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Kintsugi (Kintsukuroi), filling broken pottery’s cracks with gold
Not only brings new life into a broken vessel but also enhances its existence value. That’s Kintsugi (Kintsukuroi). In other words, the gold repairing pottery method is a Japanese sense of values expressed by their own sense of beauty and technology, with a long-cherished mind and a long love for one thing.
Kintsugi began in the world of the tea ceremony during the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when tea ceremony became popular in Japan. The Japanese called the repaired scars of broken ceramic as “landscape”. There was a time when we were conscious of beauty there. In modern times, they have become a mass production and consumption lifestyle, and have forgotten the charm of Kintsukuroi. However, recently, not only Japanese but also people from other countries are rediscovering the technique, the beauty and the sense of values.
What is Kintsugi (Kintsukuroi)
This traditional Japanese technique uses lacquer and gold powder to repair broken or chipped pottery including bowls and vases. The ceramic seams after repair are called “scenery” and enjoy a different beauty from before breaking. In modern times, synthetic adhesives may be used instead of lacquer.
Materials and Tools
- Broken pottery
- Lacquer (unrefined sap, black lacquer, and varnish)
- Gold powder for gold lacquering
- Paint brush
Kintsugi Repairing Kit from Japan
Process of Kintsugi
Stick the broken pieces with “wheat lacquer (a mixture of flour and lacquer)”. And Wait for the lacquer to dry for 1-2 weeks.
Squeeze out the overflowing wheat lacquer.
Rub and smooth the part of lacquer with sandpaper so that it won’t get scratched around.
Fill gaps and holes with paste and putty made with lacquer.
Paint lacquer and put gold powder on it before it gets dry (lacquer usually takes 6 to 24 hours to harden).
Polish again with sandpaper after drying and give gloss with lacquer.
Books about Kintsugi
Ceramics with Kintsugi on Amazon