Saturday, November 15, 2014

Easier Than I Thought...

The other day, I bought a small vase/candle holder from Big Lots. I had bought a couple things, and as I carelessly tossed the bag in my car, I heard the tinkle of broken glass. I felt around the bag and the vase felt intact... but when I got home, I found that I had indeed broken a chunk out of the bottom. I had bought it with the idea of putting some water and candles in it, so I was bummed out--but since it was only a few bucks, I wasn't too upset. Then I remembered the concept of kintsugi

Literal explanation: The Japanese art of repairing broken glass or ceramic with gold or silver to make it usable again. 

Philosophical explanation: The concept that flaws can be beautiful, and/or that an object [or person] can be made more beautiful by integrating and accepting its history--ie, a kintsugi item will not only have sentimental value for whatever original reason, but there may also be an interesting story behind why or how the item was broken. Everything's better with a story. Anyways, the concept reminded me of this quote too.

So, I decided to give it a try. I mean, I didn't have much to loose--it was a pretty cheap little vase, and if it could no longer hold water, that's a pretty minor loss. However, I certainly don't have the means or funds to repair it with silver or gold! I did a quick search on the interwebs and found some ideas on how to replicate the look and concept without necessarily using the same process. 

Step One: Trip to the craft store! Yay! I found a decent-looking 'China and Glass Cement,' but I couldn't find any silver leaf like my references recommended. Instead I opted for the Pearler paint. The whole process took a couple days, because the Cement needs to dry and cure. I carefully placed the pieces back together and cemented them down. Using an x-acto knife, I scraped off the excess chunky bits. I was a little nervous about the hold, so I put down a second coat of the cement, as well as tried to coat as much of the inside as I could. And yes, I used my shoe as a support for it to dry.

After the second coat of cement cured [another day], I chipped off more excess and then I went over the cracks with the Pearler. That too needed to dry for about a day. Here is the more or less finished product! I flipped the photo for perspective. This is when the pearler was still drying, but it flattened out a little bit.

The pearl paint came out a little gloopy and uneven, so it's not as smooth and elegant as I'd hoped, but it passed the water test! I can't wait for something else to break so I can try it again... I did read about people doing controlled breaks, but I'm not sure if I quite want to jump into that. 

In other art news, I had some nice inspiration the other day. After trying to surprise the Italian with lunch, I found an epic quote on the bag of burritos. It was lots of fun, although it did take many layers to complete. I played around with the Goosebumps again, and really liked the result. I also finished up a super-secret trade project that I can't share until Honey Bunches gets the original. I played around with the crackle paste a bit more. After painting the surface, the cracks weren't noticeable enough for my liking, so I attacked them with the x-acto knife. It was a ton of fun and I'm keeping a print for myself. The past few weeks I had been itching for art, but lacking inspiration... so it was really nice to work again

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