Making pique assiette (broken dish) mosaics is a tactile version of much of the publishing I’ve done, and I’m now also doing Japanese kintsugi repair, which fits with the stories I’m writing. Kintsugi is an art based on the acceptance of flaws and scars and breakage. This small gallery, uploaded at the beginning of April 2024, is another beginning. I have a more complex mosaic project started, and expect to improve my kintsugi with practice and new materials.

Why mosaics? It began with an Emma Bridgewater salad bowl shipped from England. The bowl rattled; the bowl was in pieces. This wasn’t a big problem as the company immediately ordered a replacement, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw the pieces away. They became a beautiful big plant pot instead (below). It turned out that creating a harmonious whole from many parts was a process that suited me. When I became friends with biographer Deidre Bair in 2019, I noticed that her house had needlework everywhere, all her own work: bright and meticulous, I wondered if our chosen crafts reflected how we work and what we choose to work on, and what results we aim for? My mosaics are irregular and imperfect, and don’t start with a pattern, just an idea or a central piece.

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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