Most folks know that I am an avid collector and researcher on the the vintage glass pattern, Fostoria American. I do collect; however, other vintage glass patterns as well. I will be the first to admit that I am partial to Fostoria glass; therefore, when an item arrives at my doorstep broken and in pieces … it’s not a pleasant experience. My sadness over the loss of a piece of history does not get swept away as fast as glass particles being dumped into a trash can.
Put simply, glass breaks. Therein lies the fragility of this type of craftsmanship. Most of the breakage that I have been witness to was due to shipping and packaging mishaps. Years ago, I would just throw away the broken glass. It was not until much later, when a shipment of rare glass dishes were delivered completely shattered, that I began to change my ways.
I simply could not bear the thought of glass that had survived for 80-100 years being casually tossed into the trash can. So, I started to carefully go through the pieces, wearing safety gloves! I retrieved the biggest and most intact pieces I could find, saved them … and then went on a quest to find someone that could turn my broken glass into jewelry. Jewelry that I could enjoy, pass on, and still pay tribute to our glass industry and craftsmanship of yesteryear.
Pictured here is a beautiful set that I had made from a Fostoria Golden Glow vintage plate. Luckily there were enough big pieces of the plate left that allowed me to get a long pendant made from one of the ribbed design elements. The pendant was set in jewelers bronze and embellished with a fine cultured teardrop pearl. Earrings were also made, and I had them designed in two different styles.
It was not an easy journey, but I finally found a couple of people that I thought could turn my broken glass into wearable treasures. I ended up finding someone on Etsy to make my custom jewelry. I sent them a box of my broken glass, and then left it in their capable hands. There are a variety of custom design shops within the Etsy site, specifically dealing with broken china and/or glass. Pick one that pleases your creative vision and pocket book. The sets I chose were not inexpensive; however, I was pleased with the final result.
If you find that you, too, have a broken piece of glass or pottery sitting around, why not consider re-purposing it? Envision it as something else … earrings, a pendant, a small vase, or anything else you can think of. This application would be very appropriate for an item that once belonged to a special member of your family – such as your mother or grandmother. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring it back to life again? I think so.
I can tell you, firsthand, that it really feels good to know that my broken glass now has a useful second life – allowing me to still admire its rich history and beautiful artistry. So the next time that the unthinkable happens … rethink it. Re-purpose it, and watch as the beautiful reincarnation evolves. ♥