....shards are just more sensitive to blows than ceramic pieces
with intact edges. If the china pieces are relative thin
(porcelain), it would pay to "cushion" them with epoxy or something
similar when setting.
I think shards and irregularly/randomly cut pieces of stone may be
very aesthetic and the artistic effect depends of course on how light
impacts the stone. I had 64 lineal feet of stone wall made by an
expert mason with geometrically exact granite tiles and I placed a
planter in the middle of it containing a bonsai cypress tree. This is
a front yard showpiece and of course it cost thousands. Though I am a
stone-working neophyte, I rough cut some nice but not extra-ordinary
clay/silt/mud origin metamorphic stones (sort of nature’s ceramics)
for the bonsai planter. The stones are rusty reddish and white-grey.
They are like china ceramic shards with completely irregular and
jagged tops and sides though I needed a flat back for the mortar. The
artistic effect is partly created by the contrast of regular granite
tiles with irregular planter stones. The gestalt of the work of
course causes the eye to see the planter first so I had to be right
about doing this, otherwise spoiling an expensive job. I was highly
complemented by the owner for the project.
Jade, as we all know, is a rock and not a mineral so its breakage in
reaction to hammer blows is variable. I took some of the “Polar
Jade” which Leaming says is the best in the world and struck various
shards with a hammer. The smaller the piece, the easier it was to
shatter it. Pieces a few mm wide were very easy to shatter. I expect
this would generalize to all stones. Jade “toughness” in bead-sized
stone is no match for a hammer.
We say that scratch is not the same as shatter when it comes to
overall stone strength. But again, how much force is there in the
scratch? If an ophiolite terrane environment from the ocean floor
travels thousands of miles after the disintegration of a recent
supercontinent like Pangea, the diamonds in it are subjected to many
powerful and sudden scratching and shattering blows from surrounding
rocks as well as aerobic and anaeorbic heating which may turn them to
CO2 or graphite. Tiny shards of diamond are a particular interest of
mine. I think that is what is embedded in my diamond saws and drills.
Otherwise I have little experience with diamond grit/shards and
would appreciate feedback from jewellers who have probably seen
thousands of pieces of pre-faceted and shattered diamonds. Do the
rough-cut faces give the sparkle of faceted diamonds? Has anyone
tried setting them in protective epoxy etc. to see what the
interaction with light is like?
I like the idea of using ceramic shards. I collect gold plated cups,
plates, saucers etc. as a minor hobby. The saucer from a lovely cup
and saucer set broke and though I still use the gold plated cup the
saucer is not useful but I kept it anyway. Now I know what to do with
it. Along these lines I have a hobby piece on my wall. The "clock"
consists of rough cut pieces of gold, silver and platinum ore I have
gathered in my prospecting over a 50 year period. I covered a
circular plate with metal lathing and thin set mortar. The
plate-hanging wire is securely tied to the metal lathing. Then I
mortared the stones onto it in the place of hands and minute/hour
locations (glues could substitute). As for the planter, IMO the
juxtaposition of geometric regularity (the granite tiles and the
plate) and the irregular stones is aesthetic. The wall hanging is
titled “Geological Time”.
My gold saucer shards may end up on a wall plate like this. Thanks
for the tip.