Broken Bowl Series


Broken Bowl, studies in white

(work in progress)

The story of this work started when my aging hands dropped a Correlware bowl –supposedly unbreakable. The bowl was in motion when it slipped out of my hands and hit the granite edge of the sink counter.  Upon impact, it exploded into slivers and shards as the force within the stress points, created by this unusual process, was released.  Luckily, I was wearing glasses. The shards were like no other broken pottery I had ever seen. The forms of these pieces were unusually dangerous, violent, and threatening in nature. Shattered and fragmented, the shards had lost relevance to the bowl and took on a new, expressive identity of their own. After staring at them for awhile in amazement, I began to visualize these images.

To produce the first group in this suite, I randomly mixed the shards up like dice and dumped them on a piece of paper, over and over, until the arrangement had a good aesthetic.  This approach felt much like pulling random words out of a bag to create a Dada poem.  Over time, there will be other groups, including the example here of some shards submerged in milk.

The quiet, muted palette of white and the playful, poetic, Rorshock-like transformation of the broken glass has a calming effect much like when we lie on our backs, look up at clouds, and let our imagination wander.

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Real/UnReal, botanical studies


    Copyright John Bonath 2019