Breaking Good

I have always loved dishes… Japanese lustreware, Dansk midcentury modern stoneware, Fiesta ware, bowls with bluebirds, 1930s florals with decals. Years ago, Mr. GG gave me some heavy oval ceramic plates that had been used on a German train. I still use those, especially for summer meals involving steak and corn on the cob. Way back in the 1970s, I fell in love with some blue and white mugs I found in a hardware store in Danville, Illinois. I gave a pair to my Mom and before you know it, we were both collecting the Blue Danube pattern. My sister bought a lot of dishes from someone, and gave me bowls, and demitasse cups and coffee sets for birthdays and Christmases for several years. Mr. GG earned husband points for decades by bidding on a huge collection of plates and serving pieces at an auction in Idaho …. he had gone to buy lapidary equipment, but got into a bidding war with a bunch of old ladies and scored a massive pile of Blue Danube – some of it chipped and broken. So being Mr. GG, he made me jewelry out of some of the fragments. I have a lovely Blue Danube ring, set in a silver bezel.

When Mom died, I inherited her collection of Blue Danube, thus increasing my own to the point where I could probably have a state dinner (you know, if I had the table space, and if I knew enough diplomats. And if I liked them enough to cook for them). Anyway, after I unpacked her dishes, I took a look at all the broken stuff in Mr. GG’s shop, and decided to make something out of it to remind me of Mom. So I got some books from the library, and some equipment frome the home store, and made myself a mosaic topped table. I broke a lot of the chipped china, cemented it to a wood disk, learned to make and use grout, and attached the top to 4 legs I scored from the dumpster at a Museum I was working at, at that time. It turned out pretty well. I thought maybe my sisters and sister-in law would like a table top (I still had LOTS of broken shards), so I made the offer, and they all accepted. Oh geez, I had a new hobby.
Sometimes people ask me what I DO, and I seem to keep busy, without ever showing any huge accomplishments, but this is a concrete result of my activities, so I am showing you that occasionally, I get things done.

This is the original table… but then I started on sister 1. Here is her table.

I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out, there were sharp edges poking out, so I made her a smaller table top.

My sister-in-law loves lighthouses, and I found a lighthouse plate at the thrift store, so I used that to inspire her table.

My other sister is a Pisces, and likes watery stuff, so I thought of crinoid fossils and sea life when I made her table. By now I was spending a lot of time at the thrift store buying dishes to supplement my stock.

Okay. I couldn’t forget the Baby, who needed furniture. I got Mr. GG to grind some dishes into medallions to make her cheery, hipster table.

Since I still had boxes full of dishes, I made myself a top to a stoneware crock of my Mom’s. I use it to hide all the old magazines I stored inside the crock.

I took a break (so to speak), and stuffed all my tile cutting tools, and nippers and dishes in the basement. But one of my friends had a birthday coming up. Okay. Back to the thrift store. She likes florals a lot. Here is her table.

My sister-in-law in Florida wanted one, and she likes orange and yellow. It took me a while, but I finally figured out she needed some tropical looking organic motif. And it cried out for Fiesta Ware. Back to breaking dishes on the patio. But it turned out okay.

Currently my supplies are back in my basement craft room. But if I ever get inspired again, I could make some more mosaic stuff. It is a labor of love, that’s for sure, so I need to have a specific person in mind to make these things. Anyway, sometimes I do stuff besides read books. Here is the proof.


One Response to “Breaking Good”

  1. Karlene Says:

    I love my lighthouse mosaic, when you come for a visit this summer I have a table top in need of repair. So we have a project to work on and you can teach how to do this.

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