Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Find Beauty In The Broken

My work - and basically my life - is all about (and has always been all about) finding beauty in what has been broken, putting pieces back together, looking at old things in new ways, salvaging what is salvageable, and diminishing any flaws or damage while at the same time, bringing any beauty to the forefront. 

Every once in a while I come across someone who sees my work for the first time and scolds, "I sure hope you didn't ruin any good china when you made that!" I have to say I've always been taken aback when I hear this. I immediately perceive it as very negative thinking, but maybe it's just because some people just don't realize exactly how many old and damaged plates there are out there in the world that are headed to one of two places: to a landfill, or to my workshop. 

But still, I'm always surprised when I hear that reaction. When someone sees my jewelry for the first time and learns that it's made from old, cast-off or damaged china, 99.9 percent of the time the reaction that I get is a positive, happy and surprised "Cool!" or something along those lines. But there's always that one person who immediately thinks the worst, first. It's like they don't even see the beauty that is right in front of them. Their mind immediately thinks that a very bad thing has been done! Hehe. Of course now I am exaggerating and being a little bit dramatic - but that's the impression that that type of response gives to me. They think the worst first. 

Now think of it this way: what if there was nothing physically wrong with a plate and I still turned it into jewelry. Let's say I visit a thrift shop and I buy an old, run-of-the-mill orphaned plate for 50 cents and I take it home and I turn it into four pieces of beautiful jewelry. Let's say that the jewelry is so beautiful that a bride-to-be sees the pieces in my Etsy shop and immediately thinks they would be perfect gifts for her bridesmaids. The bride-to-be is thrilled. The bridesmaids are thrilled. Heck, even the guy who sold me the plate at the thrift store is thrilled for his 50 cents because he had that plate on his shelf for a year and no one wanted to buy it, and not only that, but his mortgage was due and before I came along and bought the plate, he was 50 cents short.  ...I know, I'm being silly now... 

But still... before I get too far from my intended point... what's your reaction? What is in the forefront of your mind? Do you keep your mind as a fresh clean slate, open to positive possibilities? Or is it tarnished and stained, and muddied with negativity? 

Remember a moment ago, when I quoted the negative person who said, "I sure hope you didn't ruin any good china when you made that!"?  Understand that to me, it is ALL "good" china. Broken, whole, damaged, scratched, chipped, shards, slivers, pieces, entire sets...it's all good. :) Perspective is everything. Find beauty in the broken. 

I hope you have a great week! 

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at https://www.etsy.com/shop/dishfunctionldesigns

article and images ©Laura Beth Love 2016