Posted by: glue | September 16, 2008

Fragmentality

5.  Mosaics

Composing a blog is like crafting a mosaic, but not from any packaged kit.  You  don’t start with a pattern or shape, but hope that one emerges as the pieces accumulate in the frame of the blog.  The collage aspect of working with found information and images makes a blog most similar perhaps to the method of pique assiette.

Blog Design

Blog Design

Pique Assiette (also called Shard Art) is the art of recycling broken glass, pottery, porcelain and found objects to create unique and functional pieces for the home and garden. The French term Pique Assiette quite literally means “stolen from plate” and is a reference to Raymond Edouard Isidore. In 1938, Isidore began collecting glass and pottery shards from the fields near his home in Chartres, France. He got a little carried away and compulsive with his craft and covered every surface of his home, inside and out, with mosaic designs. His neighbors referred to him as “Picassiette” – plate stealer.”

There is a connection with iconoclasm that is worth thinking about in our context.

Recollections

Recollections

The basic idea is an old one. Roman mosaicists used pieces of terracotta vessels to obtain red colours in their work and also glass from broken bottles. In Britain, fragments of the red-glazed Samian ware (imported from Gaul) were used. Any busy mosaic workshop would surely have scavenged and stockpiled the otherwise worthless broken items, rather than buying them when needed. There is a long tradition of using discarded materials in the creation of something new. This is particularly true of building materials, but a prime case of the pique assiette principle is in the reconstruction of medieval stained glass.  A large number of glass windows were deliberately destroyed during religious upheavals such as the Reformation or the Puritanism of the English Civil War. In many instances the fragments were re-assembled into new windows.”

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Responses

  1. What does fragmentality mean? Could I get a definition?

  2. “Fragmentality” is a portmanteau word, joining “fragment” with “mentality” to name a compositional style and mode of thought that treat materials both material and ideational in the manner of the pique assiette principle. The form resonates with other terms ending in “-mentality” (monumentality).


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