Artist “Fixes” Broken Plates With Spectacular Pen and Ink Drawings

Broken Plate Pen Drawing by Rob Strati

Using a pen and paper, artist Rob Strati mends broken sentimental plates. The series, titled Fragmented, originated in 2020 when a plate belonging to his late mother-in-law broke. From there, Strati created a way to bring the remaining ceramic pieces to life, continuing the ornate designs into sprawling illustrations that find new life on a blank page.

Each of the works from this series is based around a real broken plate, which Strati places on the paper itself. Then, he uses a pen to fill in what is missing in the design, such as a windmill, a landscape, or animals. However, he does not simply return the plate to the way it looked before. Instead, Strati finds new pathways for the artwork, freeing the numerous elements from the constraints of the circular frame, and sending them spreading across the rest of the sheet of paper.

In some of these cases, this means elaborating on the small section of scenery depicted on the dish, creating a boat-dotted lake that extends into the distance. It also includes untangling the floral pattern which borders the center of the plate, letting the vines and abstract elements float into the sky. These unique additions give a new life to the object, while also celebrating the original meaning itself.

Follow Strati on Instagram to find original drawings available for purchase and to keep up to date with his latest projects.

Artist Rob Strati uses a pen and paper to “fix” broken plates.

Fragmented by Rob Strati

He draws whimsical illustrations that seamlessly merge with the broken ceramic pieces.

Broken Plate Pen Drawing by Rob Strati

In this way, the decorations on the plates appear to “escape,” becoming an even larger illustration.

Fragmented by Rob Strati

Elements from the ornate designs continue onto the blank paper, freed from the constraints of the ceramic.

Broken Plate Pen Drawing by Rob Strati

Broken Plate Pen Drawing by Rob Strati

Broken Plate Pen Drawing by Rob Strati

Rob Strati: WebsiteInstagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Rob Strati.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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