Brighton-based embroidery artist Charlotte Bailey constructs her patchwork vases by sewing fragmented porcelain back together, using patterned fabric and metallic thread. Her creations put a dazzling new spin on the ancient Japanese custom of kintsugi.
In the traditional kintsugi technique, broken pottery is repaired by rejoining the pieces with golden lacquer, which highlights the damage as a celebrated aspect of the heirloom’s history. Bailey was inspired by the philosophy, she explains, because it “seems so at odds with our modern Western ‘throwaway culture’ that seldom values the craft inherent in an object, or the significant and valuable social and cultural role.”
Since embroidery is her medium of choice, she has found a way to re-envision that unique ethos: she covers the segments of each shattered vessel with cloth and then stitches them together with gold thread. The resulting vases hold their smooth original shapes, but with a newly textured outer layer and a few glimmering, asymmetrical embellishments that add unique intrigue.
All images via Charlotte Bailey.