Ceramic vs Porcelain Earthenware
From the beginning of human history, earthenware has been crafted all across the world. Even within the small islands of Japan, the diversity of soil, climate, food, and aesthetics have nurtured unique regional styles. These styles have developed over time and have become synonymous with each region’s culture that go even beyond craft and tableware.
How to Kintsugi: The 3 Phases of Repair
Kintsugi technique is intended and best suited for the restoration of ceramic and porcelain tableware. Other materials and types of wares are possible to repair, but it all started with one porcelain tea bowl in Kyoto, about 500 years ago.
Tips to Achieve the Sleekest Gold Finish
It is absolutely no exaggeration to say that gold is synonymous with kintsugi. At least in the perception of most. After all, the repair technique is called kintsugi. Kin = gold, tsugi = joinery. While gold is nothing but jewelry or decoration over the real work underneath, broken pieces are restored in thanks to the ultimate secret ingredient, urushi tree sap.
Step 0: The Patient Chart
Even before beginning the kintsugi-repair process, I always recommend repairers to incorporate Step 0: preparing a patient chart. It’s a thorough assessment of the piece in front of you. Is it cracked, chipped, or broken? Is it made of glass, wood, porcelain, or ceramic? Is it glazed or unglazed?
Kintsugi Dictionary Part 1: Mottainai
Kintsugi repairs something broken into something that can be used again for years, decades, or even generations to come. Here in Japan, our ancestors developed a sustainable means of repair as it is a reflection of our innate everyday way of thinking and behaving.
Kintsugi Dictionary Part 2: Hashiri, Shun, Nagori
This edition of The Kintsugi Dictionary is quite the deal. It's three-in-one, as there are three sub-categories of "seasonal" to more precisely describe the evolution of flora, fauna, and the human experience. Seasonality is a fundamental element of Japanese food and art, design and culture. According to koyomi, the traditional Japanese microseasonal calendar, there are of course the four main seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
The Kintsugi Dictionary Part 3: Wabi Sabi
With every decade, wabi sabi has become increasingly more commonplace, while simultaneously increasingly more confusing, as people here and there and everywhere attempt to verbalize the phrase. Perhaps what scares humans most or makes us most uncomfortable, is being unable to explain something.
Have the Kintsugi Kit. Now What?
For those who have one of POJ Studio's kits in hand, welcome to the wonderful world, the mysterious world, the fascinatingly deep meditative world of kintsugi-repair. We strongly believe that restoration is one of the greatest skills one can acquire and hope this educational journey will be as satisfying and nurturing as it has been for us.
The Golden Tools of the Trade
While not necessary for the repair to be complete, the last step of kintsugi is to dust the fracture with gold or silver powder if you wish. The two golden tools of the trade are horse hair and silk fibers.
Gold is Nothing but Jewelry
Gold is perhaps the most spotlighted ingredient of kintsugi-repair. And justly so. Kintsugi, literally translates to gold joinery. And thus often believed to be metalwork. So many are surprised to learn that gold is not necessary in the repair process whatsoever. It is nothing but jewelry, bedazzling the full repair beneath the surface.
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