Vintage Broken China Mosaics EcoFriendly RePurposed

Laying out a large design
one of my tools for hand-cutting each piece
my favorite pieces to work with
grouting is messy work
custom work from special china


I'm genetically wired to love old dishes, I think. They say my Great Grandma went to auctions and bought partial sets of dishes thinking she would find the rest later. I started buying antiques in the fifth grade. It was no surprise when I became a vintage seller online more than a decade ago. But I was always so sad when an old dish with a full and interesting life was unwanted just because it was chipped or stained.

When my wise husband bought me a pair of tile nippers for Mother's Day one year (he knows me SO well!) I began my adventure with mosaics made from broken china. This craft is officially called picassiette, but you probably find it most often by searching for "broken china mosaics." I've always been creative, but no craft had my full attention until I started cutting up plates, cups, saucers and creating new things from the pieces.

My mother's gift for quilting informed my use of color and pattern, and my years of studying antiques gives my work a harmony of era. Practical and a bit stubborn, I'm much more challenged by using old surfaces like old furniture, silver trays and old frames as a starting point than a predictable store-bought substrate. That means each piece I make is one of a kind and has a story all its own. After 5 years of practice, I feel like I really know my materials and my craft and I'm excited to share it with you.
Vanessa Ryerse
owner, maker, designer
I LOVE old dishes. I have practiced the art of making mosaics from old dishes for over five years. I hand-cut each piece and arrange them in one of kind designs and I enjoy the challenge of using the imperfect to make something new and beautiful.