Vol. 3, Issue 2
How to Repair a Concealed Area of a
Normally not a fan
of porcelain dolls, I won an eBay auction for what appeared to be an
perfect, Black porcelain doll that was the "spitting image" of a
vintage doll that is already part of my personal collection. After
discovering this eBay find, I decided that I would bid during the last seconds
of the auction to win, and win I did.
Upon arrival, the doll was broken.
Fortunately, the breaks in the porcelain were in concealed areas -- the side/back of the body and the upper portion of one of the legs
sustained breaks, as
illustrated in the photos below.
The seller of the auction was
immediately contacted and photos of the doll's damage were shared.
The seller insisted that "it was not her fault," and reminded me
that because the doll was shipped uninsured, the post office would not
reimburse the $25 cost of the doll. The seller did, however, agree to
offer a partial refund, but wanted me to decide what that should be.
I had no intentions of returning the doll, the decision was made to try to
repair the damage. Ambrosia (which was written in cursive on a small
piece of paper and pinned to the doll's back), is so cute and actually is the
"spitting image" of another doll in my collection. Obviously,
someone created a porcelain mold using a doll like the vintage doll in my
collection to make Ambrosia. Because she may be a one of a kind, I had to
keep her, and I had to figure out a way to repair
her. She needed me (and I needed her)!
The first task at hand was to glue all of the smaller pieces
back together. I used Aleen's Clear Gel Tacky Glue to complete
this task. Because the insertion
part of the leg (the
part that fits inside the body that contains two holes for stringing the leg
to the body) was
irreparable, I asked hubby what he thought could be used for the leg
repair. He suggested QuikSteel, which is a putty that hardens in four
minutes. According to the package, QuikSteel "Mixes like
putty"; "Bonds like epoxy"; and "Hardens like steel."
QuikSteel from a local auto supply store (its actual intended purpose is to
repair car parts), I decided to put its claims to the test. All of the
supplies that I used are pictured on the left. I already had
Aleen's Tacky glue on hand and some brown acrylic craft paint, which can
both be purchased from Wal-Mart or other
craft store; but I had to buy the round cord elastic (from Wal-Mart)
that would be needed
to restring the doll's repaired leg.
to repair the doll
Much to my surprise, the QuikSteel
actually fulfilled its claims: It squeezed out of the tube like
putty, which allowed me to re-create the broken insertion part of the doll's
leg. It also hardened like epoxy by adhering to the porcelain.
Within four minutes, just as the package claimed, the re-created area had hardened like
Once the insertion of the leg was formed and before the putty was allowed to
harden, I used the end of a paint brush to create a hole in the new
insertion, making certain that the new hole was even with the hole on the other side.
Even though the re-created insertion and its new hole
would be inside the doll's body, I decided to paint this area brown using
some brown acrylic craft paint that I already had on hand. Oh,
I know, I could have used a darker color to more adequately match the porcelain,
but I decided to use what I had available.
painted leg insertion with newly created hole
The next step was to allow everything to
completely before proceeding with the restringing. Once the leg was
dried, enough elastic round cord was cut so that it could be strung
through the leg insertion holes, carried up the doll's body, and
secured to the hook underneath the doll's head.
With that done, the doll was
redressed in the outfit in which it arrived -- a light blue and white
dotted Swiss sun suit with matching bonnet that had obviously been made
especially for her.
Having endured the damage and the
repair, and having smiled all throughout this entire ordeal, my little
Ambrosia is so very happy that I won her in that eBay auction. She
is even more happy that I decided to keep her (even though the
seller did not suggest that she could be returned).
Amosandra (a doll made by the Sun
Rubber company, circa 1949), pictured below, is the doll after which I am
suggesting Ambrosia was molded. Ambrosia is the "spitting
image" of Amosandra, but is approximately two inches
smaller. Amosandra is as equally as happy as Ambrosia
that I decided to keep and repair her "mini me."
Right: Amosandra and Ambrosia
"Me and you, us
never part, Makidada..." Celie and Nettie, from Alice Walker's,
The Color Purple
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