Kintsugi Repair For Ceramics – London

Here are some more details about kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer infused with powdered gold or other metals:

  • Origins – Kintsugi originated around the late 15th century. According to legend, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a broken tea bowl back to China to be repaired. It was returned with the cracks filled with gold, which inspired kintsugi.
  • Philosophy – Rather than disguising breaks, kintsugi highlights and celebrates them as part of the history of an object. The flaw is seen as unique and beautiful. The gold seam is a metaphor for the object being more precious for having been broken and repaired.
  • Process – The broken pieces are carefully joined using traditional Japanese lacquer adhesives. Once dried, the lacquer is dusted with gold, silver or platinum powder and coated to create shiny metallic seams. Multiple coats may be applied to build up texture.
  • Lacquer – The lacquer used traditionally comes from the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree. It dries slowly giving time to adjust broken pieces and results in a strong, hard finish. Modern epoxy resins are sometimes substituted.
  • Metals – Gold powder (maki-e) is most common but silver, platinum and occasionally copper or brass may be used depending on desired color and texture.
  • Variations – Modern kintsugi sometimes incorporates other materials like seashell particles or colored lacquers in the seams for unique effects. The technique has also expanded beyond pottery to repairing glassware, wood, and ivory items.
  • Value – Kintsugi enhances an object’s worth through its distinct appearance and philosophy. Repairs by famous kintsugi masters can tremendously increase value. Some modern potters intentionally crack work to prepare it for kintsugi.

Kintsugi demonstrates that broken objects can become even more beautiful and valuable through repair, embracing imperfections rather than hiding them. The glowing veins of gold celebrate an object’s singular history.

Contact Us



– Mobile 07770 276899 out of hours until 6.30pm Monday – Thursday.