Mosaic Artist Creates New Art Out of Broken China

© cleo mussi

Cleo Mussi's playful and humorous objects are all made out of broken bits of china and porcelain. Found in charity shops, auction houses and factories, she uses the pieces to create something new out of the old.

Mosaics are magical because from a distance they look like solid objects but up close you see the incredible detail that comes from the hundreds of tiny pieces of china that have been painstakingly glued together.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

The fragments from old china and broken tea pot handles and smashed plates all have a history and resonance. When made into a new object, suddenly the flowers and figures and bridges and pagodas form something bigger and more complex than the individual pieces.

© cleo mussi

These hands are part of an alphabet series called A-Z Hand Book. She created one object for each letter; each tells a story. The W stands for Waste Not:

"Wasted words spent
selling unnecessary
lifestyles to the
ungrateful Wasted
youth wasted words
wasted life Worried
youth wistful words
working life Welcome
youth wise words
wonderful life."

© cleo mussi

The mix of old and new make the work so interesting. As she says

"I like the fact that within the work you have the whole of our ceramic history. There are bits made here, pieces from China, references to travel and commerce and bringing back fashionable influences and then all that knowledge of how to make glazes and patterns and how to cast things, most of which is now lost… there’s so much information in each piece."

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Recently Cleo Mussi had a show in London , with her textile artist partner and was inspired by their tour of Japan. She has another one next month.

Tags: Artists | London | Recycled Building Materials