I've always loved the early make-do repaired pieces because show us how precious things were to our ancestors. Although a make-do is a utilitarian object that has had repairs to make it serviceable or turn it into something else they fall into both the categories of Folk Art and Decorative Arts. I find that so many of them are great folk art because they really show the creative ability of non-artists who make the most of an accidental break.
We are always accused of being a throw-away society (and I agree with that accusation) but the ultimate in green living is to waste not, want not. When something broke, our ancestors fixed it or repurposed it into something usable. “Waste Not Want Not” is the philosophy behind make-do objects and also the name of the only book I’ve found about Make-Do. The book is by Donald P. Naetzker. It is out of print but sometimes found on used book sites. When I can find a decent copy at a good price, I offer it for sale.
This is another make-do from the collection of the late Robert Thayer. This is the sweetest miniature creamware cream pitcher. It has a cream-colored body with blue and yellow flowers running throughout. It lost its handle so was repaired with a tin strap handle attached by 2 tin straps. The bottom has a circular crack that has been repaired with tin repair to bottom. It is about 2 1/2" tall x 3 1/4" from handle to spout tip. This make-do is all the more remarkable to think that it must have been a child’s toy and the parents too care to make sure their child could continue to play with a full tea set! Collection of late Robert Thayer. To see the rest of the Thayer Collection and compare the size of this tiny pitcher to full size ceramic pieces, click on the last thumbnail.
Reference: Naetzker, Donald P., Waste Not, Want Not: The Art of the Make-Do, 1986.