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Why We Love Broken Pottery

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

To some, broken pottery symbolizes a mistake. Whether cracked in the kiln, dropped on the floor, or a project that didn't quite pan out as envisioned, one may be tempted to hastily toss, forget and move on to creating something new.

What if, however, that broken piece of pottery could still be transformed and given new life and purpose? What if that cracked piece of art actually has the ability to be resurrected for use in a new project?

"The act of making in clay opens up so many doors for the creative. One can spend a lifetime learning to harness the science and chemistry of this creative process," shares Katie Stone, Studio Director at Stray Cat, "With that, there are days filled with tingling anticipation, that are met upon opening the kiln with heartbreak. As that loss fades, we come to realize that every broken piece holds a lesson."

Beauty from brokenness

We usually think of pottery shards when talking mosaics. For centuries, broken pottery has found new life by way of mesmerizing pieces of visual art and architecture. Mosaic art is the perfect illustration of how beauty can come from brokenness.

At Mycelia, we have discovered yet another avenue for reusing what many wouldn't think to recycle. Never at a loss for extra pottery, Stray Cat Studio deliberately collects and reclaims pottery shards, not merely for creating visual art, but now, for a larger sustainable project.

As we begin brainstorming ways to reuse accessible resources at the Portobello building, pottery shards will be one of the paths we take.

Quite literally.

Walk a new path

Pottery shards will be making their new debut as crushed gravel for the exterior walkways at the new Portobello Building: A Cultural Life & Arts Center. And by consistently saving, grinding and dispersing this recycled resource underfoot, we will always be able to keep our walkways looking beautiful.

It just goes to show that broken pieces can be transformed into something beautiful.

Isn't that such a fantastic metaphor for life?

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