Mending ceramics

Submitted by Sammy Smith (

Ooops. I accidentally broke my husband’s favorite coffee mug.

Fortunately, the piece that broke off was large and I was able to save it. Using techniques I learned in the archaeological laboratory for mending broken historic and prehistoric ceramics and pottery, I glued together the coffee mug.


I carefully put glue on both the cup and the broken piece, let it sit for a few minutes to get tacky, then put the two together. The trick for while it’s drying is to position it so that gravity is helping you, with the glued area “on top.”

Many archaeology labs have boxes of sand to make it easier to position drying ceramics so that gravity will help.