You Provide The Dialogue


Fulbeck Hall (Mary Fry in doorway)

In February 1993 Jessica attended a class in porcelain restoration at Fulbeck Hall in Grantham. This was the home of her friend, Mary Fry. Mary stands in the doorway of the house. The tutor was Anna Hackett, a mutual friend. I fear that the negatives of these images have been permanently lost, so today’s scans are of the colour prints.

Items for repair

Decorative plates, cups,

Porcelain class item for repair

and delicate dishes all needed the expert attention,

Repair kit

of those able to handle these materials.


The expression of this Japanese gentleman appears to have frozen when he lost his hand.

Jessica painting ceramic 1Jessica painting ceramic 2

With the use of a mounted magnifying glass, Jessica painted an elaborate rococo piece.

Jessica examining tile

Here she examines a small chip.

Anna Hackett at work 1

Anna selects a brush with which to touch up a large blue and white jug.

Anna Hackett at work 3Anna Hackett at work 4

Β I am not sure what she is doing with this tool.

Ceramic student 1

Another student shares a joke;

Anna Hackett at work 5

Anna Hackett at work 6Anna Hackett at work 7

Anna turns her careful attention to a beautifully painted urn;

Broken ceramic dog

then came a rather perplexing challenge

Anna Hackett, Mary Fry, and broken ceramic dog

which gave rise to a forgotten conversation.

Mary Fry and broken ceramic dog

Can you provide the dialogue between Anna and Mary?

The opening photograph of Fulbeck Hall is one of a set I produced for Mary’s promotional brochure. I will feature the rest tomorrow.

This evening we dined on highly spiced marinaded spare ribs, wild rice and peas, and spring rolls. I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2017.




  1. I am always so impressed with artistry. But I am even more impressed with the repairing of any object that is all too often thrown away and replaced with something modern and inferior.

  2. Agreed – incredible amount of skill and a very steady hand! As to the possible conversation, I have nothing to offer except perhaps “My, that’s a lot of pieces!” and “But, I don’t know where this bit goes”

  3. I actually like the scans of the prints. I know nothing about photography, but somehow the colour saturation (if that’s even the correct term) looks very natural to me, more like my memories.

  4. This looks like something I would like to learn. As to the dialogue, the photos and my mind take me to a mysterious treasure hidden in the doggie that they can’t quite reach. If they want it, they will have to break it more. If they fix it as is, it will be hidden again.

  5. I had no idea there was such a thing as a class to learn porcelain restoration. That first plate is so beautiful! What an amazing idea. My idea would be to take all the chips and broken fragments and create a mosaic ;).

  6. A very delicate and time consuming hobby, yet an invaluable service for those who appreciate Porcelain, the restorers are artists in their own right, great set of pics and interesting Derrick.

  7. The sight of the maimed dog left me with an expression not unlike the Japanese gentleman.Worse, it froze too! To me, those are excellent storytelling images β€”any dialogue would be superfluous. But I do like Bruce’s voice over.

  8. I am in awe of the restorer’s skill be it furniture, painting or porcelain. The patience and technical understanding, the razor sharp eye for detail and the need to adapt to each piece is quite boggling to a ham fisted all thumbs girl like me ?

  9. Such intricate work which requires patience and skill, love your sharing of photos Derrick and as for dialogue.. Hummm… Now … Lets see… ” Are you sure this is the dogs tail piece?” πŸ˜‰
    Sending lots of smiles and well wishes to you and yours Derrick.. Have a peaceful weekend πŸ™‚
    Sue πŸ™‚

  10. This was a fun question and I would have probably been perplexed how to piece some of these together. My brother, Randy, helps out an antique store with wooden pieces and has been able to take a fancy twin size headboard for a bed and add wood, stain and finials, creating a queen sized one. I stood there amazed as I looked at the “before repair” photo compared to the final product over my Oct. 20-22 weekend. . . This work these women do is very tedious and requires delicate skills.

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