Description: The bowl represents us as an individual, we are vessels that hold many things. But sometimes we break and need to be put back together. Our brokenness changes us, makes us who we are. And so the painting on the outside of the bowl represents who we are on the outside, and the words on the inside of the bowl express all the hidden components that make us us.
Materials: A ceramic bowl, plastic bag, spray gesso, hammer, watercolor, permanent markers, E-6000 Quick Hold glue, hi-shine spray glaze.
Preparation Instructions: Since most ceramic bowls you have are probably already glazed you will need to spray gesso over the entire (inside & out) bowl so that the watercolor will stick. This part is time consuming so plan accordingly, you will need 2-3 coats of spray gesso.
*I suggest raiding your local thrift store for cheap cereal bowls, or if you have a bowl you don’t use anymore it can be reincarnated into a beautiful art project!
Directive: Once your bowl is ready put it in a plastic bag, tie it up, and go outside. Make sure you choose a place outside where you wont be interrupted, because its about to get loud! Have the client place the bowl upside down on the sidewalk (still in the bag, we want to keep all the shards together) and have them hit it a few times with the hammer. Don’t pulverize the bowl, you need to be able to put it back together.
*I suggest hitting on the SIDE not on the bottom of the bowl, when the base of the bowl is shattered this makes it extremely frustrating to reassemble.
begin painting the OUTSIDE of the shards first. The inside of the bowl is reserved for words that describe what piece of you that shard represents. When each shard has been painted and written on, you may begin gluing the pieces back together. Not all the pieces will fit together perfectly, there will be some that got lost or turned to powder when the bowl was broken. Be patient, problem solve. Just as in life not everything goes the way we planned. Finally, glaze the bowl, one side at a time letting the glaze dry in between coats.
Things to Consider: This project was designed specifically for adult addicts in a bereavement group. Sometimes the most significant part of the bowl, are the gaps where the piece was too broken to be mended. For many people this represents a deep wound from their past and may be especially hard to talk about, but none the less be sure to gently bring the gap to your attention.
If you are a counselor doing this project with clients I suggest making your own bowl ahead of time so you will have already done all the problem solving, and so that you are more aware of the intimacy of this project.