Repaired Things

Rake & Jar
September 20, 2009, 11:32 am
Filed under: ceramic, wood | Tags: , , ,

This is a description of two repairs from The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck:

“He stayed in his house and while the woman mended and sewed he took his rakes of split bamboo and examined them, and where the string was broken he wove in new string made of hemp he grew himself, and where a prong was broken out he drove in cleverly new bits of bamboo. And what he did for the farm implements, his wife, O-lan, did for the house implements. If an earthen jar leaked she did not, as other women did, cast it aside and talk of a new one. Instead she mixed earth and clay and welded the crack and heated it slowly and it was as good as new.”


2 Comments so far
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Hello Anne,
I came here through Sarah McNeil‘s blog and I’m so glad to have discovered it.

When I saw this post I remembered this scene from Zhang Yimou’s “The Road Home” (I hope this is the film and I’m not confusing things because I’ve seen too many Chinese films) where an old man, a china repairer, fixes a broken bowl using thick staples, making a rather conspicuous suture. So emotive.

Also check Japanese sashiko, a traditional embroidery for repairing and reusing old rags.


Comment by Karen

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the references — I’ll check out The Road Home (netflix has been suggesting it to me for some time) and sashiko!
Thanks also for your beautiful & detailed repair posts!
Take care & great to e-meet you.

Comment by annepercoco

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