While thinking about what I wanted to write today, I unwrapped a small piece of pottery I’d bought last week, only to discover it had broken in two. I thought of Kintsugi – the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. I’ve loved this idea since I first heard of it.
Pique-Assiette (or Picassiette) is an art form coined by Raymond Isidore in Chartres, France. Pique means “steal” and “assiette” is plate. Mr. Isidore transformed his house with mosaics made from broken plates, pottery and other found objects and called it Maison Picassiette. (I visited the house when I was in Chartres about 25 years ago and it was truly remarkable.)
Over the past year, some friends have given me their broken pottery from Italy and India. They know I make mosaics and thought I might be able to make something out of the pieces. I loved the idea of giving broken dishes a new ‘life.’ I looked at them as pieces of a puzzle and came up with something new in the style of Pique-Assiette.
This morning, I went shopping for glue, and gold paint. I wanted to try my hand at Kintsugi. The piece of pottery that broke is so small (smaller than an espresso cup) that I decided Gorilla super glue and a gold paint pen would work. And I did this:
There was a band in the 1980’s called China Crisis with an album called “Flaunt the Imperfection” – which is kind of what Kintsugi and Pique-Assiette do. They highlight the flaws that make the object unique and announce them to the world. By doing so, something broken is transformed and made different and new – but always with a reminder of where it came from. Objects can be transformed and so can thoughts, emotions, and people.
In a previous post, I mentioned how the male deity Avalokiteśvara became the female deity Kuan Yin. In another post, I wrote about Miao Shan’s transformation into Kuan Yin. She has been transformed and she also transforms – our tears and sorrow into hope, comfort, joy, or whatever else we may need.
I placed the repaired cup on my altar at Kuan Yin’s feet. It will be there to remind me of the power of transformation.
Note: This series was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion idea. If you want to participate, go there for the list of daily prompts.