Repaired Things

Social Sculpture Workshop
June 3, 2012, 7:03 pm
Filed under: metal, wood | Tags: , , ,

Lead by Kristyna & Marek Milde at NURTUREart, May 12, 2012.

And the sculpture in use!

Sandals: A Repair Saga
April 28, 2012, 1:40 pm
Filed under: fabric, leather, rubber | Tags: , , , , ,

I wore this pair of sandals the whole 7 months I was in India. Pretty soon, the soles started wearing thin. I could feel pebbles through the soles. So, when these kids approached me at a train station and offered to repair them for me, I asked them to make an insert.

The insert fell out pretty quickly since it wasn’t sewn in properly, so in Vrindavan, I had this cobbler sew in a proper insert for the heel. Perfecto.

Eventually, that wore down too, and a cobbler in Bangalore sewed an entire new sole to the bottoms of the existing ones. New treads!

No photo of the last repair, but I had another Bangalorean cobbler tighten the strap that goes between your toes. 3 years later and they’re still a major component of my summer gear!

A friend said they are probably one of the only pairs of cobbled Airwalks in the world.

Bound Railing
March 5, 2011, 1:24 pm
Filed under: architecture, metal | Tags: , ,

Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

October 20, 2010, 7:23 pm
Filed under: architecture | Tags: ,

Eric saw this in a stairwell…

Portland Vase
December 30, 2009, 11:19 pm
Filed under: ceramic | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Susan Sontag’s novel, “The Volcano Lover”, contains an account of the vandalism, restoration, and re-restoration of the Portland Vase:

“One February mid-afternoon in 1845, a young man of nineteen entered the British Museum, went directly to the unguarded room where the Portland Vase, one of the museum’s most valuable and celebrated holdings since its deposit on loan by the Fourth Duke of Portland in 1810, was kept in a glass case, picked up what was later described as ‘a curiosity in sculpture,’ and started beating the vase to death. The vase broke, fractured, shattered, was decreated. The young man whistled softly and sat down in front of the heap to admire his handiwork. Guards arrived at a run.

“The constables were summoned and the young man was taken to the Bow Street Police Station, where he gave a false name and address; the director of the museum set out to break the unpleasant news to the duke; the curators went to their knees to gather up all the little pieces. Careful not to miss any! …

“… the vase, in one hundred and eighty-nine pieces on a table in the museum’s basement, being examined with tweezers and loupe, was put back together by one intrepid, skillful employee and assistant in seven months.

“Can something shattered, then expertly repaired, be the same, the same as it was? Yes, to the eye, yes, if one doesn’t look closely. No, to the mind.

“Back inside its glass case, this new vase, neither replica nor original, was enough like its former incarnation that no visitors to the museum observed it had been broken and restored unless it was pointed out to them. A perfect job of reconstruction, for the time. Until time wears it out. Transparent glue yellows and bulges, making seamless joints visible. The jeopardous decision to attempt a better reconstruction of the vase was made in 1989. First, it had to be restored to its shattered condition. A team of experts immersed the vase in a desiccating solvent to soften the old adhesive, peeled off the one hundred and eighty-nine fragments one by one, washed each in a solution of warm water and non-ionic soap, and reassembled them with a new adhesive, which hardens naturally, and resin, which can be cured with ultraviolet light in thirty seconds. The work, checked by electron microscope and photographed at every stage, took nine months. The result is optimal. The vase will last forever, now. Well, at least another hundred years.”

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.”

September 8, 2009, 11:55 am
Filed under: plastic | Tags: ,

As seen in Johnson, Vermont:


September 5, 2009, 8:47 pm
Filed under: electronics | Tags: ,

In this repair, the metronome arm was replaced with a toothpick.


Ceramic Lamp
September 5, 2009, 8:32 pm
Filed under: ceramic | Tags: ,

“My mother found this lamp for me at a church yard sale a few weeks ago. While moving into my new apartment I knocked it over, breaking it into a few big pieces and lots of little shards. Luckily I was able to puzzle-piece it back together with a new lightbulb and some superglue. Now it lights the room just fine.” – Lily Mooney



Street Sign
July 31, 2009, 7:47 pm
Filed under: metal | Tags: ,

I saw this street sign on the corner of East Seventh and Woodland Ave. in Plainfield, NJ. Its post was somehow broken, so someone roped it to a tree.