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Kintsugi Craft: The Craft that Rediscovers the Beauty of Imperfection

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Discover Kintsugi craft, a unique form of Japanese craftsmanship that transforms broken objects into works of art. Witness how this ancient technique celebrates the beauty of imperfection, highlighting the scars, creating authentic and singular pieces.

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You have heard of 'Kintsugi'?

Who has never felt very sad when that beautiful vase or that porcelain cup that belonged to our grandmother fell to the ground and broke into several pieces? We hurried to mend it, but no matter how careful we were, it remained marked, and we had the feeling that it was not the same piece, or it didn't have the same beauty.

Well, we were mistaken. It is possible for the mend to become even more beautiful than the original object, you know? Do you agree? Then come with me and discover a traditional Japanese restoration technique that turns old and broken objects into true works of art!

Kintsugi, the restoration dating back to the 15th century, that celebrates scars

Kintsugi, also known as kintsukuroi, is an art that repairs broken objects, enhancing their beauty. The word "kintsugi" has a translation similar to 'joining with gold'. It involves taking an accidentally broken object and gluing its pieces using a mixture of resistant glue or epoxy combined with metal powder, which can be gold, silver, bronze, copper, or even different-colored mica powder.


The piece is restored with lines that highlight the cracks and imperfections, which become part of the object. While the traditional technique of Kintsugi involves specific materials, such as Japanese lacquer (urushi) and gold powder, it can be adapted using more accessible and readily available materials nowadays.

Kintsugi emphasizes the scars and transforms something that would be discarded for being broken into a piece that celebrates the beauty of imperfection, simplicity, and transience. The restored object takes on a new meaning, highlighting its authenticity and turning it into a unique and special piece.

The symbolism of the art - the metaphor with human life

In addition to the aesthetic meaning, Kintsugi also carries a powerful symbolic message. Ceramics can be metaphorically considered a representation of human life, which, like these objects, face challenges and difficult moments that leave their scars. And it is precisely these 'cracks' that life causes that make them as special, strong, and beautiful as Kintsugi ceramics.

In recent years, the art of Kintsugi has been expanding to the world precisely because of its philosophy, inspiring people to deal with their experiences of overcoming and acceptance, and reminding them that true beauty is the result of all the imperfections we encounter in human existence.

How does Kintsugi relate to 'teenager vintage'?

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Kintsugi can be related to aging and acceptance of changes throughout life. The appreciation of experience and scars as part of our history is an element that makes us unique, authentic, and singular. By accepting our imperfections, we embrace physical and emotional changes and transform into new individuals, with new opportunities, projects, and dreams. Kintsugi also inspires us to recognize the beauty in this new way of approaching the world and to seek interests that keep us active and constantly evolving. It also celebrates vintage authenticity as a unique journey for each individual.

Modern Kintsugi: Some steps for restoration with Accessible Materials

Prepare the fragments: Start by organizing the pieces of the broken ceramic object and clean them carefully. Make sure all the pieces fit well before proceeding.

Glue the pieces: Use transparent superglue or high-resistance epoxy to glue the broken pieces together. Apply the glue on the edges of the pieces and press them gently to join them. Clean off any excess glue with a paper towel or soft cloth.

Let it dry: Follow the instructions from the glue manufacturer to know the required drying time. It is essential for the pieces to be firmly glued before proceeding.

Application of metal powder: With the fragments properly glued, you can start applying the metal powder to create the characteristic golden (or chosen color) lines of Kintsugi. Use a small brush to delicately apply the metal powder along the cracks and glued areas of the object. Be careful not to apply too much powder at once; it's better to do thin layers and repeat the process if necessary.

Polishing: After applying the metal powder, wait a few minutes for it to adhere well to the glue. Then use a soft cloth to gently polish the golden (or chosen color) lines and remove any excess powder. This will give shine to the restored lines.

Finishing: Once the metal powder has been applied and polished, your restored object will be ready for display. Remember that the beauty of Kintsugi lies in celebrating the scars and cracks, so don't worry if the result is not perfectly symmetrical.

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