I’ve always been thrilled to find little shards of china buried in the garden or on digs along land that used to be near housing. I love the ornate decorations. I want to know the story of the cup or plate or bowl – how did it come to be exactly there under my feet? I have quite a collection and I am drawn to people who like to pick up and collect the things I do.
This little as yet unfinished drawing, done in fine pen on quite rough water colour paper features pieces from my own treasure trove and a couple of spectacular pieces borrowed from a dear friend.The beauty of undertaking to draw something with lot of fine details is that you get to know it very well. The way the leaves intertwine, the shading to add depth to the decoration, the placement of petals just so, a temple here, a blossom there. I’ll never look at a teacup in the same way.
Drawing the fragments has also been an exercise in faith – the faith in my ability to represent the art already inherent in those small remnants of something useful. At times I found myself struggling with confidence – I could actually almost hear the doubting voice when I was about to tackle a particularly complex decoration. I’m practicing quietening that voice and learning to continue working in spite of it. It’s a nice feeling to make it to the other side of that doubting time and settle to work or in this case settle to play.
PS – If I was doing this again I probably wouldn’t start on really rough paper – every time a .005 pen tip hits a bump it’s like driving into the side of a mountain!