Upcycling Fear and Anger into Creativity and Beauty

Upcycling Fear and Anger into Creativity and Beauty

A note from G Day Founder Madeleine Shaw


For those of you who were not able to join us for our Simply Smashing un-gala in June, at the risk of triggering FOMO, it was amazing!


As a brief recap on the idea, I was inspired to create it when a former Board member sent me an LA Times article about Women Breaking Plates. I was instantly smitten with the idea of borrowing the concept and using it as a fundraiser for G Day.


For weeks before the party, I would make regular stops at local charity thrift stores and stock up on cheap, well-used plates. I took them – along with a jumbo Sharpie marker – everywhere I went, and made a practice of asking people what they would like to smash and inviting them to write it on the plate.


I loved doing this so much, and learned so much about people that I would not have known otherwise: it was very intimate and special to witness. I took photos of folks holding their plates and we shared them on our Facebook and Instagram to spread the word.


Everything was in place for the party, except for what was going to happen to all the broken plates. One day I was doing my usual mentoring at Groundswell, an alternative business school that I am a huge fan of, and as luck would have it met Mariana, whose venture was all about – yes! – upcycling waste into art. She was thrilled to take the plates, and was a wonderful addition to the party as well.


The party was – well, check out the video!

It was everything that I had hoped for: breaking plates, as I had suspected, is uniquely thrilling and therapeutic.


Last week I went to one of Mariana’s workshops and learned how to make mosaic: again, it was awesome. In addition to plate shards from the party, I also incorporated some buttons that she had. The themes that came to me were smashing (broken plates) traditional feminine domesticity (as represented by the buttons). The green and purple are about feminism (green and purple were the colours of the British Suffragettes), and also happen to be personal favourites. Making art out of anger as it happens, is also fun and healing.


Thank you so much to everyone who supported Simply Smashing in any way: we are so grateful and hope to see you at the next one!


P.S.: Maybe see you at one of Mariana’s workshops in the meantime? Click here to see what she’s got on offer


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