Metalsmiths repair broken items at Metal Museum’s Repair Days

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Metalsmiths from across the country are in Memphis for the Metal Museum's annual Repair Days fundraiser.

The four-day event kicked off Thursday at the museum downtown, and the public can drop off broken metal items in need of repair.

Repair Days is an event as old as the Metal Museum itself, and there's no end to what people will drop off for restoration.

"From lawn chairs to kitchen cookware, statues, candelabras, pots and pans, anything really," said Kim Ward, marketing manager for the Metal Museum.

The cost for repairs depends on how much work it will take to restore the item.

But the price doesn't matter to Lori Lawarre, who's hoping her metal chickens, one of them broken in six pieces, can be made whole again.

"My parents got them in 1965-66, when we were stationed in Roda, Spain," Lawarre said. "They have traveled to about 16 different houses, and it didn't make the last move."

Repair Days is a family reunion of sorts for metalsmiths from all corners of the United States.

Tyler Frank, from St. Louis, took part in Repair Days for the ninth time. On Thursday, he was re-attaching a broken leg to a silver plated serving tray.

"What I love about Repair Days is it kind of re-connects people with the idea that we don't have to live in a disposable society," Frank said.

Frank was joined by dozens of fellow metalsmiths.

Rachel Smith and Jennifer Ramirez, both from Ohio, were repairing a casserole dish with a broken foot. Using fire, solder and attention to detail, the pair breathed new life into an object that might have easily ended up in the trash

"It's nice to be able to repair these things that people love and treasure and not have to have them throw it out because it doesn't work anymore," Ramirez said.

People can drop off their broken metal items for repair Friday and Saturday as well. Metalsmiths will give them an estimate and time to pick up the repaired item on either Saturday or Sunday. There's a variety of activities scheduled at the Metal Museum for Repair Days.

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