'Kintsugi' is an ancient Japanese art practice that beautifies broken pottery with gold. The word itself means 'the golden joinery'. In this art, a pot is shattered at first and then carefully reassembled using resin mixed with gold.
The general concept of Kintsugi is highlighting or emphasizing imperfections, that something broken is more precious and more beautiful, in the sense that it has a history attached to it which makes it real and valuable.
Kintsugi symbolises how we must incorporate our wounds into who we are rather than try to repair and forget them.
Japanese use gold, not invisible superglue because mistakes are not something you should conceal, they shouldn't be considered ugly. Broken pieces and their repair contribute to the story of an object; they don't ruin it.
Hence, Kintsugi celebrates the damage by showcasing it as part of an object's journey.
Authentic kintsugi items are very expensive as the repairs are usually done in real gold, and the process takes a long time. But you can make your own Kintsugi piece in an economic way by following these easy steps:
What you would need: Apart from the broken pieces on which you would want to do the art, you would need a simple Kintsugi kit or the following items:
An old pillowcase
A small art paintbrush
Gold powder/ gold leaf
Razor blade or box cutters
A disposable plastic container for the glue
A popsicle or lollipop stick to spread the glue
How to do it:
Step one: The gentle break
To begin with, you need a broken pot. It can be your favourite mug or some pot you have been saving for a long time, or you can even break something on purpose. If it is the latter one, make sure you do it safely; out of harm's way, in a bag and tea towel. A gentle drop from head height is the trick.
Step two: Missing pieces of the puzzle
The next step includes you to start fitting those pieces together again. Don't worry; this is not as hard as combining missing pieces of life's puzzle. Just a general idea is fine; you do not have to balance bits on one another. A rough idea of what fits where and where you need to apply the Kintsugi glue is enough.
Step three: Start glueing
This is the time to go ahead and reach for your DIY kit and supplies. You need to start mixing the gold powder or gold leaf with the epoxy putty and use a stick to start applying it slowly on the edges of your broken pieces.
Now, before the Kintsugi epoxy starts to dry out, press the two pieces together and firmly hold them. Please don't press them too hard; otherwise, they might break into even smaller pieces. The basic idea is that you do them one at a time for each break. You might be pretty surprised just how fast the epoxy starts to dry out. So be a little hasty.
Step four: The finishing touch
To achieve a smooth appearance, you have to get some kind of scalpel to help you scrape away the thicker bulging parts of the lacquer.
It is quite a tricky technique, so be a bit cautious as to just how much you take away, as you don't want it popping out of place. Then brush it over with your brush.
If you want a bulging thicker finish, it is even easier to accomplish. Simply apply more lacquer and wait for it to set a bit longer. Do not overly neaten it up.
Where you will get the kits: There are plenty of Kintsugi kits of different brands available on Amazon, which come in very handy. These kits come with Gold, Silver Grey, Blue Cobalt, Neon Green, and Old Rose colours and work perfectly on porcelain, ceramic, jewellery, glass, wood, earthware, and hard plastics. A typical Kintsugi kit can cost you somewhere between Tk2000 to Tk3000.
If you want to do it in a more budget-friendly way, you can buy all the materials separately from stationery shops at Nilkhet, or you can simply order them through Daraz.