If you’re an art teacher like me, it is inevitable to have children breaking their completed clay artworks within a minute of handing it over to them. Or have parents coming to me the next lesson asking me for help fixing their kiddo’s broken artworks.
Most of the time I would suggest using PVA/white glue* to stick the parts together before painting over the cracks, but that is still not secure enough. Today, I’ll show you what I usually do to salvage the damages and make them stronger than before!
*White glue works wonderfully on porous and grainy surfaces due to its viscosity. It really “grabs” and bonds these surfaces well. I once made a bowl out of coloured terrarium pebbles and I’m surprised by how well it held together.
Airdry Clay Artwork (that needs fixing)
A Small Dish (for your glue)
Paper Kitchen Towels
One Apply a thick strip of glue on one side of your broken parts before pressing both side together. Don’t be in a hurry to wipe off the excess glue! Use a glue brush to brush them out evenly on the broken area.
Two Tear thin strips of paper towel and apply them on top of the crack, use more glue and paper towel strips if necessary. Be sure to soak the strips thoroughly with glue to prevent bubbles.
The reason I chose to use paper kitchen towel is because they tend to be thicker and stronger compared to regular tissues.
Three Repeat One & Two till you’re done, making sure to cover the back as well! Leave to dry for at least 24 hours before painting over your fixed areas.
I always use glaze over my completed works to protect the paint as well as strengthen it. If you don’t have glaze on hand, you can make some by mixing 2 parts white glue to 1 part water. Just note that white glue is not water resistant!
*NOTE* Always make sure your clay is fully dried before fixing them.
Have fun! xx Teacher Cherlyn