Local artist helps pick up the pieces after the earthquake

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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) What some might consider trash is transformed into something beautiful.
Many of those affected by the earthquake lost something valuable or sentimental made of glass and that's where Lydia Lance comes in.

Life is fragile. That's what many of us learned during the earthquake.
hearts were fractured along with the plates and cups falling from the shelves

"I knew other people had to be feeling the same way," says Lydia Lance, a local artist in Wasilla.

But after the quake, Lance knew just how to mend those broken hearts.

"So one day years ago my son was being really helpful and putting the broom away and he marched into the kitchen and knocked down a shelf of all of my favorite tea cups and tea saucers and they just smashed to smithereens and I cried for a minute and then I picked up all the pieces and I was just like I'll do something with this, I don't know what yet. But I will make something with these pieces and parts," says Lance.

She found her answer with the angels.

She says "So I came home and kind of started messing around and seeing what I could make with the china pieces and making an angel and I made lots of really ugly ones just trying to figure out what I liked about it and then I found just a process and a pattern that I really liked."

For many, china was one of the most precious items lost in the quake and Lance was able to turn those pieces into new memories.

"Angels are the main thing I can make. I can make different shapes I've made jewelry now that I've got a different kind of saw. So I've cut out like little dogs, and dragon flies, and hearts, and butterflies and, little pigs," says Lance.

And the response from those with their pieces put back together?

"They are always just so excited to get something back, something that they thought was gone. One girl in particular, her mom had passed away and she called her brother to dig the pieces out of the trash to bring them to me and I was able to make angels and several things for her as keepsakes from her mom's china," says Lance.