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Kintsugi: The Japanese Art of Repairing Pottery

by Olivia Xu

The direct translation of “kintsugi” is “repairing with golf”. Kintsugi is a Japanese technique used to repair broken pottery, usually bowls and plates

Kintsugi originates from Japan during the Muromachi period (1435-1490). There is a story about the origin of kintsugi. it states: One day, the 8th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, Yoshimasa’s favorite cup fell in shattered. Chinese ceramists repaired the cup using iron braces. Yoshimasa was furious since this process harms the ceramic greatly. Japanese ceramists repaired the cup by glueing the pieces together using sap and highlighting the fractured lines. Yoshimasa was extremely pleased with the result, and thus, kintsugi was created.

Kintsugi is a reminder to embrace human flaws. It is an extension of wabi-sabi, a popular Japanese philosophy. Kintsugi shows that there is beauty in the broken and imperfect. 

Kintsugi Techinques

There are three different ways to make kintsugi: the crack method, the piece method, and the joint-call method. 

In the crack method, minimal lacquer is used in the process. This is the most common form of kintsugi. 

The second form of kintsugi is the piece method. For this technique, entire parts of the pottery are replaced with the epoxy. 

The joint-call method replaced a piece of pottery for a similarly shaped piece from a  different piece of pottery.

IN conclusion, kintsugi is an ancient and beautiful art that has many philosophical meanings behind it. There are many different techniques in making kintsugi.

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1 comment

Altimus Maximus February 15, 2022 - 1:00 pm

This is an interesting topic! 0w0

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