Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is the Japanese art for repairing broken pieces of pottery. Aside from fixing the pottery, the philosophy is that breakage and repair are part of items (path of our growth and part of us). They do not need to be disguised or hidden away.
Here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LMKGte0UU
I have a Somayaki (相馬焼き) teapot which I chipped off a tiny piece at the spout and a large piece at the handle. initially, I tried to buy a new one to replace it. However, due to COVID outbreak, I could not get one for more than a year – possibly two years. Finally, I looked into Kintsugi to approach this. Looking back, I am glad that I took this kintsugi approach. Here are a few photos of the teapot. Of course, these are armature skill level.
I also fix my Gaiwan teapot and a food container
Did you self-teach yourself the kintsugi method and do the repairs yourself? Awesome! Any suggestions for resources? I have one plate with a small chip on the rim I would love to try and repair.
I bought this kit a while ago, I have the classic gold, and also pearly white and black to go with all the ceramics that I want to repair.
I’ve been told that after the reparation, the ceramics cannot be used in dishwasher anymore due to the high heat. I’m surprised that you’ve used for tea. Which glue did you use?
I bought a kintsugi kit much like naf. It has all the steps. There are essentially two types of kintsugi kits on the market. Kits that are based on all the traditional components, like the urushi lacquer (sap of the urushi tree), and kits that are based on modern glue like epoxy. I bought a kit with the traditional components. Kits based on traditional components tend to be 3-4 times more expensive.
Here is an instruction video:
It is of the Meijiro brand.
Probably true. However, my kintsugi repairs areas are not in the “hottest” area, like the teapot handle.
Based on my understanding, kintsugi can tolerate up to 95 oC (if not much higher), and I won’t have too many things above boiling water.
Quote: “The lacquerwares can endure up to little below the boiling point of water around 95 deg Celsius.”
I use the traditional materials, like urushi tree snap lacquer. This is the same lacquer one would use for traditional lacquerware, and people use it for hot soap and others.
It is true that lacquerware should not be put in dishwasher.
Here actually is a scientific paper on it, and it claims to be stable at an even higher temperature. All in all, the lowest “hot” temperature I found is 95oC, but some claim higher. This one is titled: " Properties of Polymer-Composite Used as Fills of Asian Lacquerware: Issues on Restoration Processes of Lacquered Objects from Cultural Heritage". I only skimmed over the paper, not actually reading it through.
It’s a lovely way of repairing cherished items.
Please remember that the urushi lacquer can cause an allergic reaction. Urushiol is the component that makes poison ivy and other such plants cause contact dermatitis in humans.
Thanks. You are correct. Urushi lacquer can cause allergic reaction, so many people wear gloves while working with the lacquer.
Once the urushi lacquer is cured/dried, then the allergic reaction level drops.
For the heat problem, I think for the teapot that are generally hotter than the dish washer, the contact time is shorter than in a dishwasher.
Exactly, you used the traditional method to repair, the repair kit I got includes an epoxy glue! Lol! I will try to see if I can find the traditional kit.
What I like about this method is it turns into other object of aesthetic and keeps the utility.
One would think so, but I don’t know all the details. Clearly, these lacquerware are often used for hot liquid like soup, and yet lacquerware are said to be non-dishwasher safe. I feel it has more to do with the dishwasher aggressive detergent.
Yours look like this one:
And it is temperature safe up to 100oC too.
I see. I re read the email answer from the seller, she said I can washed it in a low temperature machine. My machine has a maximum temperature 75ºC. Make sense that the metallic components of the repair and the reaction of the detergent, it’s hard to predict if the result can last. But I will do a test to confirm with some not so important wares.
Shortly after the last post, I fixed the broken teeth of my tiger statue.
Last week, I accidently dropped my porcelain gaiwan (tea brewing tea cup). It isn’t expensive, but I like it very much. I was sad first, but then I remember I can fix it with kintsugi. I forgot to take a photo before I start fixing it, but I took a photo after two applications of basefiller. I overfilled a little (shown in photo), and then sand it down.
Then I applied the urushi lacquer and then applied gold powder and then let it dry some more.
I agree with @Chemicalkinetics about the detergent - some can be very corrosive (at least in the US).
I found the golden tooth amusing, very Asian.
Lol, this made me laugh too. I have seen kintsugi before and find it beautiful, but never realized that they sold repair kits. That is very cool! Now if only I had earthenware that was worth saving and repairing this way.
I wish I knew about this when one of my cats (RIP) pushed my handmade Japanese tea cup off a table and broke it many years ago. I loved that tea cup.
I wish I’d known about it too Izzy doesn’t confine himself to damaging cookware.
I had to find a replacement. … for the plate, not the cat.
There are always things to repair, even flower pots. I have some ceramics damaged by transport delivery, the online shops refunded but didn’t take back the goods.
Anyone knows if this technique work with glassware too? I think I have a glass teapot (for mint tea) that might need repairing.
Lovely plate, if you have kept all the pieces…
I used the photo to search eBay for its very costly replacement. It had been a gift to my parents from their friend, who was a collector.