On my studio wall I have this quote:
All things are difficult before they are easy.
It's one of my favorite sayings. I try to remember it but I fail miserably often. I stitched it on a pillow which was featured in my book Colorful Stitchery....
|Photo by Kevin Kennefick|
After my August Knitting Retreats wound down, I kicked myself in the butt and decided to actually do something I have been thinking about for at least a decade. I love handmade pottery (made some myself at one time) and antique jugs, vases, pitchers, plates. Our farmhouse is decorated with all kinds and for me, there is nothing like drinking a cup of coffee or tea from a handmade or antique mug. Sadly, they don't always survive. I have been saving every single broken plate, cup, and bowl hoping to one day do pique assiette. It has always seemed rather daunting....
The Italian Proverb I quoted above is so true. I've gotten good at certain crafts and techniques but trying something new is always a bit of a stretch for anyone. After seeing how much fun my students had with their lampshades, the painting and the act of learning something new, I took the leap. It started like this - a pile of broken junk and a hammer and tile nippers. A few good books listed at the end of this post were helpful but until I finished the first garden pot, I really didn't feel confident.
Then I applied the acrylic adhesive (sometimes known as "mastic") - first to the pot with a putty knife, then to the back of the shards with the same putty knife. I actually found that my artist's palette knife I usually use for oil painting was incredibly helpful and I will use it when I make more pique assiette pots. I worked a section at a time - approximately 1/3 of the bottom of the pot is finished below. I set it to dry overnight.... then worked the next section.
With this first pot, my plan was to break up different bowls and plates and make them into stripes up the side of the pot. This was a good plan but turned into a nightmare because I was going for color (no surprise) and many of my shards were concave not convex. I did it anyway. Before grouting you must wait 24 hours for the mastic to dry. There is a lot of waiting in this project.
|Terra cotta pot before grouting|
My plan is to make a couple new pots for the garden each summer. We shall see if that happens. Some good plans go awry. At any rate, I'll share the second one I am working on when it gets finished. Some helpful books follow in case anyone else is nutty like me saving their broken plates and bowls in their basement too.
Making Mosaics by Leslie Dierks
Making Bits and Pieces Mosaics for the Home by Marlene Hurley Marshall