Monday, 7 September 2015

Broken Antique Pieces 3

Add caption
Fancy wearing a piece of jewelry made from porcelain?

Porcelain is an unusual material for making into jewelry items. The gem stones that we know, like diamonds, rubies, sapphires and jade, are expensive. But porcelain materials are equally valuable and expensive since they are taken from antique porcelain vases that broke into pieces. As we know, antique vases are valuable because of their attractive glazes, artistic decorations/paintings and most importantly they are rare (only found in museums). Generally the porcelain pieces are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, some can even come from the famous kilns of the Song dynasty where the actual antiques are considered priceless. The antiques may be very expensive but the broken pieces are a fraction of their cost. There are people who own broken pieces of valuable porcelain and turn these porcelain pieces into beautiful jewelry items. They reap some handsome profit by selling them to antique lovers/jewelry collectors.

Here are some items designed and made by professionals who are experts in their own right.

In my last 2 posts, I talked about the valuable pieces of broken porcelain and the collectors who have a passion for them. Apart from trading in such valuable pieces among collectors, some have sought to add value to them by designing and making jewelry items using these broken pieces. As there is such a diversity in glazes and materials to choose from, one can be certain that there is almost no limit in the things that one can design and make out of these broken pieces. Obviously the only thing that hinders him is his own creativity and skills.

Anything on these broken porcelain can turn into something useful and artistic if only you have the ability to discover their hidden value and quality. To begin with, a collector needs to have a large collection of broken porcelain pieces of different varieties. From these pieces, he has to examine them and decide which one he can use to make into a jewelry item.

An valuable part of this broken piece of porcelain

Having decided on the subject, he then marks out the outline on the broken porcelain. The piece is then cut out using the parting wheel. He has to be very careful when cutting porcelain as it is a very brittle material. In the process of cutting, if the porcelain breaks, he is not able to achieve his intended design as the fracture may occur right in the middle of his masterpiece. This is a terrible thing to happen since there is no replacement available. Every broken piece is unique and valuable in its own way.

A very creative person may then look at the remaining piece and alter his design using whatever material that is not damaged. It is interesting in that a person has full control over what he intends to make from this piece of porcelain.

This broken piece is decorated with beads
Some vases have duplicate patterns that can be cut out to make into a bracelets. It can also be the different parts of a pattern such as the symbol of the Pak Qua (from Taoists' Pak Qua diagram).

A unique thing about antique vases are the figures painted on them. Some of these figures depict the characteristics of people that lived in that era, like the 2 boys playing with lanterns (above) and the ladies (shown earlier). These vases are from the Ming dynasty. The figures are are very well painted and they are very good subjects to make into items that can still be kept by antique lovers/collectors at a fraction of the cost of actual antiques.
Bracelets made from porcelain of different glazes
Designing and making jewelry items from broken antiques is another way to preserve culture and history. Our ancestors made all sorts of antiques to tell us the culture and lifestyles of the period when they lived. People collect antiques as they also treasure the good things their ancestors had and enjoyed. Just imagine if someone breaks a valuable antique, he actually destroys the evidence of life/culture of that period. The lost in monetary value is nothing compared to the loss of this cultural value.  If he then throws away the broken pieces of porcelain, he also throws away a culture and a part of history that was in this antique.
A piece of jewelry made from Lu ware

A bowl from Lu ware, the famous Song dynasty antique

No comments:

Post a Comment