Capodimonte Knock-off

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If I had a dime for all the things my kids have broken around the house over the years I’d be a rich woman!  I never understood why they thought it was more fun to play kickball inside the house rather than outdoors, or why they insisted on roller skating on my ceramic tile floors when they had a perfectly good sidewalk outside.  Even my  ladylike daughters (yeah right) have broken their fair share of things. Such was the case with a beautiful Capodimonte ceramic pitcher and wash basin that my mother brought me from Italy many years ago. It’s a brass wash stand with an oval mirror that had a beautiful floral basin with a matching soap dish and pitcher. It had miraculously survived the years of  horseplay from my older kids and I had begun to feel pretty smug that it was one of the few things they hadn’t broken. Little did I know that it would come to a crashing end at the hands of my smallest and quietest child. I had decided to polish the brass stand one day and I’d carefully laid the pitcher  face down on my bed for safe keeping. As I was busy polishing away, my then five year old daughter came running into the room and made a wild bouncing leap for the bed causing the pitcher to jump up into the air and then come crashing down to the floor, shattering it to pieces. Much like Humpty Dumpty, I was never able to put it back together again no matter how much Crazy glue I used. The pitcher was forever left with a gaping hole in the back which reminded me of Frankenstein…all pieced together with visible seam lines.

The original Capodimonte pitcher

The original pitcher. Ever since it broke I had it turned and facing the other way so the hole wouldn’t show.

I searched online for years but could never find an identical one. When my older daughter went to study in Italy I asked her to look for a replacement Capodimonte pitcher for me but to no avail. She was unable to. I figured that it must be one of those discontinued items. So I gave up the search and decided I’d just have to make one myself. I went to several ceramic places and I finally found a tall greenware pitcher that looked like it would do quite nicely even if it wasn’t the same shape as the original. After sending it off to the kiln twice, once to fire the greenware and a second time for the glaze coat I set out to find a similar decal to the one that was on the original.

Though it wasn't the same shape as the original pitcher, it was pretty much the same height. This is the bisque piece getting a coat of glaze.

Though it wasn’t the same shape as the original pitcher, it was pretty much the same height. This is the bisque piece getting a coat of glaze.

I had never worked with ceramic decals before and I was a bit uneasy about applying one to my pitcher.  I didn’t want to ruin the whole piece. After asking at the ceramic store and carefully following their instructions not to leave a single air bubble, I doubtfully sent it off to the kiln for a third time. I was pleasantly surprised when it came out of the kiln. Even though the decal is not identical to the original, the colors match up pretty well and for a fraction of what an original Capodimonte replacement piece would have cost me. I spent under 20 dollars for my home made pitcher, including glaze, decal and three firings. Best of all, this one has no cracks or missing pieces.

Old and new side by side

Old and new side by side

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Applying a decal on ceramic isn't as difficult as I thought. In fact, its a piece of cake. You just have to smooth it out so that no air bubbles remain. Air bubbles pop in the kiln and cause white spots on the decal

Applying a decal on ceramic isn’t as difficult as I thought. In fact, its a piece of cake. You just have to smooth it out so that no air bubbles remain. Air bubbles burst in the kiln and cause white spots on the decal

The basin

The basin

The soap dish

The soap dish

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Even though it's not the original pitcher, it looks quite a bit better than the old pieced together one.

Even though it’s not the original pitcher, it looks quite a bit better than the old pieced together one.

Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

And

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

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