Thursday, 22 July 2010

Oops ... I broke it!

Two days ago, I was getting lunch on the table. I started to leave the kitchen with a small tray that had on it an unopened jar of mayonnaise and a Villeroy & Boch small pitcher that I used only to serve home-made salad dressing. As I rounded the corner, the edge of the tray caught on something and it all went crashing to the tile floor, where everything that falls breaks. It was a mess ... broken glass, huge globs of mayonnaise, salad dressing everywhere, and chunks and bits of broken pottery. I cleaned it all up with paper towels, mopped the floor, and threw all the waste in the trash. The only reason I didn't swear a lot was that my mother was sitting in the living room.

Pottery being  the most fragile of the ceramics, if you live with pottery, already you probably have a certain amount of breakage in your life, and tile floors up the ante. We are a recycling household, so of course I don't throw away those bits of broken pottery (except when they are covered in mayonnaise and salad dressing) - they're on a shelf in the garage, waiting for their next life! 

There is a very talented craftsperson in this area who does terrific mozaics, on things as diverse as pitchers, mirrors, old foot-pedal sewing machines, trays, etc. She and I have worked together at times, but the only piece of hers that I have is this cup and saucer, which is "mozaic-ed" with broken Pornic pottery:
There is a meticulous quality to her mozaics that I quite admire. Obviously, you wouldn't want to drink your coffee out of this, but it looks quite charming with a small green plant in it!

Not too long ago, I was visiting Valérie LeRoux in her atelier, and she had some mozaic panels. She does all kinds of workshops for children, and I asked if she would do a mozaic workshop with me, to which she said yes - we're planning to get together in the fall. In one fell swoop, I will be able to clean out a corner of the garage AND add something original to our decor. And what I would like to make is something to complement the planter that sits by our front door. Marcel brought it home from a flea market years ago. It is made of concrete and is decorated in the "pique-assiette" style of mozaics - wouldn't it be great to have another one??

There is something for every Quimper lover in the decor of this planter (and bits of other pottery too), of which you can only see three sides here.  I have no recollection of what is on the fourth side, and this piece is so heavy that we may never move it again.
So what do you do with your broken pieces??


  1. Judy, my broken pieces sat in a box in our garage for many years waiting for me to learn this craft. Then one day as the garage was being cleaned and reorganized, the box went to the trash. :-( It was sad and difficult for me to agree, but as I hadn't done anything with them for many years I suppose the chances were slim that I ever would. Glad you are making plans to take a class. ~ Sarah
    Hugs to you and your mom

  2. Very interesting post Judy, I too have a box (mine's in the attic) with broken items stashed away. I don't know why I have kept them and they may well end up going in the trash the way Sarah's eventually did, but for now I'm holding on to them just in case.
    Maybe after you've worked with Valérie you'll hold a workshop for us all next year when we visit Quimper for the 2012 Annual Meeting?
    Now there's a thought!!