“Kintsugi” Repairing

“Kintsugi” is the Japanese traditional technique repairing broken ceramics by patching with lacquer and overlaying with gold or silver.

I learned and tried Kintsugi, of which mending technique differs according to broken conditions.
This time I brought these three for repairing as below:

A. Teapot : the part of passing assist handle
This condition get any parts broken and separated is called “Ware”.

B. Japanese tea cup : chipped external side
This condition get chipped without separated parts is called “Kake”.

C. Japanese tea cup : chipped external & internal sides including cracked
This is the same condition as B. But the internal side includes cracked part “Nyu”,too. So this condition is called “Kake” and “Nyu”.

<Repairing Steps>

This time we use not real lacquer ”Urushi” but synthetic one “Shin-Urushi” more easily handled for beginners.

【A. Tea pot: “Ware”】

1. Stick the separated part with quick-drying glue for ceramics.

Quick-drying glue

2. Fill the “Kake” part with well wedged epoxy pate for metals.
Then cover the joined parts (at the step1) with the pate and press it into shapes.

Clayey epoxy pate, wedge by fingers before use

3. Dry for 15 minutes

4. Fill and smooth the mending surface.
Roughness of the fill’s texture differs according to surface of the main body.
For the teapot use the middle roughness one.
After that fill and clean the whole body with super fine texture type.

Water-resistant fill, wet with water before use

5. Blend “Shin-Urushi” ,thinner and gold powder (ratio 1:1:1) on aluminum foil with brush.

Clockwise from the front side:
①Shin-Urushi thinned with thinner, ②gold powder, ③①blended with②

6. Lay the above stuff (of step 5) on the mending parts by the brush.

After laying the stuff on the formed part at the stage 2

7. Dry for 24 hours.
Before use wash in hot water.

【B. Japanese teacup “Kake”】

The same procedure from step 2 to 7 as 【A. Japanese tea pot】.

Before mending

After filling the “Kake” part with pate at the step 2

In this case use more finer texture type than A at the filling stage (the step 4) because the cup has grazed on its external surface.
After that fill and clean the whole body with super fine texture type.
Then restart from the step 5 to 7.

Before use wash in hot water.
When drinking avoid putting your mouth on the Kintsugi parts.

【C. Japanese teacup “Kake” and “Nyu”】

The same procedure from step 2 to 3 and 4 to 7 as A.

Before mending

After filling the “Kake” part with pate at the step 2

After step 3 filling with pate (before step 4) lay “Shin-Urushi” on “Nyu” part on internal surface.

Shin-Urushi

Lay and spread the “Shin-Urushi” on the crack “Nyu” and both sides of it with the brush.

After laying and spreading “Shin-Urushi”

Dry for 15 minutes.
After dried wipe the above “Shin-Urushi” spread part by wet tissue paper perfused with liquid cleaner for “Shin-Urushi”.
Then restart from the step 4 to 7.

At the filling stage (the step 4) in this case for the external side use more finer texture type than A.
For the internal surface use more rough type one.
Because the cup has grazed on its external surface as B, but non-grazed on the internal.
After that fill and clean the whole body with super fine texture type.
Then restart from the step 5 to 7.

After laying the stuff of the step 5 on the mending parts

After drying for 24 hours, before use wash in hot water.
When drinking avoid putting your mouth on the Kintsugi parts.

Japanese call the parts have “Kintsugi” mended “Keshiki” means Perspective or Vista.
The word “Keshiki” also describes that they accept any “broken” incidents as parts of using history and admire new appearance of items changed from before.
The old Japanese considered the “Kintsugi” mended items more valuable than before broken.
They say that “Kintsugi” and the way of thinking like these was evolved from Japanese traditional tea culture “Cha-No-Yu” began in the Aduchi-Momoyama Period.

This article was written based on the workshop on April 11, 2021.

Instructor: Miho Fujita
https://www.instagram.com/mihofujita/

Venue: c:hord hayama
https://www.chord.co.jp/hayama/