Kintsugi: What you need to know

What you need to know about Famous Japanese craft and philosophy

Ever thrown your broken ceramic or pottery pieces with teary eyes?

Well, if you are fond of collecting and using ceramics, there’s a way to make them a part of your life for a more extended period. Yes, apart from using it with care and affection, you can repair the broken pieces using the Japanese technique and reuse them for different purposes.

You must be wondering about the technique that will save your ceramic and pottery pieces from going to the trash, right? Let me break the ice and introduce you to the ancient yet dearest Japanese practice of repairing and healing ceramic and pottery objects with gold, Kintsugi.

Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese practise introduced by Kumai in the 15th century, who first learnt to repair broken things and made the metaphor out of it to understand the art of healing. Kintsugi is a mixture of two words that pretty much highlights its literal meaning; Kin (gold) and Tsugi (join), which means join or mend with gold. Kintsugi itself is a long yet necessary process, involves many steps and need unique ingredients. It also demands trust and patience to get the desired results and understand the meaning behind the technique.

The Kintsugi Technique

It may be a simple practice, but it requires lots of time and trial and demands attention to detail. The process of mending the broken pottery or ceramic objects consists of few essential steps.

First, you need to gather all the broken pieces of the object and clean them with gentle hands. Make sure the edges won’t harm you, better to wear gloves. Besides, you can get the Kintsugi DIY kit available online to save yourself the hassle of getting every tool and ingredient separately.

After cleaning each piece, prepare the mixture by mixing glue and gold powder, and then apply it to the one edge of the broken piece using a thin brush. You need to be pretty precise during the application, and it’s okay if it won’t come out as you planned. We are not expecting perfection in the process. Instead, we are trying to embrace the imperfections of the broken things. After that, attach the other piece gently and quickly and let the object dry. The final result would amaze you with pretty golden lines on the object, expecting you to embrace and accept its beautiful flaw.

Well, the object would mend at the end, and all the broken pieces would join together and be ready to use again. They will be stronger, pretty, and perfect in their own way. Besides, the golden lines like scars on the object would make you think about this powerful Japanese craft and its philosophy. Every scar will be like a story of suffering that the object wears with pride of gold and silver.