Mended Ways: The Art of Inventive Repair

Andrew Baseman

Before the invention of Krazy Glue, broken household items were brought back to life with flair and ingenuity. Mended Ways: The Art of Inventive Repair takes you back to a time when necessity was truly the mother of invention, as seen in Andrew Baseman's collection of over 500 examples of 17th to mid 20th century mended ceramics and glassware.

A variety of early repair techniques shown will include metal staple/rivets, perfected in China by itinerant "china menders"; tinkers' replaced handles, lids, and spouts on mugs, teapots and jugs; intricate and detailed silversmiths' repairs, which only the wealthy could afford.

Extraordinary pieces include a 17th century Dutch delft ewer with a replaced jeweled metal spout and handle, an American blown and cut crystal candlestick from the early 1900’s incongruously stuck into a block of wood, a circa 1850 English lustreware creamer with tin straps and handle, and a set of six delicately painted early 18th century Chinese export plates held together with enough hand forged metal staples to keep Frankenstein's monster intact.

Other fascinating repairs include a Chinese Yixing teapot, c.1700, with a magnificently carved replacement handle and engraved silver mounts, a 1830’s transfer printed jug from England with woven wicker handle, and an 18th century Chinese export teapot with a record number of repairs including a sterling silver spout, metal rivets supporting the handle, and a replaced hand-painted lid with chain attached to handle.

To illustrate what some of the pieces looked like before they took a tumble, intact examples will be shown for a side-by-side comparison.

Andrew Baseman

Interior Designer / Blogger / Author

Andrew Baseman writes the blog, Past Imperfect: The Art of Inventive Repair.

Past Imperfect chronicles his world-renowned collection of antique ceramics with inventive repairs, also known as "make-do's." His collection was featured in a cover story in The New York Times Home & Garden section. He is an expert on the subject and has lectured in the US and abroad. His lifelong passion for collecting and selling antiques began at an early age and continues to inspire his design work today.

For over 20 years, Baseman worked as a designer, decorator and stylist on diverse film and television projects including The Nanny Diaries, Eat, Pray, Love, The Americans, Gotham and The Normal Heart, working with notable directors Ryan Murphy, Bill Condon, Jane Campion and others. In 2003, he founded Andrew Baseman Design, Inc., an interior design firm specializing in upscale residential interiors, creating luxurious homes for clients in the visual arts, including film and theatrical producers, fashion designers, and others.

He is the author of The Scarf (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1989), the classic illustrated art book chronicling the history of the printed scarf that reflects both his expertise and love of textiles.