modern antiquity

The latest instalment of Brouhaha’s Treasures from Trash:

Did I hear you say, “Tell me more?” No? Well, you’re getting more anyway (did you really think I was going to let it go with just one photo?! Sheesh.).

The other day, I located this in the junk pile in my building’s shared laundry facility:

I was thrilled! A priceless ancient hellenic vase – for free!

Examining it very closely, I noted the following:

Fine Hellenic detail! And… an ancient crack, together with millenia-old dirt:

I danced back upstairs, singing songs of hellenic triumph that I learned at Greek School (scroll to the bottom) and headed immediately to the spare room to take photos to send to the Antiques Roadshow.

JJ, who was watching the Food Channel when I came up and was very likely relieved not to have to hear the usual “you won’t believe what happened in the laundry room” rant, ambled in about 10 minutes later:

JJ: Why are ye so happy, lassie? No absolute wankers hogging machines and dumping clothing from the dryers onto the floor this evening?

KB: Look at my ancient greek vase! (5 minute monologue/babble ensuing about how we are going to be millionaires, that this is the greatest discovery in the diaspora ever, etc.)

JJ: Have you gone aff yer heid? That’s no a grrrrek vase, honey.

KB: Sure it is… look at it! Touch it!

JJ: (touching the vase dubiously) It’s dairrrty.

KB: (frantically) Don’t brush that off – it’s ancient greek dirt!

JJ: (pause) Er, honey… ah don’t think that is probably an antique vase.

(then silence from JJ for at least 10 minutes as KB rants on along the lines of “how dare you tell me what’s greek and what is not greek??? When have you ever been in Greece? Why do you think you know more than I do about greek things? Huh? Huh? and stop leaving your dirty laundry on the floor…” Meanwhile, KB was actually feeling rather sorry for JJ because, after all, he had never had the opportunity to see real-life buildings like these:
and so was clearly in no position to assess the value of Greektiques, unlike KB.)

JJ: Have you finished yet?

KB: (miffed silence).


Then, JJ turned over the vase to reveal:


My mother was right. Silence can be golden.

The dilemma then became – what to do with my not-so-precious urn?

1. A plant holder? JJs suggestion – a good one, except that I have a black thumb. Whatever I even look at and admire, dies.

2. A beer holder?

Not bad, but something is missing…

3. A beer cosy?

Um, no.

So, finally, the perfect idea hit me…

4. A modern antiquity votive candle holder!

Here is the project in the making: please let it be known that I shed blood in making it!

I should note, for those who want to try mosaic, that this is a very rare occurence, which may have much to do with the evil bottle on the right.

Anyway, here is the project without the unifying grout:

…and with!

There is a little china rose right in the bottom. Note that when you put a votive candle or tealight inside and light it, the flame causes little sparks of light to fly out of the urn! (this is also why I couldn’t photograph the rose properly). This is a cool trick caused by the mirror tile inside. Why do you think Quack enjoys this urn so much???

I couldn’t get the light show to photograph properly – believe me, I tried. So – if you want to try for this cool effect, you’ll have to take up mosaic in five easy steps:

(a) get a receptacle (if no priceless Greek urns handy, a small flowerpot will do)
(b) smash teacups and mirror tile
(c) glue broken teacups to the outside of your receptacle with tile adhesive
(d) glue smashed mirror to the inside of your receptacle with tile adhesive
(e) let sit overnight, then grout

Nothing to it!

Hmm… do you think I could fool the Antiques Roadshow now with a priceless MOSAICED urn from ancient Greece? Let’s see what happens when I turn it over, as did JJ:

Oops. “Made in England”?!? And what’s that chickenscratch? (my signature in Greek with the date. Why I have totally different initials in Greek than English – blame my parents!

And finally (at long last) you may be thinking that I have given up knitting. Au contraire. Here is a sneak preview of one of my WIPs…


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