30 Days of Art: Day 24 (Cups)

30 days of art

Heirloom - small acrylic painting on paper of an antique tea cup“Heirloom”


I have been told that it used to be tradition that when a girl got married all of her friends would either give her a tea cup or buy her one.

I don’t know how true that is, but I’ve thought a little bit about it. My first thought was why would anyone want so many tea cups??

But then I began to think of the relationships these dainty cups represent. They say something about the giver, is that person bold and exotic or sweet and flowery? Is she gentle like a violet or bold like roses?

And then I thought of the hands that some of these cups have passed through. Through Great Grandmother to Grandmother, to Mother, to me. Somehow these delicate pieces of china have escaped the ravages of homes full of children and husbands – no small feat.

These symbols of relationship were built with a purpose, with a function to perform besides being a beautiful item. This tea cup was designed for regular use, to make the one who holds it feel a little bit more special, more beautiful, more worth the time to bring out the “good” china. At least one small piece of it.

I’m going to wax philosophical for a second and draw a parallel between the beautiful qualities inherent in a china tea cup and the qualities of the friendship that the cup represents.

Beautiful, Delicate, Handle with Care but designed-for-real-life kinda love.


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