Thursday, September 15, 2016

I WILL KEEP BROKEN THINGS

These fragments of a tile were once part of a highly decorated floor at Chertsey Abbey, Surrey. Pavements of decorated ceramic tiles were a medieval innovation. They were used to add richness and splendour to great churches initially but they were subsequently used in secular contexts, including castles and royal residences. Click

In the early years of my marriage I always threw broken china away because I wanted everything to be perfect. Over the years I've grown to love cracked and broken things. My marriage is in tact (in case you wondered:-) and I have drawers and bowls full of fragments from china, glass, wood, shells and other natural gatherings. 


Ancient Shards by Christina Wiese. See website here


Christina Wiese

I love this poem about broken things by Alice Walker.

I will keep broken
things:
the big clay pot
with raised iguanas
chasing their
tails; two
of their wise
heads sheared off;
I will keep broken things: 
the old slave market basket brought to my door by Mississippi a jagged
hole gouged
in it's sturdy dark
oak side.

I will keep broken things:
The memory of
those long delicious night swims with you;

I will keep broken things:

In my house
there remains an honored shelf
on which i will keep broken things.

Their beauty is
they need not ever be "fixed."

I will keep your wild
free laughter though it is now missing its
reassuring and
graceful hinge.
I will keep broken things:

Thank you
So much!

I will keep broken things.
I will keep you:
pilgrim of sorrow.
I will keep myself.

- Alice Walker, "I will keep broken things"

Fragments, Monestry of Hadda, Afghanistan, 4th century. Click

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with a mixture of lacquer and powdered gold or silver. The philosophy behind this reparation is that things should not be discarded just because they are broken. There is beauty in broken, cracked and chipped objects.

Exquisite chipped bowl. Click for more here


Weathered and broken Woman's Grave Marker, Philippines. Click


Egyptian Woven Fragment: 13th - 14th century. medium: Linen, silk, metal wrapped thread. Click

Mary Ann Lehrer Plansky stitches exquisite fragments inspired by ancient cloths, the antiquities of forgotten tribes, archaeological artifacts and ruins. My heart races when I read the stories behind her pieces. Do yourself a favour and visit Mary Ann's blog here.



Mary Anne Lehrer Plansky's beautiful work. Click


Sand & Bone by Mary Ann Lehrer Plansky. Click

Jan Goodey has created an intriguing ceramic series, "The Museum of Conjecture."


"The Museum of Conjecture" by Jan Goodey . 

" ....every broken thing is an opportunity for reinvention and reinterpretation. Putting the pieces together in a new way, or for a new purpose or by adding new or different parts encourages a "Science of Incomplete" to emerge." - Jan Goodey


Shards. Vessel series by Jan Goodey

37 comments:

  1. One of the reasons I stopped blogging is because I would painstakingly type out everything....no copying and pasting, and then Blogger takes it upon itself to make a mess of my post by adding white strips.

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  2. Wonderful post Robyn! I did see the white strip, but was still able to read what you wrote.

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    1. Thanks Susan. I'm glad you could read it. They also shrunk my normal print!

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  3. wonderful post! I COULD SEE IT ALL !

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  4. Wonderful post. No idea why you got white strips. I do love your blogging.

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  5. Penny, I appreciate that. Normally you get white strips when you copy and paste.

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  6. Wonderful post, Robyn....love the poem, the work you've shared and especially, the idea of broken things. Thank you! -- Cheers, Patti

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    1. Thanks Patti. I was delighted to find the poem.

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  7. Beautiful post, white strips and all. And of course I keep broken things and even hunt for them on the streets. xoxo

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    1. Don't we all! I think we must miss a lot of what is going on around us because our heads are down, eyes searching.

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  8. Robyn, I was so enjoying your assortment of broken things and then I saw two of my broken things...we travel with complimentary hearts.

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    1. Mary Ann, your work always delights me and the stories behind them are an added bonus.

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  9. Couldn't find a "like" button :) thank you for your ever inspiring posts Robyn. Best Blandine

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  10. sentimental reminders these broken things, the first tile really struck me with it's beauty. I also see the white but can still read it.

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    1. The image of the broken tile gives my spirits a lift every time I see it.

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  11. Never stop your inspiring posts Robyn, white strips or not. How beautiful those arrangements of broken things are - and the poem just adds to it all.

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    1. Pat I'm glad you enjoyed the poem as much as I did. It felt right with these images.

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  12. such a poignant post & poem for a beautiful broken world

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  13. So beautifully curated. And aren't we all broken things?...

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    1. We are indeed and learning to accept our imperfections.

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  14. I think Mo says it perfectly...we need to cherish broken things; so many of us and so much of our work is broken but precious...

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    1. I feel a tenderness toward these broken things which is a lesson about life isn't it?!

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  15. Great post Robyn. Reminded me of my daughter, Susan in far away western Australia. I believe she was/is a (lapsed) blog friend?

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  16. Oh yes Avis, I remember Susan well and we email from time to time.

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  17. Oh Yes! Wonderful post Robyn. I was the same when younger, throwing broken crockery away. Now I treasure it.Walking in a stream in the uk and finding pieces of Victorian china ( they now live in my re-built studio in Australia). Sifting through ashes and finding memories in shards, but keeping them. Breaking a favourite Japanese teapot only yesterday,but holding the pieces in my hands and imagining the mosaic I can make with them!
    Susan ( HHB)

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    1. Hi Susan! So glad you popped in. There have been times when I've experienced a fleeting wish to drop a beautiful china plate knowing how wonderful the shards would look in a mosaic....but then I pull myself together and place it back on my shelf.

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  18. Hi R - F & I attended a calligraphy exhibition recently and the piece that caught our eyes was one that said something like we are all mended people - I love that - so true - and broken things are reminders of that. I love the thoughtfulness of your blog posts. Thanks. B

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    1. So true! I am picturing a precious jar glued back together again. Thanks Barry.

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  19. I totally see beauty in fragmented things. LOVE this!!

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    1. A new way of seeing things. History within the mended pieces.

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  20. Lovely thoughts. Thank you so much for the Alice Walker poem. I don't know that I had read it before.

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