UPCYCLED CERAMICS: Yingge Ceramics Museum 2014 (Part 2)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week, I posted part 1 of our trip to the Yingge Ceramics Museum. I wanted to do a separate post for the upcycled ceramics because it was so fascinating. I was afraid if I tried to put everything in one post, it would be way too long. This upcycled stuff is awesome, and I didn’t want anyone to miss out by cramming it in with a lot of other stuff.

If you’re not familiar with upcycling, it involves taking an item–whether it be a piece of clothing or furniture, or some other item that   Here is a link to a blog post about someone who upcycled a couple headboards to make a Mickey Mouse bench. And if you’d like to see another sample, check out this blog post with an upcycled tire clock. I really like how a used item and a few supplies and some creativity creates something much more artistic and sophisticated than the sum of its parts.

The closest I come to upcycling is when I salvaging cotton fabric from outdated clothing for use in my quilting projects. I am fascinated to read about how fellow quilters make use of their scraps, unrealized ideas, and “mistakes” to create new ideas and projects. However, until last week’s trip to the third floor of the Yingge Ceramic Museum, I had never thought about the “scraps and mistakes” that ceramicists have to deal with. They can actually have things break, shatter beyond repair. As we wandered through the exhibit, I was fascinated how these artists have found ways to incorporate these bits of “scrap” ceramics to upscale their designs and take them to new levels.

I have a few closeups of some of these seven upcycled pieces, but first, I’ll show you the view of the whole display. It looks like they are on a shiny reflective surface, but actually what you are seeing is water. The inner surface of this case is black, and so it looks like these objects are on a black reflective surface until you look closer and realize they look like they are floating in the water. 10403199_800296353325751_4825507233357346044_n

In between each of the main pieces, you will notice that there are plates positioned around the edge of the display tank. These plates are broken or have some defect, which is then altered by adding a piece from another broken dish. The effect is quite amazing.

Here are two of them closer up.


It’s hard to do justice with a camera phone, but you get the idea. All these scraps and broken pieces of pottery used to create stunning displays that focus on characters who have striking detail. Now for some closer views of the individual pieces.





There is so much detail in this one. It’s hard to take it all in. You can see some of the imperfections in the plate that is in this photo, but it’s still beautiful.




I particularly like the way these figures seem to be moving.



I hope you enjoyed the exhibit. It made me think a lot about recycling and upcycling, particularly for artists and their materials.

Have you done any upcycling? Or been the recipient of someone’s upcycling efforts?

I’ll have one more part of the exhibit to show you in another post.

Thanks for stopping by!