How To Do Kintsugi


Everybody has experienced the terrible sinking sensation when their favourite bowl or cup falls to the ground. We all hate the crack that occurs when ceramic meets tile. 

But what if there was a way to fix cracked ceramic and porcelain items in such a way that they looked even more gorgeous?

A well-liked method of giving ancient ceramics new life is the Japanese skill of mending them by filling the fractures with gold. 

The age-old Japanese craft of “kintsugi” is used to fix ceramics that have been cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged.

In the past, the repairs were finished with “urushi,” a Japanese lacquer that had been coated with gold powder. 

The gold lacquer reveals the flaws rather than covering them up, which frequently increases their value.

Kintsugi is not limited to the usage of gold, though. The missing shards can be replaced with bits of various ceramics or wood pieces and then finished with silver powder.

Many artists now intentionally shatter ceramics in order to restore them in this colourful, distinctive style, and it has evolved into a type of art.

This article will discuss kintsugi and how you can practice it. 

The Origins Of Kintsugi

Although the precise origins of kintsugi remain uncertain, the technique is believed to have been practised in Japan in the late 16th century, when tea rituals were widely accepted in society. 

These broken tea bowls as well as the gold lacquer fixes were incorporated into the set of utensils used for the ritual of sipping tea.

The Meaning Of Kintsugi

The Japanese word “kintsugi” means “golden joinery” in English. A Japanese word for “join” is “tsugi,” while the word for “gold” is “kin.”

The Japanese word “kintsukuroi,” which means “golden repair,” is another name for the art form. These literal translations emphasise the gold ingredient, which serves as the process’ primary colouring.

The majority of kintsugi fixes don’t need actual gold. Instead, to achieve a gold effect lacquer, artists and restorers mix brass, copper, and zinc.

Visually, it frequently resembles the actual object exactly.

What Does The Philosophy Of Kintsugi Represent?

The Japanese art of kintsugi revolves around embracing flaws and beautifying scars and damage in a manner that honours rather than conceals the transformations they have undergone.

Kintsugi is more than just a method of restoration; it’s also a philosophy and a way to restore the beauty of a broken object.

The final work of art is more priceless than the original. The Kintsugi art form’s philosophy is highly thought-provoking and directly applicable to everyday life. 

It represents the significance of embracing difficult periods in a person’s life and emerging stronger as a result.

What Varieties Of Kintsugi Are There?

The three primary varieties of kintsugi each have a distinct technique.

Crack Approach

The most straightforward and popular kintsugi technique entails just using golden adhesive to bind ceramic pieces together in a few sparse, delicate lines.

Makienoshi Technique

You can add replacement ceramic pieces made entirely of the golden adhesive where there are missing pieces. This is a fantastic option for ceramics that have broken or missing chips.

Joint Approach

You can combine two broken ceramics to create a brand-new object if you have two shattered ceramics. Although finding pieces that fit together is necessary, if done correctly, this approach may be quite productive.

How To Do Kintsugi 

1. Select Your Kintsugi Object

Find cracked pottery, especially one that was used for decoration rather than to hold food or liquids. This is crucial since the lacquer used could have toxic chemicals that are harmful.

2. Select Your Kintsugi Technique

You can select the best technique based on how the ceramic was broken. Use the crack technique if there is a clear cut across the middle. Try using the Makienaoshi and joint procedures if there are missing parts.

3. Get Ready To Use Your Lacquer Adhesive

When you purchase an at-home kintsugi set, this is typically done for you. Take two portions of transparent ceramic adhesive and a portion of mica powder if you’re manufacturing it from scratch. 

Just before you begin adhering the components together, combine these on a scrap of paper (see also ‘How to Make Japanese Paper Lanterns’). As it dries out quickly, move quickly.

Alternatively, you might use liquid gold leaf with one portion of clear ceramic adhesive.

Best Repair Kits To Buy For Kintsugi

Purchase one of the following DIY kintsugi sets to get you going if you want to try kintsugi at home using some old ceramics that may require fixing.

Sandy Leaf Farm Kintsugi Repair Kit

An instruction manual, two miniature tea bowls for practice, adhesive, gold dust, gloves, and cotton cloth are all included in this package.

Additionally, the adhesive ought to last you for a few tasks in addition to these two bowls.

Chiyu Kintsugi Repair Kit

This specific kintsugi kit has the advantage of being dishwasher and food safe, so as soon as you’re done with it, you may use it for supper.

All the pieces are food and dishwashing safe once the resin has fully dried because its resin was produced on the shells of cashew nuts.

Design Museum New Kintsugi Repair Kit

The above kintsugi repair kit can be used on a variety of surfaces, including ceramics, glass, wood, marble, and plastic. The set can be used more than once.

Final Thoughts

In the Japanese art form of kintsugi, broken pieces can be put back together. The flaws that give the damaged work of art its individuality are filled with golden lacquer by artists. 

This pertains to the magnificent concept in life, when one may experience challenging circumstances and feel damaged.

They should embrace the flaws in this situation and line the blemishes with golden linings.

The entire procedure produces a design that is beautifully artistic, and the errant lines are not considered to be defects. 

Instead, they are thought of as the components of beauty.

A person’s weaknesses make them human, much like improved pottery art, and displaying them to another person strengthens the relationship.

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