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Old to new: the rare and beautiful art form of Kintsugi!

Posted on November 2, 2020

Have you ever broken a plate and simply thrown it away in anger? In Japan, we have an answer for this exact problem. The traditional Japanese art form called kintsugi dating back to the 15th century, is one in which broken or cracked ceramics can be given a new life by painting over the cracks in gold. The practice of kintsugi, which literally translates to golden joinery, enhances the lines of the breakage in a beautiful way that shows pride in the object’s history. Rather than tossing it in the trash, next time why not try repairing your broken teapot with kintsugi?

kintsugi repair art gold on white

photo by @kintsugikurashi

The gold lines give this white bowl a completely new look. What’s amazing about this technique is that by tracing the natural cracks from the areas where the item has broken, no two items will be repaired in the same way.

 

kintsugi repair art silver on black

photo by @tabitabi_hatoya

You can also use silver instead of gold to repair the cracks. The silver paint on this black plate stands out in an elegant way and as you can see, the line you draw doesn’t have to be perfectly straight!

 

kintsugi repair art workshop

photo by @tsukuroi_bito

When you come to Japan, you can easily join a kintsugi workshop and learn the craft.

 

kintsugi repair art tools

photo by @onthetable_nakahara

Here you can see the glue for the broken pieces, which is a lacquer dusted with powdered gold that the artist is using to repair this beautiful swan plate.

 

kintsugi repair art gold on green

photo by @kintsugikurashi

The gold lines have the power to elevate any ceramics. Some people might even break their plates on purpose to try kintsugi!

 

kintsugi repair art black and gold teapot

photo by @tsukuroi_bito

The lines are created by the natural event of falling and breaking into random pieces, yet seems to create a geometric pattern when the lines are traced. How cool is that!?

 

kintsugi repair art workshop

photo by @tsukuroi_bito

 

kintsugi repair art gold on pink

photo by @tsukuroi_bito

You can trace the cracks with the lacquer to your desired thickness.

 

kintsugi repair art workshop

photo by @tsukuroi_bito

kintsugi repair art silver on white

photo by @h.r.s.t.n.k

Another silver painted plate! The silver on white has a very delicate appearance in comparison to the gold.

 

Written by: Maya Kimura Watts

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