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Repairing Broken Chalkware

Clean BreakBag o' Chips: Collecting all parts of the broken chalkware

The inevitable, “uh-oh!”

Regardless how careful we are, it seem inevitable that at some point we may be experience the misfortune of breaking our cherished Vaillancourt Chalkware Santa. Because chalkware is made from a solid, plaster-like medium, the product isn’t as fragile as one may suspect. Regardless of its density, if one were to drop it onto a hard surface, or tip over at an awkward angle, the results may be tragic. If we are “lucky,” then the piece may “only” suffer a clean break. If we are not so lucky, the piece may shatter. Although we want to avoid either of these situations, you shouldn’t completely lose hope because there may be a solution.

Each month, we allocate a limited number of hours to repair damaged chalkware. Our goal is to help preserve those traditions and memories that come with each piece that someone owns. But because there are only so many hours in a day, we have a few guidelines in repairs:

  • We can only fix pieces that have all their parts: If the piece has a clean break and have both pieces, it’s significantly possible to fix. If the piece has shattered, and all pieces have been found it’s possible, but unlikely that we’ll be able to “put Humpty together again.” If there are missing pieces, we will not be able to fix the piece.
  • We can only repair breaks, not repairs: If your piece has been broken, do not make an attempt to repair it. Because we use wet plaster to adhere pieces, we are unable to fix the break if there is any glue present.
  • We have only so much time: Our repair department can make any broken piece look brand new but it can take time. If a piece is going to be longer than 3 hours, we may consider the cost to be greater than the piece

When breakage happens, we are happy to assess what we can do to repair your piece. Any piece that is successfully repaired will be marked “repaired” on the bottom to ensure broken pieces are not re-sold under false pretenses.

If you have a piece you’d like repaired, ensure it meets the above criteria and ship it to our Sutton studios care of “Repair Department.” It’s important to include a letter that describes the damage (even if you think it’s obvious). Once we receive the piece, we’ll review it and provide an estimate. Please note that it may take up to 3 weeks to review the damage and another 3-4 weeks to repair it.

Although damage does happen, we do our best to ensure that your cherished chalkware can remain part of your family’s traditions. Learn more about repairs>

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Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 / 11:40 AM / Chalkware