much about the grandkids breaking them, because they’re already broken. What do you think?
Some people might have a perfectly intact set, and have just one that was busted or lost, and be happy to pay a smaller price for a nicely fixed figurine. Quite a few of the ones we have, my mom can’t even tell where they were fixed. Sometime soon, we might be selling them on eBay, with closeup pictures that show where the breaks are, but it isn’t likely that a guest in your home would ever notice the flaws, from across the room. If you have any thoughts on this, we’d be curious to know.
Meanwhile, I keep my eye out for other things that need fixing. I am a ceramic engineer’s daughter, niece, and granddaughter (yep, we’ve got quite a few of them in our family), so it almost breaks my heart when I know something should be gloriously in one piece… and isn’t. I know, I know, I’m very weird. But if I can’t create them, I can certainly do my best to put them back together again.