Saturday, January 21, 2012

Broken Template

The pictured mess is what is left of a soldered glass template that cracked on a finished piece of work I was papering and wiring the back of, preparing it for shipping. Suffice it to say observing the cracked glass was not a happy moment. Discouraging words left my mouth. When I noticed the crack, my immediate response was to think, screw this. I'm not fixing it. BUT, the piece is for a charity auction that I already committed myself to, sent the paperwork in regarding, and couldn't not send it. Then I thought, I can just tease out the cracked section and add new glass. I used the thinnest framing glass I could buy and had for this larger piece. When I started teasing, the section nearest the broken part snapped. Sigh. Ok, not going to be an easy fix. I left for work and decided I'll try again later, still hoping at least part of it was salvageable.

Fast forward to Saturday. I decided I try to heat the solder joints-that might assist with the dissembling of the cracked parts and maybe still, I could use some of it. I also found and cleaned a heavier piece of glass that I thought I'd use if I couldn't fix the sections that broke. More parts cracked as I heated the glass and tried again to slowly wiggle them out of place like a loose tooth. I had to take five and face the rubber gloves. That meant, the weak glass had to be yanked apart no matter how much of it broke, and the stronger stained glass pieces which were already cut saved out of the mess. I couldn't save any of the thinner glass. The thicker, tougher stained glass wiggled right out of the copper foil, so the end result of it all is pictured. It took all day to recut, grind, foil and solder new glass to the already cut stained glass. I had to make a completely new, stronger template.

I finally made myself realize that if the crack had happened in shipping, there would have been no recovering. It would have been total disaster. The organization I'm sending the piece to is an online art site that services businesses, designers, architects and folks looking for art to use in the workplace or home decoration. This venue would allow me to send a piece no strings really and see if it sells. My work has to have integrity in creativity and structure. If I want to maintain a good reputation, the work has to precede it. Short cuts and wrong materials do not cut the mustard.

It did become an object lesson to me, as I yanked and snapped on purpose in my rubber gloves, pulling apart the broken unusable sections to get to the good parts that could be saved and reused. It feels like the story of my life lately. Weak, bad parts in the template are being broken and thrown aside. The good things are being restructured and reworked into a stronger piece. I have to let God do the breaking. The end result is worth the time and pain. If weak parts don't break now, they will down the road, often at the most inconvenient moment. It will happen. The break was unavoidable and I should have known it. The whole point is, don't structure with weak materials. I just read the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew. Jesus does say something about building a house on sand vs on a rock. People that use good teaching and wisdom as a foundation will have a structure that stands up to use. People that do not will snap one day. I have to get this lesson.

1 comment:

  1. You make a good point. Having a piece fail because I "built on sand" is agonizing. In life or art. I have to get this lesson, too.