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The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge for the week of October 25, 2017.

Goodbye, straight lines. Hello, curves.

While I pondered my response to this week’s challenge, I happened to be reading a book called The Porcelain Thief by Huan Hsu. I acquired an uncorrected proof of the book purely by accident a few months ago, digging it out of a pile of used books for sale. I wanted to read it partly because China (the country) has always fascinated me; another reason was that some of the shards pictured on the book’s cover reminded me of a few broken pieces of pottery I found years ago near Mormon Island at Folsom Lake, during the winter when the lake level was down.

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Of  course, the shards I found are almost certainly relatively cheap, everyday dinnerware from the early 20th century rather than rare Chinese porcelain.  Still, the closer I study them, the more fascinating they become. I may never know what stories these small shards have to tell, but their curved decorations and shapes remain intriguing to me, and I protect them as though they were priceless artifacts.

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We peered into the pit… The walls were layer upon layer of collapsed kilns and shard beds. The rounded forms of broken teacups looked like clutches of fossilized dinosaur eggs. ‘Those shards two meters down, they’re about a hundred years old,’ he said. That was only halfway to the bottom. ‘And there’s even more under there’ — Huan Hsu, “The Porcelain Thief”

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