THE ART OF PRECIOUS SCARS
We all have had the heart-breaking experience of a precious cup slipping from our hands and shattering on the kitchen floor. Some might simply replace it but others among us feel the urge to repair it, to keep it alive, especially when it was a unique piece, a favorite mug, an heirloom passed on, an object that is so strongly connected to a beloved person, so full of memories.
Do not despair. There is Kintsugi.
Kintsugi, that can be translated to ‘mend with gold’ or ‘golden joinery’ is a traditional Japanese method based on an aesthetic principal from the late 15th century, to repair broken porcelain or pottery with a lacquer dusted and mixed with gold, silver or platinum. It’s a creative approach to repairing objects, born out of the quest for a repair technique that is aesthetically appealing.
Western cultures tend to repair a thing as if it has never been damaged. The philosophy behind Kintsugi is quite contrary as it emphasizes the fractures rather than disguising the wears and tears of usage. It celebrates the life and unique history of each object, the gold lines signifying the scars that come from life’s experiences.
As you may already sense, Kintsugi is connected to prevalent philosophical ideas: Seeing the beauty of imperfection and the flawed, finding a new purpose despite age and loss and embracing the markers of passing time – often referred to as wabi-sabi theory. It’s also connected to the Japanese feeling of mottainai – expressing regret when something is wasted. The process itself is an embodiment of the philosophy of mushin: fully existing within the moment, showing calmness amid changing conditions, and accepting change.
Kintsugi is not only about repairing a broken thing, it revitalizes the object with new life and makes it even more beautiful and unique with the beautiful seams of gold glimmering between the cracks.
Studios in Berlin
If you have a precious, shattered piece you want to get repaired, there are trained Kintsugi artists in Berlin who will be bringing your broken cup or bowl to live again more beautiful then ever – contact their repair studios for an appointment.