Mending goddess fights back

cracked jug being re-cast

This is a heartening story for menders everywhere. Regular readers will recollect ceramicist Hanne Rysgaard‘s total disregard for mending generally – and mending ceramics in particular – in the previous post ” Oops!”. where I showed the beautiful flowered jug she decided to rebirth as a completely whole and perfect object.

The mold was made and the porcelain poured and then I waited to hear how it appear after firing and what she wanted to decorate it with – but the next time I heard from Hanne was a frantic angry  email – Subject “Arrghhh” saying simply “jug got stuck in the mold”  Do you also hear the Mending Goddess laughing?

the first new jug emerges from the mold

But I knew exactly what she would do now – smash it and start again – so I immediately  phoned her and told her to just put pairs of holes either sides of the breaks and I would stitch it back together later; and then we talked a lot about how we have to hear and act on the universal messages we receive…. till she calmed down and agreed.

savagely holes- made for stitching - feel that frustration
holes smoothly fettled and ready for firing again













The next set of images some minutes later made me seriously worried ( see above left) these were truly horrible stab wounds, but later that evening I received another email saying “really liking making these holes now – with a drill” and the holes were getting everywhere

drilling holes goes viral.

Eventually the jug was fired a second time and placed against the second cast, which only had a slight neck wound, when the third cast appeared perfect, Hanne confessed to being disappointed – nothing to play with and drill.

the first 2 jugs after different firings

The jug had lost a a fair amount of size after the 2 firings, above shows the jugs after one and 2 firings, and the original is bigger again. It is interesting to see the whole collapse of the first jug, Hanne says it has “sat down” and that is a very descriptive phrase for the odd shape – but we are about to take this poor sad failure and make it look like some one cared about it.

At first we both thought red stitches would make it look right but some aspects of the gaping wounds looked both sexual and scary when stitched in blood red – so gold was agreed.

jug on my work table being stitched in gold threads

The stitching was problematical although in essence very simple, I used curved needles to navigate the undulations of the shape and also the stitching needed to look as good inside as well as out.i worked on this for several hours getting the stitches to look as if they were planned perfectly.

showing inside stitched in gold
stitching through difficult terrain












But the finished piece makes such a strong impression that all our stress has been worthwhile.

finished jug on worktable

and when I eventually took it to the next meeting of the Stitch and Think group, who are working on the mending project, this is the reaction I was wanting to see – Hanne delighted with her  mended ceramics.

Hanne seeing the mending for the first time



5 thoughts on “Mending goddess fights back

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