Kintsugi ~ Restoring The Broken
Japanese Art of Golden Repair
When one of the incense diffuser’s from Bodha arrived in the mail broken I felt a bit crushed. Mostly because I had to tell Emily L’Ami the creator of the lovely line the news, and hated to inconvenience her. She took it in her usual graceful way and sent me a new one to replace the broken one. Months later I discovered through her instagram that she had used the Japanese form of Kintsugi to make what once was broken in two, into something even more beautiful. I resonated so much with this idea of mending a break with gold, that I asked her to write a bit about this process which you can see below.
I realized that so much of my life has been exactly about this concept. I remember when I first moved into my home seven years ago after a turbulent divorce, my favorite antique piece which was the chalk bust of a Chinese girl (circa 1925) was cracked in two from the move. I remember crying crocodile tears not so much for the cracked girl, but for the way my life had cracked open. Recently I broke a favorite tea cup that my tea sister Baelyn gave me as a birthday gift. I am not a clumsy person and this loss truly made me blue. I only wish I had saved the pieces and mended it in gold as a form of kintsugi. This whole concept of turning the broken to beauty reminds me of one of my favorite Leonard Cohen quotes: “There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
By Emily ~
Kintsugi, Japanese for ‘golden repair’ is the 500-year-old art of restoring broken ceramics with gold lacquer. It’s also a wonderful philosophy that celebrates imperfection, the idea being that a piece becomes more beautiful and valuable because it is broken.
Traditional kintsugi is done with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold but you can try a version for yourself using a gold ceramic glue like this (available online). Some places like Lakeside Pottery also offer Kintsugi restoration as a service.’
‘May your brokenness be restored & mended with the purest fine gold, may your beauty supersede the former.’