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Christina, alas, I think you have to make a judgement call on this. Even though these menders will work part of the time, it is not assured. Most of us that have worked over the years have found it best just to redo the original work. Hard for those starting out, but most times the best answer. This question has been brought up many times, and a query on the main page will search all forum strands. Here is one strand that covers the topic similar to yours.

best,

Pres

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Menders will not work like magic. Cracked bowl rims and the like are best trashed. Small areas of repair are more likely to work-the bisque fix does work but keep in mind most mender are a different color than your clay and can show thru..Marks high fire mender can also work (its the thinist for getting into cracks)  as well as Aztec mender .I have tried most and do use them for very minor things.

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Minimizing and recovering from various kinds of problems are skill sets each potter has to develop.  Some of it has to do with what kind of work you are making and where the potentials for problems lie.  I agree some work is best discarded out of hand, especially in the bisqued state.  Glaze load space is just too precious to run a 50/50 gamble.  If I try to fix a bisqued piece, I usually rebisque it to see how the fix took.

 Personally, I'm a fan of paper slip and can fix almost anything in the green ware state.  Not that I always do, because that clay is recyclable.  I advise attempting to repair just for the experience gained.  You won't know how or when to fix things until you try and fail a few times.

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On the other side of the discussion is the fact that things can be learned from using "failures". I have often used a mug, bowl or teapot  that I did not like to see how it worked. Often you learn that a quirk in  a handle even though visibly does not look good actually feels good. So, if it does not leak, if it holds up, if it is not going to endanger your health. . . try it for a while, learn about it,  and then discard it.

 

best,

Pres

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Am still working on: smooshing, drying, and re-throwing wet pieces; tossing dry pieces to reclaim (being sure to break'm); culling bisque to to the "experiment" stack, else the dustbin - as there's then more space for other stuff. Each glaze load has fewer "why/what/ugh" pieces in thar, however, still loads of room for improvements.

As for repairs, have has some success filling seams at joins (non structural defect) with slip, using a wet brush.

For functional ware, there's no substitute (imo) for extended usage trials (and thoughtful feedback from friends and acquaintances) - discovering features in "bad" pots, as Pres points out, and problems with "good" pots as well.

 

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6 hours ago, Pres said:

Often you learn that a quirk in  a handle even though visibly does not look good actually feels good. So, if it does not leak, if it holds up, if it is not going to endanger your health. . . try it for a while, learn about it,  and then discard it.

I think a similar thing happens sometimes when we take a pot from the final firing and are unhappy with how the glaze turned out. Perhaps a preconceived notion of how it will look that doesn't meet our expectation. I've often put aside a pot for a few weeks then come back to and thought it was okay after all.

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I gave up on how I like the pot long ago espesially color -if it is up to a funtional standard (can be sold in a gallery) I let it go into the mix. May folks later ask me for what I think are butt ugly colors that long ago I would have killed them. I always say no can do as they are one of a kind.

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Thank you, everyone. I have never considered using a mender, only learning of them about a year ago. I am a recycler of or discard pots that don't work out.  (The wabi sabi and not so bad ones end up in my house, or as testers).  I have a student whom one of her bowls cracked slightly in two places. I thought about about trying a mender on it, not really knowing anything about them. I don't really want to use that approach so this feedback has helped make my decision. Learning to let go of pots and not get to attached is not a bad thing to learn early on. 

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