Monday, February 18, 2013


I was thrilled to find my first piece of "make-do" porcelain the other day!  I was even more fortunate to find this amazing blog, Past Imperfect, The Art of Inventive Repair, by Andrew Baseman, who is one of the premier collector's of this art form.

"Make-do's" are antiques with inventive repairs.

They are unique examples of necessity and thrift made during a time before Krazy Glue was invented.

Unlike today where we discard anything chipped or cracked, broken household items were repaired at home or taken to a metalsmith to be brought back to life, often with whimsical results.

Once regarded merely as damaged goods by antiques dealers and collectors alike, antiques with inventive repairs are justly receiving the respect they deserve!"

The term "make-do" is associated with items featuring, most commonly, folksy or crude home made repairs.

A dictionary definition of "make-do" states:
"something that serves as a substitute, especially of an inferior or expedient nature: We had to get along with make-dos during the war."

The origin is from 1890-95.

 I find it beyond charming,

and couldn't wait to find the perfect spot to display it!

My mom rolled her eyes at me when I proudly showed off my new find, thinking I was crazy.

My hubby loved it though and thought it looked Frankensteinian.

 He also loved that the repairs resembled a Peace Sign.

 I think it might just be the start of a new obsession!

 Have you ever run across a "make-do?"

 *Text and history here 
and here


Sarah said...

I've seen French faience repaired like this. Helps to date the piece! And like you, it doesn't keep me from buying the piece, although I never thought of displaying the repair. LOL

Hamptontoes said...

I have not seen make-do's on display, love how you embraced the imperfections making for the perfect piece to tell a story.

helen tilston said...

Hello Terri

I have learned something and love how you have hung it in your kitchen.

Helen xx

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I always learn something new from you!!!

Gina said...

Dear Terri, Yes, I have. I look for them wherever I travel. Your make-do ceramic plate has been wonderfully repaired. It is charming that you are using the underside to show off your new find.
Your plate has an especially beautiful rim pattern. One I have not seen and with your permission, would like to copy for one of my "antique" plates. Gina

La Dolfina said...

Hi Gina,

Oh yes, please do!!!
So nice to have you visit!
Please do a post on your make do's, I would love to see your collection!!!

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is how did they get staples into porcelain?? Coincidentally, I am home today trying to restore a piece I bought on Ebay. It broke in transit but I didn't want to send it back so, I will be writing about the process. And also, I still would have hung the plate with the pattern facing out. It still is so pretty!

Karena said...

Dear Terri,
I have not seen this kind of repair and also wonder how the staples were inserted without inflicting more damage!

Love the way you have displayed the plate!

Love and Hugs,

Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.