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How To Fix Broken Art!

Welcome back, everybody! Hoping your holidays were merry, bright, and full of joy and that you are looking forward to a new decade! We received another question today from someone who was gifted a piece of art for Christmas. When she opened her gift, she unfortunately ripped the work that was waiting inside, and so her question was:


How do I repair my broken and ripped artwork?



Love this article by Gallery Mar



It's a terrible feeling to damage something so valuable and full of meaning OR to receive something that was damaged along the way. Before you panic - read through some of our tips to make that piece look as good as new!



F o r w o r k s o n p a p e r . . .


This answer is aimed at our reader who submitted her question. Rips typically happen on the edges of the paper, so hopefully the rip does not interfere with the marks made by the artist. After much research, it looks like wheat paste and some Japanese paper are the magic combo. The Minton Archive has a great tutorial with images! If it's a small unnoticeable tear, you may be able to do this yourself, but if it's something in a riskier area you can always call a local framer, gallery owner, or maybe you know someone who works in a museum. Doesn't hurt to see if they can either fix or recommend someone to fix your damaged artwork!




F o r w o r k s o n c a n v a s . . .



There are some really helpful Youtube tutorials on repairing ripped and torn canvas. I really recommend this one from Marilyn Taylor because it has the materials needed and steps written in text format alongside a tutorial video. If you are able to get in contact with the artists, don't hesitate to ask them to fix the piece! They may not always know how to fix it, but it's worth asking because you know they have the same paint used in the piece and the same artistic touch!




F o r w o r k s i n 3 D . . .




Investing in some super glue, epoxy, or some E6000 is an easy way to repair broken ceramics, wood, glass, and certain metals. Or if you want to get a little creative, practice Kintsugi on your broken ceramics - the Japanese art of repair. Here is a wonderful shortcut by A Cozy Kitchen - the results are really beautiful!








And if your are the one shipping work and want to prevent damage, here are a few simple tips!



#1 Put prints, drawings, and other works on paper in a plastic print cover. Obviously plastic is not ideal because of its in-sustainability, but the plastic prevents from water damage and tearing. I am currently on the hunt for compostable print slips and will update this post with links when I find them!


#2 Invest in some cardboard corners when shipping framed work. Having some cushion on those corners will help prevent shattered glass and dented frames!


#3 Use fragile stickers. The people handling your package may or may not take this sticker seriously, but it shows the person who purchased the piece that you took caution while packing.


#4 Wrap fragile work in newsprint and cushion with more paper all around the piece so it has 360˚ of protection from the edges of the box.


#5 Use the right size box! I know we all want to save money, but think about the cost of reshipping and fixing a damaged piece. Purchase the appropriate size box for the piece and allow for enough room to cushion on all sides.




SO - before you consider your broken piece a lost cause, take a look at some online tutorials, contact your local framer, gallery, or even University to see if someone can help, or reach out to the artist! You never know 😉

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