Deanna Williamson, Charis's China, mosaic door hanger, 2016,
Deanna Williamson, Charis’s China, mosaic door hanger, 2016

Pique assiette (or picassiette) is mosaic made from bits of broken china, pottery, glass, figurines, and/or jewelry. You can use these materials to make a conventional picture, decorate a piece of furniture or even cover an entire house.  A good example of the latter is the mosaic garden in France called Maison Picassiette. Probably the most famous collection of pique assiette is in the city of Barcelona where public places are filled with mosaics by the architect Antoni Gaudi. He and his assistants covered walls, benches, buildings, and fountains  with shards of broken dishes and pottery.

Pique assiette appeals to the modern interest in upcycling. It also gives a way to preserve items of sentimental value like the roses on this humble door hanger. They are shards of cups, saucers and plates from my daughter’s china collection.  It took a few years for the children to break this many things but it was worth the wait.