Hard porcelain made at a high temperature has a smooth and glossy surface. It is hygienic and easy to manage, but its physical properties make it vulnerable to shock, which means it has a disadvantage of being easily breakable. Once broken, porcelain loses its original functions. Damaged porcelain is generally discarded or undergoes a complex process of repair to be used again.
Porcelain repair began with the need to repair and preserve antiques or cultural artifacts and has been expanded to personal works or cherished items. Repair of porcelain, however, requires mastery across broad areas from the knowledge of many different materials and careful processing skills to historical research. The repair process should find the most superior and appropriate material by combining reinforced and auxiliary materials and repeating experiments. These reasons mean that although the repair process goes through complicated stages and requires many hours, this repair and maintenance work itself holds important significance and value.
This study examines the process of porcelain repair from its original purposes to the domain of expression with the advancement of facilities, including new glues, paint materials, and spray materials according to the development of porcelain repair techniques. Different techniques are used depending on the purpose, such as Kintsugi, Rivert, and weaving to intentionally break porcelain into pieces or combine porcelain fragments that are easily thrown away. The techniques used to restore the complete form of a vessel, in particular, have been broadly applied to contemporary ceramic expressions through the processes of intentional combination, rearrangement, and reediting as well as intuitive and spontaneous combination styles, reproducing a variety of metaphorical functions and meanings.