Back in August we laid out our broken dishes on the garden table and began a repair on the bird bath that had both a big edge chip and a crack. It would no longer hold water. With summer heat and drought, I like having bird baths for our feathered friends to perch on, drink from and splash in.
Despite our August intentions, a number of intervening realities left those dishes spread out for several weeks, waiting on the garden picnic table like a Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
Then on the last Saturday of summer, I saw the opening...it was a day of gentle September sun and we were unscheduled. A small backyard project was just the rest we needed.
It was calming, in our somewhat fractured world, to take disparate pieces and fit them into a new coherence, to bring new purpose to objects too damaged for their original purpose, yet too pretty to just throw away.
|Thinset is smeared into the bottom of the bowl. the broken cherub|
was tried out and removed.
Thinset is nice that way...you can pull things off even after they have dried.
|Here is my first broken plate mosaic ready for the Thinset to dry which took over night.|
It was fun. You can see we have broken a lot of dishes over the years. I am glad I saved them. As I wiggled pieces around I remembered where or who the plates were from. One was Mark's grandmother's and one was from my grandma. My dad gave me some of the plates. A few I had bought at garage sales to sit under potted plants and two of them were gifts many years ago from a boyfriend; dear people each one and I believe they all felt kindly towards birds as well.
I did the mosaic by myself, but when it was time to do the grout, Mark helped me...which really means, he did all the work, but it allowed me both to learn and take pictures of the process.
He had white grout, but the bird bath was terra cotta, so we added a little red to match it up better. You pour the grout into the water in the bucket and mix it up so it is smooth and sticky.
The goal is to spread the grout into all the empty spaces between the broken plates.
The grout tool he had was designed for larger flat surfaces, so I got one of my kitchen spatulas which worked pretty well.
Eventually the grout is confined to the spaces between your pieces and it is time to let it dry and cure.
So back it goes on its pedestal...to be filled it up for the birds...
And then you step back in hopes that the birds might come and use it.