Kintsugi, meaning “golden joinery” is the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with – you guessed it – gold.
(Well…technically lacquer dusted with gold pigment for all you 15th Century pottery heads out there.) Rather than trying to conceal the areas of repair, kintsugi turns cracks, breaks, and seams into glorious golden focal points that add to the object’s design.
Tea bowl, Raku-type clay with Black Raku glaze; gold lacquer repairs, Freer Gallery of Art
Tea bowl, Porcelain with transparent, pale blue glaze; gold lacquer repairs
Beyond its good looks, the art of kintsugi captures some pretty wonderful ideas about the meaning of mending and the lives of our things. Connected to wabi-sabi, a Zen aesthetic philosophy celebrating the beauty of transience and imperfection, kintsugi treats damage and wear as a part of an object’s history rather than the end of its usefulness. It reminds us that accidents are a natural part of life, and the act of repair can enrich an object’s story and give it a new one-of-a-kind beauty. Smashing!
So the next time one of your favorite things gets shattered, torn, or damaged, ask yourself – “How can I kintsugi this?”
Inspired by the ideas of Kintsugi - we make ReCraft apparel from salvaged clothing, remixed into beautiful one of a kind pieces.