How do you practice kintsugi?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

To practice Kintsugi, I first start by choosing the ceramic object that I want to repair. It can be a broken plate, a chipped bowl, or any other ceramic item that holds sentimental value or that I simply want to bring back to life.

Next, I prepare the adhesive that will hold the broken pieces together. There are different options for this, but my personal favorite is to mix equal parts mica powder and epoxy resin. I find that the mica powder adds a beautiful shimmer to the adhesive, giving the final piece an even more stunning look.

Once the adhesive is ready, I carefully glue the broken ceramics together. I make sure to align the pieces as accurately as possible, taking my time to ensure a strong and seamless repair. It’s important to be patient during this step, as rushing could result in an imperfect repair.

After the ceramics are glued together, the real magic begins. I create the iconic gold lines that are characteristic of Kintsugi. To do this, I use a thin brush and a gold lacquer or gold paint. I delicately paint the lines along the cracks, following the natural flow and patterns of the broken pieces.

This step requires precision and a steady hand, as the gold lines serve both a decorative and functional purpose. They not only add a touch of elegance and beauty to the repaired ceramics but also reinforce the repaired areas, making them stronger than before.

I take my time with this process, carefully painting the gold lines and allowing them to dry between each stroke. It’s a meditative and therapeutic practice, as I focus on each brushstroke and embrace the imperfections of the broken ceramics.

Once the gold lines are complete and dry, my Kintsugi pottery art is finished. The broken ceramics have been transformed into a unique and stunning piece, showcasing the beauty of imperfection and the art of repair.

Practicing Kintsugi has taught me to appreciate the beauty in brokenness and to embrace the process of repairing and restoring. It’s a practice that not only celebrates the history and story behind the broken ceramics but also encourages us to see the value in our own imperfections.

So, if you’re interested in trying Kintsugi, gather your broken ceramics, mix your adhesive, glue the pieces together, and let your creativity flow as you paint the gold lines. Embrace the art of repair and create something truly special and meaningful.