Another successful project for the Repair Network

When a precious item is broken it is often with much sadness that we scoop it up and put it into the bin. Accidents happen and not everything can be easily recycled. But what if, instead of landfill, we were able to creatively repair our precious items and restore (and perhaps even add to) their beauty. In this blog, Ros Oswald tells the story of her much-loved vase that has been given a second chance and saved from ending up in the bin.

When precious things are broken…

Fifteen years ago I was given a pottery vase by someone after I had helped them through a difficult time. The vase was white with cutwork decoration and I loved it. Inside the vase were some white silk flowers which added to the beauty of the gift. About three years ago, the inevitable happened. A gust of wind caught the curtains and as I reached out to catch the curtain, the vase fell to the floor. I was devastated. The vase meant so much more to me than a simple flower container.

The vase was put into a bottom drawer and every now and again I would look at it and try to make a decision about throwing it away. I am not particularly bothered about material items but this was different.

Then, the Carbon Neutral Aldbourne Repair Network was set up. Warily I asked if a vase repair might be a possibility. I knew the cutwork made the repair extremely difficult but felt that any improvement was better than seeing the broken pieces in the drawer. Nervously I handed the pieces over to Jenny who was willing to attempt the repair. I explained that any improvement would be welcome.

Just a few days later, Jenny said the vase was ready for collection. I don’t really know what I was expecting but the vase in its newly repaired condition exceeded all my expectations. Jenny had decided the best way to carry out the repair was to use a Kintsugi technique which is a traditional form of repair for ceramics using gold leaf and lacquer. As a philosophy, kintsugi is similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect highlighting cracks and repairs as events in the life of an object, rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage. The gold lines on the vase brought a new vitality to it making it even more precious. I was thrilled.

I am acutely conscious that at the moment our precious earth is damaged for a variety of reasons including our own lack of understanding of ways to live without exploitation. As I looked at the way Jenny had used so much skill and care in bringing my vase back to life, it occurred to me that by applying our skills, care and new technologies to the repair of the earth we may be able to find  golden strands to bring it back to health. I am so grateful to Jenny and the Network for enabling me to enjoy the beauty of the vase in its new life again. It is a living example of the way in which we can all work to bring our precious earth back to health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.