Thursday, 24 April 2014

What to do when your heart breaks

Any kind of heart-break is painful. 
When it's a clay heart that breaks .... well, I don't exactly shed a tear, it's more of a murmured expletive!

Broken Hearted again!

When the piece is made and the wet clay completely dried out, it is extremely brittle - a bit like the texture of chalk. And it is at this stage that I get around to 'fettling' it. 

In Yorkshire, where I'm from,  'to fettle' something means to sort it, or manage it.

Fettling clay means cleaning it up and scraping off any rough edges, etc. 
And once in a while, something snaps!    "Oh bother!",  I am heard to say cheerfully.

Recycling clay to be used once more - waste not, want not!

But a broken heart is easily fixed.
Just break it into tiny pieces, immerse the bits in water and make new clay with which to make a new heart! 
Let that one dry out, don't break it again and pop into the kiln with the rest of the pieces.

Dried clay pieces ready to be bisque fired

A broken heart is one thing, but if I happen to break one of those large bowls whilst fettling the edges, best keep your distance!

As with all broken hearts, they always come good in the end, even if they're a bit patched together like these.

Patchwork Hearts from

Did you ever get your heart broken?  How did you mend yours?

x Cathy


  1. I love the finished hearts Cathy.

  2. oh so pretty. if only it was as easy as a soak in water in real life........

  3. The final cut on a linocut when you get a bit carefree as the end is in way back! My expletives are more than murmured when I make that mistake!

  4. I love them, and I love the broken one - new product line maybe??

  5. I can just imagine a broken bowl would produce something a little more heartfelt than "Bother!". Running out of thread one needleful from the end is perhaps the nearest stitchers have, and it often demands a complete rethink!

  6. Hello there, just catching up. I would be so upset if I broke something like that you are far more philosophical than me! Hope that you are having a good weekend. xx

  7. A broken heart stitched together (like your great bowls) would be so cool. I agree with Rachel, running out of thread with a small amount of topstitching left also produces a "bother".Gillxx

  8. also running out of wallpaper when there is only just a tiny bit to finish! (so many times...sigh) haha Loving the look of whats to go into the kiln.

  9. I really must look out for some sweet cicely.
    visit my blod

  10. they are so lovely though. Wish I knew how to mend a broken heart, I'd make a fortune

  11. I didn't realise that you'd be able to use the clay again once it had dried out. The hearts are so pretty.

  12. Hi Cathy,

    Oh no - always a pain when something breaks like that. My sister used to do pottery and had the wheel and kiln. Love all your beautiful work.
    happy Tuesday

  13. Part of the joy and frustration of producing wonderful, original, artisanal, beautiful work! Your colours are gorgeous!

  14. What a great post! It's true, sometimes when you're creating, things don't work out as planned, but that just adds to the challenge and the joy when everything comes together just as hoped. Your work, as usual, is quite lovely. Nice colors on your hearts!

  15. Lovely post! So sorry to have taken so long to catch up here x


Thanks for stopping by, and I always try to visit your blog in return. If you enjoyed your visit, there's more on our Facebook Page. Click on the tab just below the header picture to whiz over there!