January 31st, 2016
Here are some more photos from my exhibit, Mended Ways, which ended last Sunday at the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair. In addition to the 100+ examples of my own antique ceramics and glassware, I also curated a collection of contemporary work by ceramic artists, with help from Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary. I’d like to thank these artists for loaning their work and for continuing the tradition of early repairs.
Details from fastidiously hand painted plates by Stephen Bowers, showing trompe l’oeil fragments and staples.
A Bubble sphere by Ai Weiwei using the Chinese kintsugi repair technique to enhance the cracks by filling with gold.
A detail of a figure by Sergei Isupov with painted cracks.
Two pieces by Paul Scott, using resembled antique ceramics.
Shattered and fused plate by Ruan Hoffmann.
Stoneware jug with wood “staples” by Adam Lefebre.
Nicolle Horsfield’s broken plate stitched back together using silk thread.
One of many explosive sculptures using reassembled broken antique ceramics by Bouke de Vries.
Vase with gold kintsugi repair by Frances Palmer
Mara Superior also used the kintsugi technique to repair a crack in a figural vase.
January 23rd, 2016
I was thrilled by the turnout at my exhibit, Mended Ways, at the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair this past week, as well as the reception to my lecture, Past Imperfect. To top it all off, I got a nice mention (with photo!) in yesterday’s New York Times. Thanks to my friends, family, fair organizers and staff, contemporary artists, and to the new people I met, for your support. I also enjoyed meeting some of you – my blog, Instagram and Facebook subscribers, who came up and introduced themselves to me. Such a pleasure meeting you face to face!
The exhibit is comprised of three cases of examples from my collection of antiques with inventive repairs and one case of pieces by contemporary artists who have found inspiration in early repairs. I will include pieces by these extraordinary artists in an upcoming post.
All photos by Mark Randall
January 17th, 2016
I am thrilled not only to be speaking at The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, January 21-24, but also to be exhibiting over 100 examples of antiques with inventive repairs from my personal collection, titled Mended Ways. Included in the exhibit is a collection I curated, in conjunction with Ferrin Contemporary, of ceramics by contemporary artists, including Stephen Bowers, Bouke de Vries, Ruan Hoffmann, Noelle Horsfield, Sergei Isupov, Adam Lefebvre, Frances Palmer, Paul Scott, Mara Superior, and Ai Weiwei, who have taken the art of inventive repair to new heights. My lecture is this Thursday at 4PM and my exhibit is up during the run of the fair so please stop by.
January 2nd, 2016
This hand blown glass champagne coupe with fluted stem was made around 1850, possibly in America. It measures 5-1/2 inches high.
I imagine during an exuberant New Year’s Eve toast, well over 100 years ago, the base snapped off. Rather than toss out the broken glass, a replacement base was made. A simple, nicely turned wood replacement base was attached to the remaining stem and the champagne was poured once again.
Happy New Year to my friends and followers of Past Imperfect: The Art of Inventive Repair!
October 31st, 2015
This Chinese porcelain cup is decorated in cobalt blue with a Peerless Hero figure, stacked bottles and calligraphy taken from Wu Shuang Pu (Table of Peerless Heroes), a late 17th century book of woodcut prints by Jin Guliang. The cup measures 2-3/4 inches high, with an opening diameter of 3-1/2 inches.
After the cup broke in half, over 100 years ago, it was repaired with pairs of metal staples set in cement. Judging from the flattened lozenge-shaped staples made from repurposed wire, this repair was most likely done in the Middle East where itinerant china menders set up shop directly in the streets. But even with the doubled up staples and binding cement, more than a few staples have jumped ship, leaving just tiny empty holes as a reminder of its time in the china mender’s hands.
October 3rd, 2015
This Chinese export porcelain dollhouse miniature with blue underglaze floral decoration dates from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) and stands nearly 2 inches tall. Contrary to popular belief, miniatures like this were displayed in doll houses owned by wealthy adults and were not intended to be played with by children.
Surprisingly, this little gem was not always a sugar bowl but actually started life as a baluster form vase. After it took a tumble, a silversmith kept the surviving middle section, added a minuscule silver lid, handles and base, and voila…a sugar bowl was born. A tiny Dutch hallmark in the shape of a sword can be seen on the bottom of the base, dating it to 1814-1905. The small sword mark was used on silver pieces too small to accommodate full hallmarks.
Shown below is an intact miniature vase, standing just 2-1/2″ tall. It appears that the middle section on a similar vase was used to make the sugar bowl.