Sunday, July 23, 2017

Shards of Shards

Here's my first attempt at a "shard collage" inspired by the luminous Tiffany glass on display at the Corning Museum of Glass this summer in an exhibit called Tiffany's Mosaics. I learned, while making this collage, that I am seriously challenged when it comes to thinking in gem colors; my eye and hand go right for those earth tones. I will try at least a couple more of these little studies to see if I can expand my palette a little more toward blues and purples.

One display in the Tiffany exhibit was a tray of left-over shards of glass, remnants of mosaics or lamps or other larger works. Pieces about a couple inches long, of varying shapes: squarish, amoeba-esque, arrowhead-ish...random. I wanted to stare at it all day. I took several photos. The glass itself is a work of art, of course. Even broken, it is compelling, drawing you deeper and deeper into a world of color and elegance and possibility and shape and texture.

And here I'm going to repeat myself, going back to a subject I've covered in these blog posts: the beauty of broken things. Because it's all broken: our politics, our capacity for hope, our hearts, our education system (standardized = broken). Loss and fragmentation is the human condition. Entropy happens. And what do some people do when confronting loss and fragmentation? They make from it, art. They make from it, something new, something whole unto itself. They arrange the chaos into a moment of order.

Without visual artists, poets, dancers, musicians, playwrights, novelists...we'd have vanished long ago, our bones little more than shards pawed up by some passing creature. "Death is the mother of invention," wrote Wallace Stevens. That is a poet's world view. Onward we go.


  1. And I have trouble thinking in anything but gem colors! Earth tones are not in my palette! I guess that's what makes up the human mosaic!

    1. "The human mosaic"—what a beautiful comment! Thank you.

  2. I love your writing and portrayal of words they really resonate for me and I am sure lots of others all over the world

  3. Your art and words are a balm during our turbulent times. Thank you.