“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandise the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” – Barbara Bloom
What is Kintsugi?
Kintsugi is the unique and ancient Japanese art of repairing broken, chipped and cracked pottery using lacquer mixed with gold. Pottery repaired using Kintsugi dates back to 16th century Japan (the Muromachi period) and makes use of many crafts using lacquer, one of which is called “Makie” which grew alongside the Japanese philosophy of the tea ceremony which comes from a belief in the beauty of imperfections. Pottery repaired using Kintsugi techniques are seen at museums and many of these pieces are recognised as highly treasured antiques and cultural assets.
Dates back to the Muromachi period (1338-1573), when Yoshimasa Ashikaga, the 8th Shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate, accidentally cracked a pottery piece, which he had been treasuring. He sent the piece to China to get it repaired, however noone had the skill to repair cracked pottery, so the piece was sent back with a clamp on it.
Yoshimasa was not pleased with the appearance of this, so he ordered the craftsmen to find a better solution to repair the cracked pottery. This is said to be the beginning of kintsugi in Japan
He was a shogun, a hereditary commander-in-chief, but took barely any responsibilities in politics. However, you could say that he has played an important role in shaping Japanese culture.
The Ginkakuji temple in Kyoto was built by Yoshimasa in 1490.
ABC kintsugi Article Published
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What We Do
We offer workshops where you can learn the traditional kintsugi techniques using either artificial gold or real gold in Sydney CBD
We also offer repair jobs for your chipped or cracked pottery, price depending on the severity of the damage. More information an be found in our Repair page.