Joan Greenberg: reChinafication

January 22 2015

Imagine what your mom would say if she saw you breaking her good china.

Well, Joan Greenberg, owner of reChinafication, believes that if her mother knew that would be the end of her, until she saw the results. Joan breaks china, glass, and other dinnerware for a living, and she is having the time of her life.

In her second act, she worked as a copywriter and later as a commercial real estate manager, Joan found her bliss. She always admired mosaics and art, and by repurposing broken dishes, cups, and saucers, she creates functional art.

“When friends visit or if I go to their homes, they always give me their broken china,” she says. “It never gets thrown away. Instead, I repurpose the pieces into beautiful dinnerware, tabletop gifts, tabletops, and wall art.”

She is currently being commissioned to construct a bathroom wall for a client in Miami. Her collections have many admirers in addition to Curate customers. Another client gave her a set of her late mother’s dishes that she wanted Joan to repurpose into a plate for each of her siblings. Joan added other personal mementoes that she received from the client, and each one got a beautiful dish filled with memories.

“That’s the nice part about this business,” she says. “I’m recycling objects that have meaning for my clients.”

Joan got started breaking china when a good friend told her that he wanted to build a mosaic sculpture for her fireplace. That was 10 years ago. Her friend called on Joan to help him with the project. “He demystified the process,” she said. “He was very willing to share how this was done.”

Joan took to smashing the dinnerware like it was second nature, and putting the pieces together was a joyful experience. Ten years later, she still loves the process, which incorporates adding costume jewelry, semi-precious stones, toys, and other personal memorabilia.

Her collection includes dinnerware, tabletop pieces, tabletops, mirror frames, and art objects, which she lovingly calls tchotkes. Click to shop the reChinafication collection on