Placing value on broken items. Something we in the West aren’t very good at, yet our neighbors in the East have done this for centuries.
Kintsugi is seeing beauty in brokenness. Literally, translated from Japanese, the word means “gold,” and “to repair, inherit, succeed, continue.” To continue. Not to be tossed away lightly or replaced with the latest trend. Items that are broken still have value.
Although I did not have a (broken) piece of pottery readily available to use for this project, I was able to find a beautiful, inexpensive (think clearance) item at Hobby Lobby that worked out great!
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The piece must be ceramic or pottery to work for this craft. If it’s not, it will shatter into many fine pieces when what you want are distinct breaks.
The tools you need to gather are a piece of pottery, a hammer, Gorilla Glue (or a fast acting, super strong glue of your preference) a fine tip paint brush, gold acrylic paint, like this, and a pillowcase.
The technique is quite simple: You place the pottery into the pillowcase and give it a whack with the hammer. Mine broke into two pieces on the first try. Make sure to shake out any fine particles of pottery from the pillowcase and wash it before reusing.
Then carefully apply the Gorilla Glue to both edges and hold them together for 10-15 seconds. I actually held mine a little bit longer, because I wasn’t sure if the 15-20 seconds would be enough on such thick material.
Allow the piece to sit, untouched, for 2-3 hours. I fashioned mine in such a way that it was nestled on the pillowcase, leaning against our printer with the bigger half of the bowl pressing down onto the smaller half.
Once I was certain the piece was securely glued together, I broke out my DecoArt Dazzling Metallic Acrylic Paint and brush.
My brush didn’t have as fine a tip as maybe it could have. I plan on getting an even finer tip brush before long to see what results I can get, but for now, I used what I had on hand, and I am pleased with the results.
It took 2-3 coats of DecoArt paint to get the desired depth of color I preferred. You will want to paint the gold on, let the piece sit for about an hour, and then go back and apply the next coat.
I found the process very relaxing and a lot of fun! I loved seeing the end result and I know you will too! I decided to transform the kids’ 12-15 year old toothbrush holder (I know, what a weird piece to work on, but it holds great sentimental value to me!) and I can’t wait to finish it up. I will post pictures of it once it is complete!
Kintsugi is a wonderful craft, yes, but I would say it makes for an even better mindset and lifestyle. Let me know if you have any questions about your project. I’d love to post your pics as well!