This from my good friend Andrea Rosselle this morning (https://www.facebook.com/andrea.rosselle?fref=ts). Andrea is a sculptor, and a wonderful teacher, and teaches ceramics in the Middle School at Oregon Episcopal School. It was very moving to me.
I received a wonderful letter from a parent yesterday. This year someone in one of my classes made the choice to break 5 of the clay gargoyles that my students had made. It was obviously intentional since they also took the broken pieces with them. I was distraught, I usually spend a long time making sure things remain intact and make it home as safe as possible. But this year on top of the few breaks that always happen with ceramics, I had these ones which were intentionally broken as well. I decided due to the number of broken pieces that I needed to alter this act of vandalism or the happenstance of mistakes by repairing the pieces and adding gold to them, in the tradition of Kintsugi. A practice where you fill in the broken spots with actual gold. I ordered a small bottle of real gold paint online and repaired every gargoyle in this tradition. We then displayed them- broken gold filled places and all.
This past week I had the kids wrap them up to take home, and yesterday I received an email from a parent explaining that when her piece arrived home, he knew immediately what the gold meant, having seen the practice before. What was even more wonderful was how he explained that while his daughter was confused that someone would intentionally break her art, that she wasn't angry at all, that with the gold it was somehow new and more special. The father was grateful, and wanted me to know how much more the gargoyle now meant. It's wonderful when something that was never meant for good, turns into good anyways!