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Bijgewerkt op: 31 jan.

When an object with which you have an emotional connection falls to the ground, destroying itself, you have several possible scenarios. When it happened to American artist Robert Strati in 2020, he simply chose to shelve it in his kitchen island. In a limbo between tossing his wife’s late mother’s plate, an object with sentimental value, and repairing it by roughly gluing the pieces together, it lay there for several months. Later, Strati began to think of a way by which he could give it a second life, bringing the fragments to his studio, where they waited several more weeks on a blank sheet of paper. 

One day, he picked up a pen and began working on them, 'exploring the possibilities of things broken and the stories that can evolve from them' as the artist himself states.

From this episode was borned the ongoing series called Fragmented, in which Strati tells, through fragments of old dishes, the stories contained within them; the spirit of the object itself is thus preserved, as if it explodes to reveal its content. Placed on a clear surface, the fragments are rearranged or scattered, as if the plate had just fallen. Then, he draws intricate patterns in ink, the same monochromatic color as the plate, that originate from the original drawing. Illustrations with surreal scenarios made up of lines, animals, and landscapes expand into vast panoramas with decorative characters, allowing us to peek beyond the boundaries of the plate and get a broader view of what was originally depicted.

It was just after making several pieces that Strati noticed the affinity with Kintsugi, a Japanese restoration technique that involves highlighting the broken lines of a ceramic by joining them with a mixture of lacquer and gold. In this way, as in Robert’s works, the objects become true pieces of art, making their fragility a point of strength and perfection that accentuates their beauty, as in accordance with the traditional Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi.

Words by Asia Pedron


  1. “Fragmented in Blue with Windmills and Ships″,broken plate (Delft Blue ceramics) & ink on paper, 2023

  2. “Fragmented #1″, broken plate & ink on paper, 2021 / 2022

  3. “Fragmented in red spiral″, broken plate & ink on paper, 2021 / 2022

  4. “Fragmented in Black”, broken plate & ink on paper, 2023


Read more about ceramics, craft, art, design, and much more in our issue 04. CERAMICS

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