Healing, psychology, and Christianity Publications using Kintsugi as the metaphor
Kintsugi bowl with a missing segment representing finding beauty, rebirth and remembrance even when a loved one is missing
The meaning of Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi Gold Repair Art
Japanese Kintsukuroi Chawan
The translation from Japanese of Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi means golden joinery or repair with gold where the gold powder is applied on lacquer. Some refer to it as Kintsugi art with a metaphor of Kintsugi life, re-birth or Wabi-sabi philosophy. This technique transforms broken ceramic or pottery into beautiful art to it's its new life enhancing the break lines with gold giving the mended broken pottery pleasing and unique presentation.
We restore wide range of ceramic objects using our Kintsugi processes which we have perfected for years. Most Kintsugi art made on a carefully selected vessels including our own made pottery, purchased from Japan or from various artists and sources. The following are some options of how to obtain our Kintsugi art made with 23.5 Karat gold or Gold Effect:
Most of ourrestoration customers would like the damage to their broken item to be concealed and hidden by the repair making it look as new. An alternative to masking the repair could be a Kintsugi repair - artistically better than new. This sometimes adds value as in the Japanese kintsugi repair method (more about kintsugi / Kintsukuroi below). This option is often a less costly repair than our seamless repair offerings. Best candidates for the Kintsugi repair are: Far East ceramic, Wood- Fired pottery, Native American pottery, Satsuma pottery, Raku and Bonsai pots or trays.
Kintsugi Art Metaphor: Repairing Broken Pottery With Gold What Can We Learn From a Broken Pot? What is Kintsugi Pottery?
Kintsugi, as the practice is known, gives new life, healing or rebirth to damaged or aging ceramic objects by celebrating their flaws and history. One can consider how we might live a kintsugi life, finding value in the missing pieces, cracks and chips – bringing to light the scars that have come from life experiences, finding new purpose and meaning through aging and loss, seeing love and the beauty of 'imperfection' and loving ourselves, family, friends and country even with flaws.
This above Kintsugi vase was created for President Biden (see article), requested by the State Department, to present to the Japanese Prime Minister Suga (April 2021) at the White House. The shown Kintsugi work implemented with using a 23.5 karat gold on a 13" vase made by Ben Owen, North Carolina.
In addition to the straight gold line along the repair areas, there are other styles of gold repair. If the broken piece is missing a section, it can be repaired with a technique known as makienaoshi. This is where gold replaces the lost section and is decorated with the texture or design complementing the pattern of the item. Another related gold repair is called yobitsugi where ceramic parts from a different and unrelated vessel are glued into the broken or missing area of the restored piece.
Kintsugi Makienaoshi style
Kintsugi Yobitsugi repair using agate gemstone
Kintsugi - silver
Our Choices of Metals Effects:
Our Kintsugi Effect Process and How it is Made
We use 23.5 Karat gold for our traditional Kintsugi process. To make Kintsugi more affordable, we have developed a blend of metals creating a durable realistic gold effect which is virtually indistinguishable from real gold. We developed this application of the gold effect due to the high demand for the lower cost product. Our customers are very pleased with this option due to its beauty, durability and gold equivalent appearance. To see both processes, see the video below.
Kintsugi is said to have originated in the 15th century when a Japanese shogun broke a favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be fixed. But the repair job, which was made with metal staples (being the standard for repair at that time - see how staples repair examples), detracted from the beauty of the bowl. Disappointed, the shogun enlisted Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Kintsugi was born.
Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi repair makes it appear as though the original piece was mended with gold and lacquer, the original process is essentially a form of lacquer art. Broken pieces are glued back together using urushi lacquer, derived from the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree. The final layer of urushi is covered with fine gold powder and then burnished. The collection of the sap and processing of the urushi oil is difficult because of its toxicity.
Lakeside Pottery Studio offers real gold powder implantation but due the price of gold, it is cost prohibitive for most customers. We therefore, in addition to our 23.5 karat gold implementation, developed a blend of metals creating a durable realistic Gold Effect which is virtually indistinguishable from real gold. This "Gold Effect" process can be accomplished thanks to polymer technology and fine metal grinding techniques. These materials are stronger and have greater longevity than the ancient lacquer methodology. We use a proprietary mix of metals encapsulated within a oxygen-free and water-resistant clear compound, that is highly resistant to scratches and oxidation.
To keep the restoration quality intact for years and the guarantee valid, please insure the following: Do not wash or use liquids, do not use it with food or temperatures above 150 degrees F. The restored item is for display only. If cleaning is required, you can use damp soft cloth applied gently without scrubbing.
Be Aware of Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi imitations:
When choosing kintsugi art, note that there are other imitated implementation methods of Kintsugi as shown below.
A) Kintsugi imitation: using gold paint brushed over the seam
B) Kintsugi imitation: gold color is mixed with the bonding glue often purchased as Kintsugi Repair Kit
C) Kintsugi imitation: Gold effect is painted on without the item being broken first; e.g., Bernardaud, Sarkis Coupe plate set using gold color or glaze silkscreened on sold by bloomingdales
Note: Some might be able to perform a basic Kintsugi repair with a modern method using kintsugi repair kit available (search the web under "buy Kintsugi kit").