Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery. It involves using a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum to mend the broken pieces. The result is a beautiful piece of pottery with golden seams, highlighting the history of the object and turning its imperfections into something unique and valuable. In recent years, Kintsugi has gained popularity around the world as a way to embrace imperfection and find beauty in brokenness.
To practice Kintsugi, you’ll need a few essential tools and supplies. The first and most important one is a good quality lacquer. Kintsugi lacquer is different from regular glue or epoxy as it needs to be flexible, strong, and able to withstand heat and water. The best lacquers are made from natural ingredients like urushi resin, which comes from the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree. However, these can be expensive and hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re just starting, you can try using a synthetic lacquer that’s specifically made for Kintsugi. These are readily available online and come in different colors and finishes.
Another essential tool for Kintsugi is a brush. You’ll need a brush with fine bristles that can apply the lacquer smoothly and evenly. The brush should be small enough to fit into tight spaces and flexible enough to bend around corners. Some Kintsugi brushes are made from animal hair, like weasel or horse, as these fibers can hold the lacquer well and create a smooth finish. However, synthetic brushes can also work well, especially if you’re vegan or have allergies.
In addition to the lacquer and brush, you’ll also need a filler material to fill the gaps between the broken pieces. Traditionally, Kintsugi uses a mixture of sawdust and lacquer to create a putty-like substance that can be molded to fit the shape of the broken piece. However, this can be messy and time-consuming. Nowadays, there are pre-made Kintsugi filler kits that come with a putty-like material and color pigments that can be mixed to match the color of the pottery. These kits are convenient and easy to use, especially for beginners.
If you’re serious about practicing Kintsugi, you may also want to invest in some specialized tools. For example, a Kintsugi scraper is a small metal tool that can be used to scrape away excess lacquer and filler material from the surface of the pottery. This tool is essential for creating a smooth and even finish. A Kintsugi needle is another useful tool that can be used to poke and prod the filler material into small crevices and tight corners. These Kintsugi supplies are not strictly necessary, but they can make the process easier and more enjoyable.
Aside from the tools and supplies, Kintsugi also requires patience, practice, and a willingness to accept imperfection. It’s important to take your time when repairing a broken piece and to allow the lacquer to dry completely between each step. It can be a meditative and therapeutic practice, as it encourages us to slow down and appreciate the beauty of impermanence.
In conclusion, Kintsugi is a beautiful art form that celebrates the beauty of imperfection. To practice it, you’ll need some essential tools and supplies, including a good quality lacquer, a fine brush, and a filler material. There are also specialized tools like scrapers and needles that can make the process easier. However, the most important thing you’ll need is patience, practice, and a willingness to embrace imperfection. So go ahead, pick up some Kintsugi supplies, and turn your broken pottery into a work of art!