There are various types of damage that are encountered with fine porcelain, china & pottery, and a wide range of different repair treatments depending on the potbody and other factors, such as the fragility of the piece.
The first priority with any repair is for the restorer is to establish what type of body is being dealt with, as this will enable the correct choices to be made in the materials and restoration processes.
Porcelain can be hard paste or soft paste. With hard paste porcelain, the glaze is smooth and slightly fused into the body, and has a uniformly white, fine grained structure. Soft paste porcelain also has a high fired glassy glaze but the structure of the body has a more grainy texture than hard paste.
Bone China and glazed white earthenware are fired at a lower temperature than porcelain and are more porous. This increases their water retention, which is a factor to consider when repair and restoration is involved. Stoneware, such as Mason’s Ironstone and some Doulton can be identified by their partly vitrified body which is course and granular in structure. Different methods of cleaning and drying time may also be appropriate depending on how porous the ceramic body is.
The type of ceramic body will determine which choice of adhesives and filling materials a restorer uses.