Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remnants of a past

This beautiful shard of porcelain used to be a gaiwan. A notably elegant one that managed to stay intact for over 50 years until one day, several years ago, it was dropped by Winnie. Even dainty, gracile Winnie has clumsy moments (not me... I have clumsy weeks). This one resulted in shattered porcelain. Naturally, Winnie was upset over the loss of a favorite tea vessel. Michael helped her pick up the pieces but instead of throwing them away, he insisted they keep every shard found. " You never know, we may find a way to use them again", he said. "Besides, it's still beautiful to look at."
Picking through remains, I had to agree. Still beautiful...
The reason Michael and Winnie wanted to show me these fragments: This exquisite bird.
There's something poignant about this delicate bird, separated from it's tree. Pert and lively, it looks as if it will sing or fly away at any moment.A beautiful show of brushwork from beak to tail feathers.

Speaking of porcelain remnants...
Here are a pair of identical lids long separated from their cups. As I mentioned in my previous post, surviving lids can have a second life as shallow cups for tea or rice wine. I can only imagine how beautiful the missing cups and saucers were.
These lids are reproduction pieces from 1900 - 1950.
The stamp on the lid says it was made in QianLong era. That tells us the original design was produced between 1736 - 1795 during the Ching Dynasty. The playful pattern is delicately embossed. Bright colors are subtly brought together, enhancing the lyrical design.

Whether it's saving the unbroken parts of a gaiwan or holding onto a handful of shards, there is still beauty to be found, new perspectives to be learned. I'll think twice before judging something just because it's less than whole.

Til next time...



4 comments:

Brent said...

Beautiful indeed. It seems like when most of us post about broken teaware, it is a "farewell" of sorts. Your posts on the other hand, while still remorseful, show that these broken pieces can still be appreciated. Thank you!

Brent

yumcha said...

Thank you Brent, for your kind words!

Will said...

What a beautiful new blog! I really enjoyed reading your first two posts. This one made me sad just looking at it.

Janine said...

Beautiful article. I love the designs on this pottery and the beauty to be found even on the shards.

I also really like the idea of using the lids as tea bowls. Recycling is an age old art too!