Kintsugi – Illuminating Imperfection
The other day while I was tidying up I accidentally dropped one of my coasters onto the floor and broke it into two pieces. Crap, I thought. I tried super gluing it back together but it didn’t look the same. I almost threw it out because it looked pretty ugly and I didn’t want to showcase it to guests – what would they think? “Oh, nice broken coaster…” When all of a sudden I had a flashback of seeing gold painted cracks on ceramic pieces while I was traveling through Japan this past spring. I jumped onto my laptop and I did a little research and BAAM I found the term Kintsugi.
Kintsugi (“golden repair”) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer powdered gold to enhance it’s cracks versus hiding them. Giving the broken piece a beautiful and new unique look in comparison to what it originally looked like. I tested it out on my coaster and I have to agree that it looks beautiful and much better than what it originally looked like. I thought about purposely breaking my other coasters and doing the same thing to them haha but then it would defeat the philosophy behind Kintsugi.
The philosophy behind Kintsugi is that it embraces the beauty in the imperfect and flawed, an acceptance in change rather than hiding it. By highlighting the cracks and repairs it tells the story of an object and its service, a philosophy that can be carried throughout our own lives. It’s what makes us all unique and beautiful in our own way. Accepting change, not hiding it and illuminating it to make it beautiful and having our own vicissitudes throughout our lifetime.
Who would have thought that I would learn something from a broken coaster? I absolutely love this philosophy and art form, I included some examples that I found online of Kintsugi. These images can be used as future inspiration in case you’re anything like me and accidentally break things from time to time. Here’s a How To Video that I found online if you wanted to try it out for yourself at home.