Surrender © Patrice Herbst
Yin © Patrice Herbst
Fullness © Patrice Herbst
Womb © Patrice Herbst
Transition © Patrice Herbst
Guardian © Patrice Herbst
Swaddle © Patrice Herbst
Virility © Patrice Herbst
There is a story said to have originated in the 15th century when a Japanese shogun broke a favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be fixed. But the repair job, which was done with metal staples (being the standard for repair at that time), detracted from the beauty of the bowl, so the shogun enlisted Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Kintsugi, which means "golden joinery," was born. Kintsugi tea bowls are highly valuable, with a large collection in the Freer and Sackler Gallery at The Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art.
Having repaired my own broken teaware in this manner I began to think about how I could incorporate Kintsugi in my work. There was only one way really, the finished artwork had to be broken to be repaired. So as not to try to influence the outcome of the breaks, the pieces are broken by someone other than myself in an almost spiritualistic ritual. I am only "Observer," then, and it becomes the ultimate letting go.
The pieces are then reassembled and adhered to prepared panels, often enhanced with their own natural elements. The final step is the application of the detailed process of Kintsugi, a new piece is completed and brought forth into the world.
In the end, my work isn't about beauty, it's about brokenness, and the beauty that comes from it.