Terra-cotta is fragile, but you can repair your favorite cracked pot and prevent further damage by suturing it with brass or copper wire.
To check a pot for flaws, gently tap it -- pots with even small surface cracks will make a thudding, rather than a ringing, noise.
To repair a serious crack, potter Guy Wolff recommends swathing the crack on the pot's inside with a resinous epoxy such as PC7 before suturing it; for chips along the rim, use a latex tile grout.
Tools and Materials
- Handheld drill with 1/8-inch masonry bit
- 20-gauge brass or copper wire
Mending a Terra-Cotta Pot How-To
1. Bind the empty pot around its circumference with lengths of twine at both the top and bottom. Using a 1/8-inch masonry bit, drill two holes, each about 1/2 inch away from either side of the crack. Drill very slowly and carefully, and don't press down; it's easy to break the pot completely. Create additional holes as necessary, 3 to 4 inches apart.
2. Slip a piece of wire through each pair of holes from the outside, twist wire tight, and smooth it flat against the inside of the pot; remove twine.
For small cracks just below the rim:
Use the above technique, or use this similar method to encompass the pot's entire circumference: Drill two holes, each about 1/2 inch away from either side of the crack, and another two holes on the pot's opposite side. Thread wire through the first set of holes, then wrap it around the pot's outer circumference. Join ends by twisting them together; flatten ends against the pot.
Learn more about Wolff Pottery. Find 20-gauge copper wire at local garden centers and hardware and craft stores.