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 process which we have perfected for years. Most Kintsugi art made on carefully selected ceramic vessels made by hand in our pottery studio or we buy from Japan.
The following are some options of how to buy our Kintsugi pottery made with gold effect:
Visit our Kintsugi for sale gallery and choose one of the already made Kintsukuroi art
Apply the kintsugi process to your broken item (see link for estimate)
Japanese kintsugi or Kintsukuroi art repair: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 restoration in which the damage is incorporated into the aesthetic of the restored item and becomes 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?
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 and friends even with flaws.
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
One of the steps
Our Choices of Metals:
Our Kintsugi Effect Process and How it is Made
Most of our Kintsugi art work is not made with real gold and uses instead a blend of brass, copper and zinc 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.
Real gold application is available upon request at substantially higher cost and 4-12 weeks lead time.
Our gold effect process can be accomplished thanks to polymer technology and fine metal grinding techniques keeping within the traditional concept but with state of the art process and materials. 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, which is highly resistant to scratches and any sort of erosion. The gold effect is created with a mix of pure brass, copper and zinc, the silver effect is aluminum powder, the bronze is real bronze powder and the copper is real copper powder.
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
More about kintsugi art: 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.
Although 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. Today, thanks to modern polymer technology, kintsugi style repair can be accomplished with state of the art materials that are stronger and have greater longevity than the traditional lacquer methodology. Real gold powder can be used but due the price of gold, it is cost prohibitive for most customers.
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").